The slider crank is a proven mechanical linkage system with a long history of successful applications, and the slider-crank ocean wave energy converter (WEC) is a type of WEC that converts linear motion into rotation. This paper presents a control algorithm for a slider-crank WEC. In this study, a time-domain hydrodynamic analysis is adopted, and an AC synchronous machine is used in the power take-off system to achieve relatively high system performance. Also, a rule-based phase control strategy is applied to maximize energy extraction, making the system suitable for not only regular sinusoidal waves but also irregular waves. Simulations are carried out under regular sinusoidal wave and synthetically produced irregular wave conditions; performance validations are also presented with high-precision, real ocean wave surface elevation data. The influences of significant wave height, and peak period upon energy extraction of the system are studied. Energy extraction results using the proposed method are compared to those of the passive loading and complex conjugate control strategies; results show that the level of energy extraction is between those of the passive loading and complex conjugate control strategies, and the suboptimal nature of this control strategy is verified.