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Old 10-05-2014, 12:06 AM
Tom Wirth's Avatar
Tom Wirth Tom Wirth is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Delray Beach, Florida
Posts: 2,539

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 at 12:57 PM.
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