Meet “The Panda,” Mario He (2–Time World Cup of Pool Winner)
Mario He is a well-known name among pool fans worldwide. A familiar face on the pro tour, Mario is known for his precision and consistency on the pool table.
Mario He is a calm and disciplined player who has been a permanent fixture in European and international tournaments for almost a decade. He has won major championships over the years, but his career has also been characterized by heartbreaks, like being forced to withdraw from the Mosconi Cup in 2018.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Mario He’s career. We will explore the key moments in his pool career – from how he started playing and went pro, to highlighting some of his biggest tournament wins and championships.
Who is Mario He?
Mario He is a professional pool player from Austria. Mario was born in Rankweil, Austria, on August 3rd, 1993. Unlike many other top pool players, his family was not into pool. Mario admits he didn’r know anything about pool until he was 10. He actually played chess as a young boy because his father loved it and taught him to play.
Growing up, he was into soccer as well. A friend in school would introduce him to pool when he was between 10 and 11. The two were having a random conversation in the summer of 2004 when the friend told him about pool – which he had spent the last month playing.
The friend brought Mario to Patrick´s pool hall in Ranweil, where he saw a pool table for the first time. Mario liked pool immediately after playing his first match, even though he wasn’t any good. From then, he would spend more time playing pool, but was still more interested in soccer and chess.
Mario decided to drop soccer so he could have more time for chess, pool and school. He learned how to play fast and improved quickly in the first 2 years of playing. Mario even played in several local tournaments, winning a few.
There were many good players in his area, like Albin Ouschan, who helped him along the journey. Mario was a very skilled player by the time he turned professional.
When did Mario He turn pro?
Mario went pro as a teenager. By 2010 he was already competing in the Austrian national championships at just 17. Mario won the 8-Ball event in the 2010 Austrian Pool Championship. The influence and inspiration he received from other young Austrian pool players at that time, like Ouschan, pushed him to go pro at an early age.
Mario He’s Championships
Mario He has already established himself as one of Europe’s most successful pool players by winning several European and world championships. Although he had to withdraw from what would have been his first Mosconi Cup in 2018 after failing a drug test, he still won several other titles after this heartbreak.
Here is a quick look at some of his biggest tournament wins:
1. World Cup of Pool (2 times)
- 2017 – Won while playing with Albin Ouschan. They defeated team USA (represented by Shane Van Boening and Skyler Woodward) 10–6 in the finals.
- 2019 – Won while playing with Ouschan. The duo defeated team Philippines (represented by Carlo Biado and Jeffrey de Luna) 11–3 in the finals.
Mario and Ouschan were also runners-up in 2018 and semi-finalists in 2014.
2. Euro Tour (6 times)
- 2016 – Won the Austria Open
- 2017 – Won the North Cyprus Open
- 2018 – Won the Veldhoven Open
- 2018 – Won the Klagenfurt Open
- 2019 – Won the Veldhoven Open
- 2022 – Won the Italian Open
3. European Pool Championship (2 times)
- 2012 – Won the 8-ball event by defeating Ukrainian Artem Koshovyi in the finals
- 2021 – Won the 8-ball event by defeating Fedor Gorst in the finals
Mario was also the runner-up in 2022. He lost to Ralf Souquet from Germany.
4. Austrian Pool Championship (11 times)
- 2010 – Won the 8-ball event
- 2011 – Won the 8-ball and 10-ball events
- 2013 – Won the 8-ball, 10-ball and 14.1 straight pool events
- 2014 – Won the 8-ball and 9-ball events
- 2015 – Won the 9-ball, 10-ball and 14.1 straight pool events
Mario He’s Cue of Choice
Mario uses Exceed custom cues and other cues from Mezz. His cue arsenal includes the following:
- Exceed EXC-7TA5W playing cue
- Mezz Ignite 12.2 shaft
- Mezz PBGG-H break cue
- Mezz AD2-K jump cue
Mario also has sponsorship from TAOM, and he always uses their chalk when playing.
Mario He’s Biggest Games
Mario has played some interesting and high-stake games over the years against some of the best pool players in the world. Here are 2 of these matches:
1. Mario He vs. Shane Van Boening
Mario played Van Boening in a highly contested match in the 2022 Predator Bucharest Open quarterfinals. The two were neck and neck for most of the game, but eventually, Van Boening won 11–9. You can watch the match HERE.
2. Austria vs Philippines (He/Ouschan vs Biado/de Luna)Mario playing with Albin Ouschan, met team Philippines in the 2019 World Cup of Pool finals. The Austrian duo dominated the match, winning 11–3 and getting their second World Cup of Pool title. You can watch the match HERE.
Mario He is undoubtedly among the most talented European pool players of the 21st century. Although he has experienced many ups and downs during his professional pool journey, he always has a way of bouncing back and finding his winning ways.
He is still a world-class pool player at the peak of his game and quite interesting to watch. We all can’t wait to see what the future holds for “The Panda.”
As always, Happy Shooting!