View Full Version : AT last, someone is starting to make sense!

02-02-2008, 01:57 PM
This is a concept I had years ago but it fell on deaf ears. I see the
WPA has taken steps to standardize a set of rules. All we need now is for
some entity with enough b---s and money, to get the ball rolling.
Lets get behind anyone headed in this direction-ONE GAME, ONE PRO
ORGINIZATION- and the best is yet to come.
January 26, 2008

The Future of Pocket Billiards

Those of you who know me will, I hope, give me enough credit to make an informed observation regarding the state of pocket billiards as it exists today. Those of you who don?t know me are lucky (meaning you are probably under the age of 40). I won?t elaborate or make this into a bio of my experiences pursuing the lifestyle (24 hour action) or the game, One Pocket, that I have loved most of my adult life.

Several years ago I emerged from a self-imposed hiatus, from 1973 to the early ?90?s. After scraping the rust off my game, I began to compete again. It became painfully obvious that nothing had changed in my absence. The tournament picture had improved somewhat, but the continuous struggle to form a cohesive and stable player organization had, and still has, failed miserably. Those who devoted a lot of time, energy and money to this thankless task eventually threw in the towel. Very few of our brethren (and we know who they were) could put aside their giant size egos and give just a little for the good of the game.

The amateur organizations, and even the ladies, have made much greater strides than the pro men. Grady Matthews, Allen Hopkins, Miz and Richie Florence (RIP) all worked tirelessly to promote tournaments worthwhile attending. Greg Sullivan (DCC) has made outstanding contributions these past ten years. Also, we now have One Pocket.org and AZ Billiards to thank for creating a forum to find common ground.

Indulge me for a moment. Let?s pull up the PBA.com on our computer screens. Click on HISTORY OF THE PBA. Aren?t you shocked to find that the PBA was founded just two years prior to the first Hustler?s Jamboree in 1961? Thirty or so of the top bowlers got together, chipped in a few bucks apiece, hired a secretary, a small PR firm and the rest is history. In 1960, the prize money available to touring pros was $500,000 (in today?s money over $4 million). And that was their FIRST year! Now they are well into the high 7 figures up for grabs. All this for a sport that?s about as exciting and entertaining as watching paint dry!!! (Apologies to bowling afficionados.) Granted, a big boost was the advent of the automatic pin setter. Brunswick, Ebonite and all the beer and cigarette companies were lining up to promote and sponsor tournaments. Pool had its shot at big name sponsors, Lite beer, Camel and a few others. But they soon lost interest in trying to deal with a fractionalized, disorganized bunch of guys who, with too few exceptions, could not agree on anything. Once again the
Bumbling Congress of America was right there to help out. If this sounds harsh, so be it.

OK, I?m calmed down now, let?s get on to the main point of this dissertation.
Besides the obvious lack of a professional body of players to coordinate with, potential WILLING sponsors have had to deal with something possibly even more unsettling. We know that as an exciting spectator sport, we have as much or more to offer than bowling. I?m not sure of the exact numbers, but I?ve read pool is played regularly by far more people than the sport of bowling. But herein lies a big, big rub. THERE IS ONLY ONE GAME OF BOWLING, JUST AS THERE IS ONLY ONE GAME OF TENNIS, GOLF OR ANY OTHER SPORT YOU CAN NAME!! I defy anyone to name all the different games played on a pool table. We had 3 cushion billiards which gave way to 14.1 straight pool, which morphed into rotation, 8-ball, 9-ball, 10-ball, Banks, and then we sprung our favorite game, One Pocket, on an unsuspecting public and potential sponsors.
Half the games we played had no clear cut set of rules. (thanks again BCA) and in case they were not confused enough, we regularly played these games ON THREE DIFFERENT SIZE TABLES. Throw in Snooker, with its several games (and two more table sizes) and we should be able to keep pool in the closet for the next 500 years.

