Meet Jayson Shaw (Straight Pool World Record Holder)
Jayson Shaw, or “Eagle Eye” as some call him, has cemented his place in the list of the best pool players to ever live.
Shaw’s career spans over a decade, and he is still at his peak. He has won major championships in 8-ball, 9-ball, 10-ball and straight pool competitions and also owns a world record.
His career has been highlighted by fierce rivalries and entertaining matches pitting him against other pool greats like Shane Van Boening.
In this article, you will learn more about this pool legend – including who he is, how he started his career, his championships, and what cue he uses.
Who is Jayson Shaw?
Jayson Shaw is a professional Scottish pool player currently living in the US. Shaw was born in Glasgow, Scotland, on 13 September 1990. His father was a professional pool player, so he was exposed to the game very early.
Shaw started playing pool when he was about 4 years old. His dad bought him a mini pool table with tiny “chopstick” cues, and he would spend lots of time with his favorite toy.
Shaw started accompanying his dad to the English 8-ball championships when he was 7. His dad saw how interested he was in the game and signed him up for the junior division of the championship.
By 10 years of age, Jayson was on the Scottish junior team and won the junior 8-ball championship. Soon after, he was promoted to the youth team and won both the junior and youth championships in the same year.
Shaw’s interest in the sport grew further in his teen years. He would skip school and spend most of the day in a snooker hall. At 16, he was employed in a snooker hall to clean the tables and refill fridges.
The exposure to snooker and all the famous players he encountered made him want to get into snooker, but an altercation with the snooker hall owner’s nephew resulted in him getting fired. This was the end of Jayon’s snooker playing.
When did Jayson Shaw turn pro?
After getting fired from the snooker hall, Shaw got into American Pool. The IPT (International Pool Tour) had just come around and had some events in Great Britain. Shaw signed up for some of them and even got to the semi-finals in one event when he was 16.
A sponsor spotted Shaw playing and brought him to London to play in qualifier events for a chance to play in Reno, Nevada. Shaw qualified and played his first American 8-ball championships in Reno. After that, Shaw returned home and remained active by playing English 8-ball in the Euro Tours.
He played in English and Euro pool events for a while before deciding to shoot for the US Open Championship. Shaw played the US Open a few times and even finished 9th in the 2012 championships.
An older English man (a stakehorse, probably) saw him play and asked him to stay in the US for 3 months to hustle. The two hustled in Charlotte and New York for a few years. Shaw would go back and forth between Scotland and the US. He hustled in the US for 3 months and then returned home.
Shaw got tired of hustling and wanted to make a name for himself. He started his professional career as the house pro at Steinway Billiards, where Earl Strickland was also a house pro. Shaw even shared an apartment with Earl.
Jayson Shaw’s Championships
Shaw has won over 40 championships and events since he started playing. His first professional championship was the 2010 WPA World Blackball Championship. Shaw defeated the Frenchman Sébastien Ramier in the finals. After that, he went on to win dozens of other major championships.
1. Mosconi Cup (5 times)
- 2016 – Part of team Europe that beat team USA 11–3
- 2017 – Part of team Europe that beat team USA 11–4
- 2020 – Part of team Europe that beat team USA 11–3. Shaw was the tournament’s MVP, winning all his singles and doubles matches.
- 2021 – Part of team Europe that beat team USA 11–6. Shaw was also the MVP, making him the third player to win the MVP for two consecutive years since the event started.
- 2022 – Part of team Europe that beat team USA 11–7
2. Turning Stone Classic (8 times)
3. Derby City Classic (3 times)
Shaw has won the Bigfoot 10-Ball Challenge event in the Derby City Classic 3 times.
4. US Open 9 Ball Championship (1 time)
- 2017 – Shaw beat Eklent Kaci from the Republic of Albania 13–4 in the finals
5. International Open 9 Ball Championship (2 times)
Jayson Shaw vs. Shane Van Boening
Jayson Shaw and Shane van Boening are two of the best pool players of the modern age. These two players want to be the best, so naturally, their rivalry was inevitable.
Shaw tends to be a more cocky player, and some people find him a little arrogant. Van Boening is a more reserved person and a man of few words that is always highly focused, both in and outside of pool.
Shaw is known for his exceptional accuracy and ability to see and make shots many players might miss, which is where the nickname “Eagle Eye” comes from. Van Boening is famous for his killer break shots and aggressive playing style.
The two pool legends have faced each other in some entertaining matches several times. One of their first encounters was during the semi-finals of the 41st US Open 9-Ball Championship in 2016. Van Boening won the match 11–9 and went on to win the championship. You can watch the match HERE.
Shaw also faced Van Boening in the last 64 of the 2021 World Pool Championship. Van Boening won 11–4. You can watch the match HERE.
Their most recent encounter was in 2022 in the Derby City Classic Big Foot 10-Ball Challenge. Shaw won the match 11–8. You can watch the match HERE.
Jayson Shaw’s Pool Cue of Choice
Shaw prefers low-deflection cues, and he has partnered with Meucci to create a line of cues that fit his playing style and preferences.
The Meucci cues use advanced low-deflection technology to maximize accuracy and minimize miscues and other errors on the table. They are also made from high-quality materials like advanced composite and premium hardwoods.
Many players love the unique Jayson Shaw Meucci cue designs and styles and the fact the cues are highly customizable to suit different styles and preferences. You can check out some of Shaw’s Meucci cues HERE.
Other Awards and Achievements
1. Billiards Digest Player of the Year – Shaw was named the Billiards Digest Player of the Year for 2016.
2. AZBilliards player of the year – Shaw was the AZBilliards Player of the Year for 2017.
3. Straight pool high run (2022) – In 2022, Shaw set a new world record high run in straight pool by potting 669 balls consecutively.
Straight Pool Record
Shaw had his record-breaking run in 14.1 straight pool on January 18, 2022, while playing at Street Light Billiards Academy in Alexandria, Virginia.
He set the record in 5 days and after 122 attempts. During his 14.1 exhibition high run Shaw produced 4 high runs (380, 397, 407, and 714). The highest run was recorded in a 2-hour and 39 minute long video.
A BCA committee of 5 members reviewed the unedited video and noticed that Shaw committed a touched ball foul on the 45th ball by touching an object ball. Were it not for this foul, Shaw could have set an even higher 714 consecutive ball record. After the review, the BCA formally recognized his high run of 669 balls.
The record is very recent, and Shaw still holds it. Given the number of balls, he will probably hold it for quite some time, but only time will tell!
Jayson Shaw is undoubtedly one of the best pool players ever. Shaw’s great sight and ability to see and make shots that many other players would miss makes him a very entertaining player to watch.
Shaw has already won some major championships and set an impressive straight pool record, and he still has many years to play. It will be interesting to see how his career turns out.
If you are a pool fan or an upcoming player, Jayson Shaw is one player you should follow closely.
As always, Happy Shooting!