The Art of One Pocket by Steve Booth

mattb

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
So I had the chance to read the book “The Art of One Pocket” by Steve Booth over the winter and I have to say I am fairly impressed.

A little about me. I have been playing since a teenager but once I got into my 40’s it became all about one pocket and also giving back To other players. I play a respectable 9 ball and 8 ball game. If you want a stat, I am an 8 in 9 ball and a 7 in 8 ball in APA If that means anything, most of those stats were accumulated on 9’ Diamonds from the Bank Shot that used to be in downtown Louisville. I was in APA for years and honestly I did not care for it except that it allowed me to coach younger or less experienced players. The coaching aspect meant a lot to me. Up until last year I had a 9’ Diamond Pro in my basement which I practiced on religiously. I rarely gamble because it does nothing for me. I will give you my best game with nothing on the line but pride.

The book starts out paying a little homage to the books that came before it which most one pocket players either own, have read or in my case covet like gold (Winning One Pocket, SM&S and A Game of Controlled Agression). This was a pleasant surprise and a nice touch. The book does not try to rewrite the game but instead tries to give a different look and tweak of what is out there.

In the beginning it of course describes the rules of the game but what I really liked is the area that covers how to practice. Several of these Steve describes are exactly what I use to practice the game and are also what I show newer players when they take up the game.

One area I feel that could have been expanded upon was taking into consideration what type of table and conditions you are playing on. Those factors can determine a lot when leaving your opponent a shot. What I leave you on a Diamond may not be what I leave you on a Gold Crown. But this may be getting into the weeds on my part and is no big deal.

The book covers banking adequately without going too deep on the subject. For this “Banking With the Beard” is called out if you really want to go off the banking deep end and drown in information.

Kicking is another aspect of the game that you could spend a lifetime on as well as countless amounts of resource material. Steve hits just enough of it to be interesting without over doing it.

More to come…
 

mattb

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The traps and escapes section should be very useful for a beginner to mid level player. While some of the moves take a lot of practice and letting the cue ball loose, Steve also touches on subtle moves where you barely move the cue ball that beginning players may not realize. When teaching the game I always try to emphasize most times you can get away with doing very little in a tough situation and wait for a better opportunity.

I actually read the section “Playing the Score” twice. I see so many players who just need a ball or two lose or come close to losing by taking wild shots to move a ball or two without care of the cue ball. I am guilty of this as well. Calculate your chances. There is no harm or foul in waiting for a better opportunity. The next section of “Managing the Table” could have easily been combined with this section as to me they are one and the same.

The next several sections deal with shot selection in one form or another and Steve gets enough information out there on these to make it interesting without making it boring. Most times someone venturing into one pocket already has a good knowledge of shot making, they just need to understand how it applies to this game as opposed to other games.

The last notable section I really enjoyed was “Handicapping In One Pocket.” This section alone could definitely be expanded upon and is not something you see in most books. Sections like this really help when trying to find a fair game not only amongst friends but also when gambling.

Overall, I really liked the book. Definitely worth a read if you are into one pocket. Will it shake the ground and open up the heavens to your game? No. But, it is still packed full of some good, useful information to make it entertaining and enlightening.

I was taught three things by the guy who taught me the fundamentals of the game. I am sure he is long gone by now as he was an old fart way back then.
1. Distance is your friend when leaving your opponent a shot.
2. Leave them on the rail. I shot off the head rail being froze to it for most of our matches.
3. A kick leads to a bank when trying to make a ball (for novice players, but something I still live by).

Now, we are on the clock and loser pays table time. Rack ‘em, you got the first break…
 

1pocket

Steve Booth
Gold Member
Silver Member
Thank you Matt!I was getting about ready to do a "self review" of my own book lol. Actually I still might do that because honestly I have a good perspective -- and although of course I would be biased, that might get more than offset by the fact that we are often our own worst critic, and I intend to let a little of that out if I do a "self review". Thank you for reading the book thoroughly and giving an honest assessment!! (y)
(y)
 
  • Like
Reactions: bbb
Top