If global warming inundates us with rising sea levels, we could always invent ten or twelve different games of ?water pool with beach balls?! I?m sure the BCA would rush in to standardize the rules (after maybe 50 years.)

I hope I haven?t turned too many people off by trying to make a point. I think one pocket is the greatest game played on a pool table (any size pool table). In my scenario (if I ever get to it) the gambling element or funsy players among us, will still enjoy just as much 1P as they ever did. But we know the odds of ever seeing even
A million dollar 1P tournament (even tape delayed and edited) on any network, is just NOT going to happen.
Now to the fun part. Developing a game that is simple to understand,exciting to watch, with some measure of suspense as the game proceeds.

I don?t have an agenda, my nine or ten ball days are long over. I?m sure many of you will question my motive and maybe my sanity. As a governing body, the BCA has been about as effective as the United Nations
in promoting our game. If they had gotten off the dime back when Camel and Lite beer were looking at us, we would maybe have some sort of organization. I know there were also some pie in the sky promoters (and players) who kept letting short term greed undermine unity and forward progress.

I have been guilty of letting some old frustrations surface. No more ranting, I promise. Lets see what we can do to move forward.
Ten ball seems to be the direction the game is headed with the current crop of players. I think, with some minor
tweaking it would be a perfect start for the ONE GAME concept.

Let?s kick it around and see what we come up with..The following is just a start, YOUR INPUT IS WELCOME!
(and I?m sure will be forthcoming!!!!!)
1. Break out of the box (no safe breaks)
2. I totally agree with Buddy Hall, Push out, Two shot foul should be re-instated.(more later on this)
3. Proceed in rotation, lowest number ball first.
4. OB 1 thru 4 existing colors.
5. Modify 5 ball with a stripe.(will explain later)
6. No need to stripe the 10 ball (it already has one)
7. Change 9 ball to a solid color, Can?t be yellow (same as one.)
8. Pool ball Mfgrs. would only need re-tool for two new balls, 5 & 9
9. The reason for stripes on the 5 & 10 is that on TV they will stand out as payballs
10. Continuing in rotation. The 5 is worth 5 points, the 10 worth 10 pts.
11. Alternate breaks, just like most other games, ( winner or loser breaks is a fiasco)
12. Initial tournament matches could be first to 100 points, finals maybe 200 pts.
13. All match lengths are negotiable, in case we EVER see live TV matches.
14. After much soul searching (= trying to get an edge over SVB) I thought about
designating a specific pocket for the 5 or 10 ball (as in one pocket) but I am
afraid this would deteriorate into a safety fest

.I also thought of playing ?last pocket? on the 10 ball, surely our millions of new viewers
could appreciate that ! (or not ????)

This would in no way effect the great all around tournaments all us hard core pool junkies
enjoy. Maybe if the promoters of these events subscribed to the ONE GAME theory they
might find media coverage for that portion of their events. If we can come up with an enjoyable, entertaining, and colorful product I think we have a chance.

For what it?s worth dept.;

As early as the sixties, my old friend Jack ( Jersey Red) Breit, and his wife Dottie and I spent many a long
night at the old Le Cue (in Houston) hashing over these same subjects. Dottie and Jack were in
total agreement with these philosophies. By the way, if you don?t know me and you have access
to Eddie Robbin?s ?Shots,Moves and Strategies?, please turn to page 299, last paragraph. That comment,
from Jack meant more to me than words can ever express. I?ve also enjoyed hoisting many a drink with
Richie (RIP) and Ronnie.(I don?t recall you ever buying one RA)and I would put them to sleep ranting
on this subject. Both had some very good input on how to improve our sport. Had Richie not been
taken so young his energy and dedication to the game, might have gotten us to where we are trying
to get today.

I hope someone younger than I will take this concept and run with it. Remember ONE GAME, ONE
PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION and I think the best is yet to come.

Hit 'em straight.
(Sorry, all my apostrophes and quotation marks turned to a
question mark when I hit the send button?)

Dick McMorran
Jan, 2008