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  • #16
    Mike Spontak South Jersey
    Age 73
    Called "The Teach" for obvious reasons
    Taught school at Audubon High School in NJ home of Ravens QB Joe Flacco
    Played in Dixies and Jerry's, Cherry Hill Billiards, Emerald City, Boulevard, and Tacony
    Billiards.
    Played all nineball until my late 40's then started one pocket. Learned enough
    To get in trouble. Really sorry I didn't learn it earlier.
    Not a very good player just a "Ham and egger".
    Last edited by Mike; 10-05-2014, 01:58 PM.

    Comment


    • #17
      I first began playing pool in 1967 at the age of 15. I had a friend and neighbor who was a local professional player who taught the basics. From there left me to sink or swim in the shark tank. The Washington D.C. area was full of One Pocket players. As a young man I always had a profound interest in strategic games. I had learned how to play chess at the age of six, and even then I was aware that what had drawn me to that game was the cat and mouse side to the game. I recognized that One Pocket had the same appeal but with a few added prerequisites; among these were, talent, ability, and courage under fire. I endeavored to become as good a player as those who in my small corner of the world I saw as the best at the game. I often wonder if I would have gravitated to pool in such a magnetic way had I not first encountered One Pocket.

      Across the Potomac River from my home town was Bill Staton’s Jack and Jill’s Cue Club. I was lucky in that I lived in an area of the Country where the best players in the world congregated on a regular basis for the biggest tournaments in the world. This is really where I got my education. I lost several jobs because of the magnetic appeal Jack and Jill cue club had on me.

      I succeeded in winning many regional events and a couple State championships in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Some of them were nine ball events, others One Pocket. I once played Cornbread Red in Richmend, Va. And beat him the first five games of One Pocket for a C note a game. He came back and got even before the end of the night. That was in '89 or '90 I believe. I had just won the State Open Nine Ball Championship. Red could really play!
      There was so much action in the Baltimore and Washington area for One Pocket I never found a need to travel great distances for a game so it wasn't until the mid '90s that I truly went on the road.

      In ’93 I won the second of the two Strawberry International One Pocket events beating Grady, Dave Bollman, Cliff Joyner, and Jose Parica in the finals. That final match was a race to five and I broke a ball in four times and ran eight and out the first three of those times. Anyone who thinks there is no way to practice the break in such a way so as to improve your percentages of this is mistaken. I did just that before the tournament began and I was making balls on the break in every match I played, and on a different table each time.

      I took my game on the road in ’96. I just got in the car and took-off. I crossed the Country playing anyone who happened to be ready to play and I beat them all. I was a little lucky not to have run into guys like Efren but I would have played him anyway. That’s how I learned in the first place, by playing better players.

      I played in the first six DCC One Pocket events and finished well into the cheese the last four times. I gave up on the event in ’05 after finishing 7th twice in a row and I walked away with $0.00 profit from it.

      Now I teach mostly in my home and have recently written a book on One Pocket which is now in the hands of the editor. Let me know if you are interested in a copy. I first started writing it for therapeutic reasons with no intention of publishing, but I got so much encouragement and from several sources that I’ve decided to have a limited number of copies printed. If those sell well enough I’ll have a second printing. We’ll see.
      Last edited by Tom Wirth; 10-05-2014, 12:57 PM.

      "Controlled Aggression" trwirth369@gmail.com

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Tom Wirth View Post
        I first began playing pool in 1967 at the age of 15. I had a friend and neighbor who was a local professional player who taught the basics. From there left me to sink or swim in the shark tank. The Washington D. C. area was full of One Pocket players. As a young man I always had a profound interest in strategic games. I had learned how to play chess at the age of six, and even then I was aware that what had drawn me to that game was the cat and mouse side to the game. I recognized that One Pocket had the same appeal but with a few added prerequisites; among these were, talent, ability, and courage under fire. I endeavored to become as good a player as those who in my small corner of the world saw as the best at the game. I often wonder if I would have gravitated to pool in such a magnetic way had I not first encountered One Pocket.

