One pocket pool
One Pocket Pool
One home About Learning the game Hall of fame marketplace a one pocket pool forum

2009 One Pocket news archives

Current Home Page 2011 News * 2010 News * 2009 News * 2008 News * 2007 News * 2006 News * 2005 News

One Pocket Hall of Fame

The 2009 voting results are in!

The One Pocket Hall of Fame is pleased to announce this year’s class of inductees in the categories of One Pocket, Bank Pool and Lifetime Pool in Action. This January we will have two One Pocket inductees, the well traveled professional player, Jose Parica, and our top vote getter among the deceased candidates from years past, the outspoken legend of pool, Rudolf ‘Fats’ Wanderone, AKA ‘Minnesota Fats’. Our Bank Pool inductee this year is the aptly named Glenn ‘Piggy Banks’ Rogers, from Chicago, Illinois.

Everyone knows that pool has always had two very different cultures of competition – the establishment culture of tournaments, wholesome recreation and industry endorsements on the one hand, and the after-hours culture of gambling and hustling on the other hand. It is the mission of the One Pocket Hall of Fame to honor and remember those great players and great games that represent the legacy of Pool in Action.

In that spirit, the One Pocket Hall of Fame is pleased to present this year’s Lifetime Pool in Action award to the legendary player, backer, and aficionado of action, Seattle Washington’s Harry Platis.


A younger Jose Parica competing back in the 80's

(Mike Haines/Bill Porter photo)


Don’t miss the One Pocket Hall of Fame dinner on Tuesday, January 26th, during the biggest pool jamboree ever, the Derby City Classic. This year our banquet will be in a terrific new location, as we will have the aptly named “Legends” bar (right in the Horseshoe Casino complex) all to ourselves for our own private party! This promises to be a very entertaining evening, as these players are among the most colorful, talented and action-oriented legends in all of cue sports.

Click here to make your reservations for our HOF dinner

November 24, 2009

Trick Shot Icon

'Willie Jopling' Dies

Born William Jopling Marshall, Jr. in Bedford, Virginia January 20, 1926, but better known in the pool world as ‘Willie Jopling’, Marshall died suddenly in his home early in the AM of November 24, 2009. Bill Marshall was a veteran of WWII, a career graphic designer and a family man, who put those priorities ahead of pool, although he played at a competitive level. The name Willie Jopling became synonymous with trick shots as under that moniker he wrote popular instructional columns for several pool and billiard magazines for many years. Early on in his pool career he became enthralled with trick shots and the game of One Pocket, and it was these two disciplines that his columns focused on. He self-published an instructional book on Trick Shots which also included a large section on One Pocket shots, which may have been the first published One Pocket instructional work. Recently he had published two One Pocket instruction videos which were well received in the One Pocket community.

He was a close friend to many great players, including the late Eddie Taylor, and many of his columns mixed in personal anecdotes along with his excellent pool advice, which added to the popularity of his writing. He was a regular at every US Open Championship in his home state of Virginia, but also traveled every year to the Derby City Classic to enjoy the pool action, catch up with his many friends and to sell a few books and tapes to help pay his way. He was still contributing columns, and still enjoyed getting out for a little pool until his death.

Click here to read our 2005 interview with Willie Jopling

Willie Jopling at the Derby City Classic, demonstrating one of his pet games, "Kiss Pool", in which object balls are caromed off the cue ball in order to score.


November, 2009

Michael Surber, 1955-2009

One of the top all-around players from Mississippi and beyond, 'Biloxi Mike' Surber, was found dead in his home earlier this week. Officials have ruled the cause of his death murder, and have named a "person of interest" in the case. Mike was a very popular player, and a top competitor on the national scene in both One Pocket and Bank Pool.

Click here for the memorial page for Mike Surber

"Person of Interest" & Local news links that follow Mike's murder

Mike competing at the Derby City Classic last year


September 17, 2009

Reyes Bounces Back

The Magician topped a field of 88 of very strong players to capture the inaugural Galveston World Classic One Pocket tournament. The Filipino and American players were very well represented at this event, with the conspicuous absences mainly from the European and Asian camps, which are not so well known for their One Pocket anyway.

