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Old 03-22-2019, 08:40 AM
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NH Steve NH Steve is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 8,381

Originally Posted by J.R. View Post
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?
If the game has continued on after the break (assuming the opponent is present and watching), I would be inclined to say it is too late, and the game continues, with the players having the same pockets as the prior game, the way the game began, because the agreement to switch pockets was slept -- and like you said, it was slept by both players.

One other thing to consider if you are one of the players is of course, how good a customer is this that I am playing? If they are a good customer, then you don't want to spook them. Of course, you being a neutral bystander, that is not supposed to come into play. Likewise if it is your last barrel that would be tough lol.

Another way to resolve it could be to give them a choice -- 1, they flip for the rights to the breaker's pocket leaving the balls just as they are, and if the opponent wins, then going by the standard rules one ball would count and two would be spotted, with the opponent now facing the pocket with the breaker's advantage, or if the breaker wins the breaker keeps shooting. Or 2, if they don't want to flip, then a simple rerack and break toward the other pocket and start over. With the prospect of taking a chance like that on a flip, the breaker might agree to re-break.
"One Pocket, it's an epidemic and there ain't no cure."
-- Strawberry Brooks
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