        Across the Potomac River from my home town was Bill Staton’s Jack and Jill’s Cue Club. I was lucky in that I lived in an area of the Country where the best players in the world congregated on a regular basis for the biggest tournaments in the world. This is really where I got my education. I lost several jobs because of the magnetic appeal Jack and Jill cue club had on me.

        I succeeded in winning many regional events and a couple State championships in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Some of them were nine ball events others, One Pocket. I once played Cornbread Red in Richmend, Va. And beat him the first five games of One Pocket for a C note a game. He came back and got even before the end of the night. That was in 89 or 90 I believe. I had just won the State Open Nine Ball Championship. Red could play!

        In ’93 I won the second of the two Strawberry International One Pocket events beating Grady, Dave Bollman, Cliff Joyner, and Jose Parica in the finals. That final match was a race to five and I broke a ball in four times and ran eight and out and the first three of those times. Anyone who thinks there is no way to practice the break in such a way so as to improve your percentages of this is mistaken. I did just that before the tournament began and I was making balls on the break on every match I played and on a different table each time.

        I took my game on the road in ’96. I just get in the car and took-off. I crossed the Country playing anyone who happened to be ready to play and I beat them all. I was a little lucky not to have run into guys like Efren but I would have played him anyway. That’s how I learned in the first place, by playing better players.

        I played in the first six DCC One Pocket events and finished well into the cheese the last four times. I gave up on the event in ’05 after finishing 7th twice in a row and I walked away with $0.00 profit from it.

        Now I teach mostly in my home and have recently written a book on One Pocket which is now in the hands of the editor. Let me know if you are interested in a copy. I first started writing it for therapeutic reasons with no intention of publishing, but I got so much encouragement that I’ve decided to have a limited number of copies printed. If those sell well enough I’ll have a second printing. We’ll see.
        Tom,
        Thanks for this. Count me in on your book when it comes out. You are definitely right about one thing...Red could play. That seemed to be is favorite trick. Staying and getting the cheese. I bet I know who gave you the most encouragement for your book. His name begins with L and ends with Y. Right?

        Comment


        • #19
          Your true identity

          Originally posted by Mike View Post
          Mike Spontak South Jersey

          Age 73

          Called "The Teach" for obvious reasons

          Taught school at Audubon High School in NJ home of Ravens QB Joe Flacco

          Played in Dixies and Jerry's, Cherry Hill Billiards, Emerald City, and Tacony

          Billiards.

          Played all nineball until my late 40's then started one pocket. Learned enough

          To get in trouble. Really sorry I didn't learn it earlier.

          Not a very good player just a "Ham and egger".

          Mike did we ever play at Tacony?

          Mitch.
          Mitch needs to remember to play the score and that it's better to win than to look like a hero.

          Comment


          • #20
            Your true identity

            What a great thread! Thanks Petie. Love learning more about all of you guys.

            For me- Name is Mitch Brown. 43, Born and raised in Philly about 1/2 hour from the city. Never left but for a few years in college at Pitt, where I spent most of my time in the student union playing 9 ball. Started playing pool at 15. Loved 9 ball, and swore I would never play one pocket. Always loved multi rail banks though. That led me to get into 3 cushion about 8 years ago. For about a year and a half that is all I played. Then I played a guy in 1p and got killed, but loved it. So for the past 6 years I have been obsessed with one pocket. Lot of good 1p in my area and action, and I love to be in it. I'm usually a 20-30 a game guy but will bet it up depending on my finances lol. I'm no killer like many here but I get such a thrill from this game that I know I'll be playing it for a long time!
            Mitch needs to remember to play the score and that it's better to win than to look like a hero.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Mkbtank View Post
              Mike did we ever play at Tacony?

              Mitch.
              Don't think so. Did you have a nickname, because I don't recall your name.

              Comment


              • #22
                Your true identity

                Originally posted by Mike View Post
                Don't think so. Did you have a nickname, because I don't recall your name.

                Nickname: "The unintended Lemon"


                Jk. Nope.
                Mitch needs to remember to play the score and that it's better to win than to look like a hero.