With the true double elimination format, Reyes had to beat Shannon Daulton twice to claim the One Pocket championship. Just two nights earlier, Daulton had defeated Reyes on the winner's side, with Shannon displaying superb play and confidence. But after dispatching with Cliff Joyner for the right to face Daulton again, Reyes elevated his game a notch, and took advantage of Daulton 3-1, 3-2 to capture the title.

The World Classic was presented by a new name in tournament promotion, Taylor Road Productions and hosted at Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas. In its first year, the organizers had to overcome their share of predictable first year challenges, with some set-up problems and technical difficulties, but they seemed to get stronger by the day, and reports have been nothing short of enthusiastic for this event going forward.

Click here for a gallery of Galveston photos

Photo courtesy Ricky Bryant


May 10, 2009

Banks Legend Vernon Elliott Dead at 71


The family of Banks legend Vernon Elliott sadly reports that Vernon died the afternoon of May 9, 2009, after suffering a heart attack following several recent surgeries.

Vernon Elliott, like fellow Legend of Bank Pool ‘Cornbread Red’, was a tough country bred Kentucky road player from the old school. Except unlike Red, Vernon completely shunned the publicity of tournaments, never once playing in one. Like Red, Vernon’s fearless hustling style took him all over the country, into even the toughest of poolrooms in the toughest of neighborhoods. Often called the “greatest under-cover player of all time.”

As a young man he developed as a player among the great bankers of the day in the banking capital of the universe, Louisville, KY. Among Louisville’s banking legends were guys like Bob Bowles and Charlie Jones, where even Eddie Taylor was humbled now and then. A patient and observant player who could also win at 9-Ball and One Pocket, Vernon hunted the big game players, seeking out the ‘big score’, which he was very successful at.


Freddy 'The Beard' Bentivegna congratulates Vernon at his

2007 One Pocket Hall of Fame induction in the Bank Pool category

Diana Hoppe photo


In a 2006 interview with’s Steve Booth, Vernon described it this way, “I’m going to tell you something pardner, I wouldn’t let nobody play cheap; if they want to play cheap, they can get somebody else. I always made ‘em bet. They always thought that I was just a damned old country boy, that I couldn’t do nothin’. I got big action everywhere I went, damn near, because I always had that ability to make ‘em bet. They didn’t ever know my real name, because I wouldn’t tell them, and I never played in a tournament, so they couldn’t find out.”

Vernon Elliott was born February 18, 1938 in Kentucky. He raised a family of six by playing pool and hustling his whole life, until he was finally forced to retire in the 90’s after suffering several strokes. During his playing years, he was possessed of one of the most powerful pool strokes, and if he couldn’t get a game for the money he wanted, he had an array of impossible looking proposition shots that he could win at. Once he even cashed in with Eddie Taylor on a bank shot that even the great Taylor thought was impossible.

Vernon was inducted into the One Pocket Hall of Fame in recognition for Bank Pool in January, 2007.

February, 2009

Derby City Classic

New Digs for Derby City

The usual crowd was there, which lent a sense of familiarity, but the surroundings certainly had a fresh new look, as the 11th Annual Derby City Classic found a new home after a run of ten years at the Executive West Hotel in Louisville. Not that the Horseshoe Casino was really so far away -- only about a half-hour drive from the old location -- just across the Ohio River from Louisville in Elizabeth, Indiana. But it sure had a different feel from the cozy , but run-down familiarity of the Executive West.

One key feeling that was different was how much "safer" the Horseshoe felt, after a couple of troubling incidents at the old location, the sense of casino security was a very welcome relief. The consensus opinion was also that the food was much better, and the rooms were nicer, but it sure was a long walk from the hotel to the tournament area. Well, haven't we always claimed that pool was good exercise?

Despite a terrible ice storm, the downturn in the economy, and persistent rumors that the DCC "wouldn't be the same", the turnout was actually pretty darn good for this first year in a new location. And there was plenty of action, too, including a $25,000 10-Ball challenge match between Efren and Van Boening. Yet the Louie Roberts Action/Entertainment award went to a relative youngster, 'Scooter' Goodman. Scooter was the most notable of a whole crew of up-and-coming young guns that seem to have adopted the Derby City action room as their own.

