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Old 03-22-2019, 02:24 AM
J.R. J.R. is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 286

Originally Posted by J.R. View Post
I have a question regarding the break in one pocket. I will present the question in its simplest layout. Additionally, there are no written house rules at Red Shoes Billiards regarding the below situation.

Two players are gambling. One of the players is getting each and every break as the spot. The only stipulation is that the player getting the spot must change pockets after each game. Both players agree to the stipulation.

The player getting the spot breaks to the left corner pocket in the first game. The player getting the spot breaks to the left corner pocket in the second game. After the player getting the spot breaks, his opponent states that this game must be restarted because he should have broken to the right corner pocket. The player getting the spot objects. An argument ensues and "you" are asked to make a decision on whether the game has started or whether the game must be re-racked and started again with the player getting the spot breaking to the right corner pocket.

How would you rule? Please provide the reasoning for your ruling.

I will provide additional information regarding the above situation and how I ruled in a few days.
Well, after reading the opinions of my forum brothers, I am bewildered that nearly all have put the onus only on the "breaker." Perhaps its my policeman's background looking for fairness but only snips of equity were established in the opinions I have read. The statement in my original situation is: "Both players agree to the stipulation." I maintain that this is the utmost decisive point at issue. At the moment before the balls break, both the "player getting the spot" and "the player giving the spot" are equally responsible for ensuring that the stipulation is upheld. This prevents gamesmanship by either the breaker or opponent.

If either player voices that the break is nullified because of the established stipulation, doesn't hold water in the face of fairness. I have used the word "fairness" but it is interchangeable with integrity, honesty, and righteousness. When a "spot" is established in a pool game it is to even the playing field for a fair game. Stipulations are sometimes part of the "spot" to establish a fair game. Stipulations are negotiated by both players and consequently should be enforced by both players. When was the last one-pocket gambling or tournament game you were playing and not present when your opponent was breaking the rack of balls to his pocket? My point is that since both players negotiated the stipulation, both players are present, then both players are equally responsible that the correct pocket is shot to before the break. Stipulation or without stipulation, once the breaker makes contact with the rack, the pocket has been established.

When I made my ruling in the original situation presented in the forum I used this same rational. I'll repeat that rational: "Once the breaker makes contact with the rack then the pocket has been established."

Returning to my initial post, there were additional variables that were part of the original situation yet did not factor into my ruling. First, I will describe the gamblers. One works a job to gamble at pool and the other gambles at pool as if he has no job. Neither one is known as straight, true and upright on one hand nor dishonest, vile, or wicked on the other. Second, the breaker successfully made a ball on the break in his pocket, followed by two additional made balls. Afterwards, his opponent had a realization that the breaker had made the balls in the wrong pocket based on the stipulation. The opponent wanted the break nullified to which the breaker refused. This was the last game of the night and it was for $200. They asked me for a ruling. You know my ruling. It was ruefully accepted by the opponent.

In retrospect, I would make that ruling every time, and there has been nothing I read in this forum that would sway my decision.

Any thoughts?

Last edited by J.R.; 03-22-2019 at 02:33 AM.
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