                Comment


                • #23
                  True Identity

                  Bille F. Miller II
                  Started playing pool late in life. Actually at 49, I turn 57 in a couple of weeks. Spent 38 years in a uniform, starting as a private in the Airborne Infantry, and culminating as a Colonel. Might be why the guys here call me COL Bille, flew every Army Helicopter in production from 79 till this year, with the exception of CH-47's. Specialty was Attack helicopters, but absolutely loved the OH-6, called the loach... Have 8 different SSI's, special shoulder insignias, the old guys would call them combat patch's.
                  Just retired, opened my own LLC, critical chain management theory, and Lean Six Sigma.
                  According to "The Beard", I am a stone cold pool nut. Him and Cowboy Dennis are largely responsible for my starting to play.
                  Drink way too much Jack Daniels, and am not afraid to play anyone. Wish I could have learned more younger... I like 20 to 40 a game...
                  Happily married to a German matron, but still flirt with every young cutie I see, just for the hell of it.
                  Drive a pickup, 94 XJS V12 Jag convertible, 94 FXDL Harley (3/4 cam, bored 0.030), 24LTS Pro with a 300 Verado Mercury. Yes I like to go fast, air, land, or sea...
                  Have played several of the members here, and plan to play a lot more before I take a dirt nap.

                  B

                  PS Just for Kentucky, why do we get along so well? Polar Opposites... I don't think anyone has ever called me a liberal, although I too marched in one or two parades...but, come to think of it when I marched, I had a weapon, or while in the CAV a saber with me...LOL
                  Execution of the shot, some days I have it some days I don't...

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    First off, I really enjoy the onepocket.org site, the comradery, some of the eccentric personalities, and the guys I have gotten to know and/or play with over the last few years. I am far from a top player (actually, up until about 5 years ago – after being introduced to one pocket – I went about a decade hardly playing at all). I am starting to feel that my game is coming around to where it should be and I am starting to see some incremental and tangible results.

                    My name is Dustin Miller, 41 years old. I have been married for 18 years and have a 13 year old daughter who is the center of my universe. I live in the “Metro East” area on the Illinois side of St. Louis. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Safety Management and a Master’s degree in Human Resource Development. For the last 12 years, I have been employed by the U.S. Department of Labor – prior to that, I worked at a foundry/machine shop and before that, at a petrochemical refinery. As a kid, I worked for a HVAC contractor, various odd jobs, and sporadically at a liquor store.

                    With the exception of the aforementioned hiatus, I have always been around billiards. My father played and we had an 8’ table in the house. Sometimes, I got to tag along to the pool room on Saturday mornings. From being introduced to the game at a very young age, I really believe that I hold a relatively high “pool IQ” – I can typically figure something out after seeing it or with a cursory explanation. With that being said, I played all sports, lifted weights, fished, hunted quail, and probably didn’t spend the amount of time on my game as what I could have due to other interests. I grew up in Decatur, Illinois, and my family relocated to a very small town in southeastern Illinois when I was in high school. My first cue was a bumper table cue and when I got a “Willie Masconi” stick from a flea market, I really thought that I have moved up in the world .

                    Dad also had a snooker table in his shop. I think that your most formative pool years are in your late teens/early twenties and some of my most affable (and care free) memories are playing $1 ball pea pool with small rotation balls on the 5x10 snooker table after the big “Monday Night Game” (and rummy game) broke. Very rarely did I not leave early in the morning with a fist full of dollars. There is an absolute method to playing pea pool and layers within the game – just like one pocket. Most of those guys are gone or have moved on in life – Big Gary, George, Spank, Ray Bob, Wheeler Dealer, Stevie, Boyd, Cooley, Dink, and Stan The Man. Stan The Man is Stan Henry. He was by far the best snooker player in the area (when not drunk) and took an interest in me and taught me a lot (more than just pool – maybe some things I shouldn’t have learned ). Stan had his own key to the shop and is still alive but a shell of his former self due to some severe health issues a few years ago.