Although the Horseshoe did not have enough room to accommodate any carom tables this year, there was still a variety of mini (and major) other pocket tournaments squeezed into odd hours and small rooms during the Derby. Bob Jewett held his Straight Pool event again this year, putting up $10,000 of his own money to insure he attracted a share of the world class players in attendance. Fans of that game were rewarded with two runs over a hundred fifty -- John Schmidt with the high of 154, and Corey Deuel right behind him with a 153. Yet it was Danny Harriman that came out on top in the final play off.

Another guy that chipped in a chunk of change out of his own pocket was Eric 'Fatboy' Peterson, who ponied up $4,000 added for his own Fatboy 10-Ball challenge, featuring a select field of 32 of the top guns from all over the planet. Lee Van Cortezza took the top prize in that special late night event.


View of the Horseshoe Casino complex from the 8th floor of the hotel

Click here for four galleries of Derby City photos


scooter goodman

Scooter Goodman

2009 Louie Roberts Action/Entertainment award winner

Click here for a gallery of photos from the Action Room

And here for the AZBilliards/ room



Brian Gregg, Again

Three years in a row in the Banks Ring Game

How does he do it in that kind of pressure cooker format, especially against top notch Banks competition, seemingly every year? This year was no exception, as Brian Gregg topped Shannon Daulton, Glenn 'Piggy Banks' Rogers and others to take home top honors in the Banks Ring Game. Shannon Daulton was the final victim of Gregg's run.

John Brumback's Big Breakthrough

Not only did veteran banker John Brumback win his first Derby City Banks crown, but he proved his all-around prowess as well, as he followed up his Banks win with top ten finishes in both One Pocket and 9-Ball to claim this year's Master of the Table bonus. In prior years, two times Brumback had fallen in the Banks finals, but this time he was not to be denied, as he beat runner-up Rudolfo Luat twice in the finals.

Click here for a gallery of tournament photos

From all different disciplines of the DCC tournaments



  We have a new Derby City One Pocket champion this year as John Schmidt maneuvered his way through the field of about 350 players, until he eventually took advantage of several eight and out's to defeat Scott Frost in the finals. In a statement that may reflect a changing of the guard in One Pocket, the mighty Efren Reyes fell to a 30th place finish this year.

The GosPool

by Freddy Bentivegna

Freddy 'The Beard' Bentivegna has done it again, as he follows up his first book, Banking with the Beard, with this second volume of banks and outrageous pool stories.

Click here for our review


One-Pocket Man

A novel by Albert J. Betz is pleased to present the exclusive serialized publication of One-Pocket Man, a new novel by member Al Betz. One-Pocket Man is a fast-paced crime novel, not a pool instructional book! It features a mid-life hit man for the Chicago mob who is offered the chance to trade a new life for spilling what he knows to the FBI. He happens to be a pool player and a One Pocket fan, but old habits die hard....

Click here for Chapter One

Click here for Chapter Two

Click here for Chapter Three

Click here for Chapter Four

Click here for Chapter Five


Banking with the Beard

by Freddy Bentivegna

Freddy 'the Beard' Bentivegna has just published a unique new book on banking, entitled Banking with the Beard, Secrets of a Master Banker.  Chicago has for years been host to a culture of big action Bank Pool, home to legends such as 'Bugs' Rucker, Glenn 'Piggy Banks' Rogers, and of course, 'The Beard'.

Click here for our complete review



2008 Derby City Classic

Louie Roberts Award

Given annually to the player that brings the most "action and entertainment" to the Derby City Classic, in the spirit of the late Louie Roberts.


Click here for the 2009 News Archive

Click here for the 2008 News Archive

Click here for the 2007 News Archive

Click here for the 2006 News Archive

Click here for the 2005 News Archive

All content ©2004-2009 Steve Booth is a 'team effort'

This site will grow to the extent that One Pocket fans like you sign up and start participating and contributing! 

Registration is free & easy. 

All you need to register is a valid email address, and an appreciation for the game of One Pocket.

  © 2004
Web Design by J Maze Design