“One Pocket, it’s an epidemic and there ain’t no cure.” – Strawberry Brooks
Project One Pocket is a project in which I advocate One Pocket and try to inspire others, especially in the Netherlands and eventually in the rest of Europe as well, to start playing One Pocket, to share knowledge and ideas about the game and to set up more One Pocket tournaments across the continent. The project went through several stages and will continue to evolve and grow over time.
As a nine-year-old I started playing pool. Standing on an empty crate of Coca Cola, firing those balls towards the pocket. It was love at first sight. The technical challenges became an addiction. During time I won the Dutch National Youth Championships 11 times, but never managed to break through internationally. I developed too many other interests and decided to quit trying to become a professional at the age of 18. After a year or two, pool became a hobby and I started to play one pocket and bank pool. That was the moment when my passion for pool resurrected. I even ended up playing the Derby City Classic in 2015. Now, it’s my personal mission to inspire people to play one pocket.
In September 2016 I began writing about what One Pocket means to me and what it could mean to other pool players. I wanted to share my point of view on the game of One Pocket and on certain paradigms within the world of pool. With these texts I want to inspire players to play the game, to provide different perspectives, and to show the beauty of the most intriguing game of pool. Five articles came forth from this mission, ‘The first 5’, and I called it the One Pocket Series, but I didn’t have a platform to spread these words. Luckily, I was already planning to start a blog that’s now called Poolhead. These articles became the first 5 posts on my blog called Poolhead.
The next step in the continuous development of Project One Pocket was starting a YouTube channel in light of providing a collection of videos for others to study and to share knowledge about the game provided by pool’s greatest players. YouTube is a grand master in teaching! You don’t have to figure the game out all by yourself. Others have already done that for you, so we should take advantage of it. You can learn from them first, and give a personal twist to it afterwards to distinguish yourself from the rest. By studying others you’ll eventually understand the basic concepts, strategies, shots, and moves, which you can combine with your own creativity and insights in the game.
The One Pocket Series Soon after I started the blog and the YouTube Channel, I realized that it wouldn’t be enough to only write about the game and share those videos. One pocket is gaining foothold in the Netherlands and there’s a growing group of players who’s enthusiastic about the game, but there were almost no opportunities for competitive play (in the form of tournaments) on a regular basis. So, I took the mission to a different level by organizing the One Pocket Series, a One Pocket tour in the Netherlands, together with Espen Falkenhaug, which made its debut on June 25th, 2017. It’s named after ‘The first 5’ articles that formed my writing project ‘The One Pocket Series’ and its setup is inspired by the World Pool Series.
The tour consists of 3 open ranking tournaments with a maximum of 32 players, because we wanted to start with one-day tournaments. The entry fee is just €25,-. The reason for the low entry fee is that we want it to be accessible for players of all levels in order to promote the game. The top 16 of the ranking plays the Grand Finale with €1400,- guaranteed prize money and no entry fee. Overall there’s €2500,- added to the prize money.
The One Pocket Series shoot-out
Next to that, we’ve added a special element, a shoot-out in the form of the game ‘up & down’ (see image) on hill-hill in a race to 3 until the final. Only the final is a race to 3 without a shoot-out. The players need to lag to determine who begins the shoot-out. The winner of the lag decides who starts. The starting player has pocket A, the opponent is Pocket F. The first to make the ball in his pocket wins the shoot-out and thereby the match. Every foul results in loss of the shoot-out. When the object ball is pocketed in a different pocket it’s being spotted in the middle of the table.
The tour has started off very promising and is gaining popularity as we speak. We even attracted players from Germany. Players from Denmark and Sweden have already shown their interest in the tour as well. The shoot-out has proven to be of great organizational value and to be an exciting element for the players and spectators. The shoot-out saved us time and made it possible to complete a 32 bracket in one day.
I hope this positive trend will continue and that Project One Pocket will inspire many other players to play the game and Pool Promoters to organize more one pocket tournaments . It’s my wish for the one pocket community to grow and for the game to gain popularity.
Let’s shoot some one pocket!
Author: Pepijn de Wit
Editor: Shaylyn Troop