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BillPorter
08-09-2008, 10:44 AM
A few weeks ago I was playing one-pocket with this young guy and beating him rather soundly when he looked over at me and said, "I found out the real secret to playing one-pocket from a top one-pocket player." I replied, "OK, I'll bite, what's the secret?" My young opponent then said, "Never give the other guy a shot at his hole."

Considering all the books and videos that have been devoted to the art and science of one-pocket, it seemed absurd to boil down all that one-hole wisdom into a little ten-word sentence, but as I thought about what he had said, I began to appreciate the kernel of truth it contained. Taken to the extreme, it is clearly bad advice because it implies that you should never take a shot at your hole that you aren't 100% certain you can make. It also implies never trying a shot that might leave even a reasonably easy one-rail bank if you miss.

Just yesterday I was playing one-pocket with a pretty strong player and told him the story about the kid who had revealed the "secret" of one-pocket. I guess my story stirred a memory in him because he then related a story of his own. It seems that years ago he had been talking to the legendary player Clem Metz, at one time one of the best one-pocket players on earth. He had asked Clem to give him what he considered to be the best single piece of advice on how the play the game. Clem said, "Just keep playing them safe until you wear them down." Sounds a lot like the "secret" the kid related to me, doesn't it. And then I thought about the way some top one-hole players operate when giving huge handicaps to weaker players - they just keep ducking and taking intentional safeties until their opponent leaves them where they can start running balls.

Now don't get me wrong here. I'm not saying that "never leave your opponent a shot at their hole" is the one rule to use when playing one-pocket. But what I am saying is that there is a grain of truth there and that we all know players who, when frustrated by repeated safeties, will break down and shot some ridiculous shot that loses the game for them.:)

Franky
08-09-2008, 10:57 AM
I like the advice, but IMHO you have to vary it based on the relative level of play between you and your opponent. If you've playing a much stronger player, sometimes it pays to go for a 40% chance to pocket bank shot because that might be your best opportunity to win. If you've playing a weaker player, you would probably not want to shoot that. Wait a bit and tighten the noose first! But you really shouldn't listen to me, I can't even spell won pokeit.

dabarbr
08-09-2008, 11:45 AM
I like the advice, but IMHO you have to vary it based on the relative level of play between you and your opponent. If you've playing a much stronger player, sometimes it pays to go for a 40% chance to pocket bank shot because that might be your best opportunity to win. If you've playing a weaker player, you would probably not want to shoot that. Wait a bit and tighten the noose first! But you really shouldn't listen to me, I can't even spell won pokeit.
I like what you say about the weaker player having to a take a bit more chances, but only if they are playing with no handicap. If there is a handicap then you must play as Conservative as you normally do.

If the handicap makes it an even game the one that takes chances will in the long run come out loser. Taking unnecessary chances will make the game easier for the other guy.

In respect to the original question by Bill Porter, One player eventually will break down from frustration and will start taking more unnecessary chances but only if the ingenuity of his opponent is better than his. Meaning keeping him from taking a shot at his hole.

A big part of one pocket is to keep your opponent at bay, keep the balls from going uptable, and be ready to pounce when the opportunity presents itself. (a mistake or a poor chance from the opponent) So it boils down to who moves the best. Thats one hole!!