                    Since moving to the St. Louis region a few years ago, I have met and gotten to know a handful of good local guys (and inevitably a couple not so much…) who share a passion for our game as well, including onepocket.org members Lou Figueroa and Dave Bringle (kollegdave) – both of whom I hold in very high esteem. Recently, I have gone through the Lasik procedure and have had to tinker and re-engineer things a little bit, but I know it’s getting close. If you are ever passing through and looking for a cheap, friendly game (or need to polish up for a bigger one), don’t hesitate to let me know.

                    Dustin
                    Last edited by Miller; 10-05-2014, 07:29 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Steve Booth

                      I live in NH in the same small town that I grew up in -- Canterbury.
                      Dropped out of high school in the later 60's and was a hippie, including hitch-hiking across the country. Tried everything that was available back then, lol. Fortunately, I cleaned up my act by the time I was about 20 and went back to high school, picking up where I left off. Being that old in high school, I took the GED to get a diploma and took the SAT's in the early spring, which I scored real high in. My teachers told me I should apply to college instead of coming back for more high school, which I did -- to the University of NH only -- and got accepted.

                      There was a small pool room in the 60's in the nearest small city of Concord, and I did give pool a little try but did not stick with it. At UNH, I got a work-study job in the games room, where there were about 10 pool tables. I watched for about three months before I picked up a cue, but once I did, I was hooked. The following year I was UNH champ. No, I did not work my way through college playing pool, but I damn sure did earn most of my spending money that way -- often playing for money that I did not have (but always trying to make sure I had a fellow student around who agreed to lend me in case I lost, lol). All for very small money though.

                      I really only ever got to a high 'B' player at 9-ball, and high run of 70 at straight pool, and ended up taking a few hiatuses from pool several years at a time because of the lack of poolrooms near me, and marriage, child and self employment distractions, lol.

                      I began to hear about One Pocket, and always thought I would like the game because I have always liked the strategy, safety and banking aspects of pool. Never heard of Bank Pool until my first DCC. Finally about 1990 a guy moved to Concord from NJ. I began beating him at 9-ball and he suggested One Pocket. I said sure. I couldn't believe how lucky he got!! he got me for about 300 and then moved away, but in the meantime I was hooked.

                      About that time Grady's Legends started and Accustats became available. That is a big part of how I learned, along with driving an hour or more each way whenever I could to play anyone I heard liked One Pocket. One of those fellows was the late Bob Ingersoll, who was a peer of Boston Shorty. In fact Shorty credited "Ingie" for the reason why he got so good at One Pocket himself. I did play Shorty a few times too, but at that stage in his life he really had very little interest in One Pocket. Ingie was happy to play however, and I played him about every Saturday for a year or so. I learned a boatload from playing him.

                      I have always been the type of person that takes a lot of notes and really studies anything I am interested in, and I did that for One Pocket, which eventually led to starting OnePocket.org -- so I could connect with other people about One Pocket despite the fact so few people played it near me.

                      My day job is that my wife and I own and run a small kitchen design showroom in Concord. My wife is the principle designer and she is very talented and highly respected. I do the background stuff like manage our small custom cabinet shop and do installations and manage kitchen renovations. I also do the photography for our website: http://www.vintagekitchens.com/ I have always like photography but it was that need that prompted me to go to school to improve my skills and buy better gear. That of course led to the natural result of me taking as many pool photos as I could. You can see my pool photos here: http://www.poolinaction.com/

                      Sorry I rambled
                      "One Pocket, it's an epidemic and there ain't no cure."
                      -- Strawberry Brooks

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by petie View Post
                        This thread is an invitation to let everyone here know your true identity. I'll start off:

                        I'm Pete Saxton. I'm 71 and living in Florida having retired from a career as a Sales Engineer a little over a year ago. I've played pool since I was 19 and have played in lots of states as I traveled in my job, in the Army, and when I took personal trips. Been to a lot of tournaments over the years and played in some. I've met lots of the guys on here but would like to meet more of you. I'll answer all reasonable questions. I'm curious about a lot of the guys on here who only have user names.
                        petie this was a GREAT THREAD to start.......Click image for larger version

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                        ive enjoyed learning about my fellow members
                        keep the posts coming
                        if anyone is ever near me in vero beach fl lets get together

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by lll View Post
                          petie this was a GREAT THREAD to start.......[ATTACH]11004[/ATTACH]
                          ive enjoyed learning about my fellow members
                          keep the posts coming
                          if anyone is ever near me in vero beach fl lets get together


                          Yes it is, Larry. Bump it up one time. Jimmy B is NOT my real name. It's actually James. I started playing at the local YMCA. Two horrible tables. No powder. There might be a cube of off brand chalk in there now and then. We used the filthy screens on the windows as tip scuffers. Now pool is dead around here. Got a drivers license at 14 and said goodbye to The Y.
                          "Born Into This"

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            My name is Richard Wojnarowski but most people call me Woj or Wojo. I am 31 years old. Born in Bellaire Ohio and went to college at West Liberty State College in West Liberty West Virginia to graduate with a degree in Computer Information Systems. I didn't play pool until my senior year of college so I had a very late start compared to most. After graduation I moved a little north of Atlanta. I spent 4 years doing skilled carpentry (high end cabinet installation) before starting an office job and using my degree.

                            Currently still work in the same office and I also work at Ozone Billiards retail store. At Ozone I teach and help with seminars there. I've been playing pool about 10 years now. People that know me consider me to be a student of the game. Reading as many books as I can. Always learning more and more. I've been teaching for over 3 years.

                            Just this past year I've taken up One Pocket and I am addicted. I've come a long way in a year, but still have lots to catch up on. Luckily most of my One Pocket experience has been cheap action so it hasn't cost me much to learn what I know now. I consider my strongest areas are Ball Pocketing and Position Play. So if given the chance, i'll run balls and make you pay for mistakes. But my weakest area is moving. I really like Scott Frost style of Power One Pocket.

                            I haven't made any name for myself yet, but I'm learning and getting better all the time.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Frank Goldblatt.........no relation to Goldblatt's Dept store or Goldblatt's masonry tools or Mark Goldblatt or....oh never mind.
                              From Phila by way of Burholme, Blvd, but the best being Cue and Cushion Roosevelt Mall in the 60's. 67yo..been playing since 14. Realized I need professional help. Took the PSF course with Scott Lee a few times. Shooting much better. Currently taking 1P lessons from a 1st class person/player/instructor from DelRay....YO Tom...how ya doin. I got interested in 1p about a year ago. I'm slowly learning and loving every minute of it. I don't gamble or compete. I enjoy playing my buddies. Gonna make it to Vero Beach sometime to play lll. Hey Larry...thanks for referring me to TW.
                              BTW onepocket.org is a great exclusive site. Thanks for all that contribute. Frank

                              hobbies:
                              playing pool
                              have a few cues
                              cue repair (have a lathe....tips & shaft finishing just for fun...not for money)
                              pen turning
                              jazz
                              cars
                              Last edited by GoldCrown; 10-07-2014, 10:42 AM.
                              sigpic

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by GoldCrown View Post
                                Frank Goldblatt.........no relation to Goldblatt's Dept store or Goldblatt's masonry tools or Mark Goldblatt or....oh never mind.
                                From Phila by way of Burholme, Blvd, but the best being Cue and Cushion Roosevelt Mall in the 60's. 67yo..been playing since 14. Realized I need professional help. Took the PSF course with Scott Lee a few times. Shooting much better. Currently taking 1P lessons from a 1st class person/player/instructor from DelRay....YO Tom...how ya doin. I got interested in 1p about a year ago. I'm slowly learning and loving every minute of it. I don't gamble or compete. I enjoy playing my buddies. Gonna make it to Vero Beach sometime to play lll. Hey Larry...thanks for referring me to TW.
                                BTW onepocket.org is a great exclusive site. Thanks for all that contribute. Frank

                                hobbies:
                                playing pool
                                have a few cues
                                cue repair (have a lathe....tips & shaft finishing just for fun...not for money)
                                pen turning
                                jazz
                                cars
                                frank
                                if you come to fl this season
                                come to vero
                                we can play
                                at my house or in cunninghams my home town room
                                tom can watch
                                and instead of pulling what hair is left out...............
                                can critique us

                                larry

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