Go Back   OnePocket.org Forums > One Pocket Forum
Register FAQ Members List Social Groups Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-20-2019, 04:17 PM
1andDone's Avatar
1andDone 1andDone is offline
Verified Member
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Ocean Springs, MS
Posts: 117
Default For any who may be interested...

Awhile back I was encouraged to share some of my blog posts with the members of this site. I have been a member for a few years but have drifted away for awhile. Anyway, my latest blog is the only one so far that is mostly about One Pocket. It's a bit lengthy so I don't blame you if you don't want to read it, lol!
Hat tip to JoeyA for the suggestion!

The Lag #16

An Honest Humbling for a Hungry Hustler

It was 1993. I had been through my first divorce a little more than a year earlier. After spending several months getting my head back together I was back in the pool room. Picking up a cue after taking some time off turned out to be one of the best things I could have ever done, as far as playing pool is concerned. I had developed many bad habits with stance, posture, stroke, pretty much everything to do with how I played. But when I came back I had to relearn how to play and all of those bad habits were gone! Granted, I still didn’t really know how to make a ball, but at least now I had stronger fundamental base on which to build.

The new, East location of the Chattanooga Billiard Club had just been built. It was like nothing Chattanooga had ever seen! The mystical, dark, dank pool room was becoming a thing of the past and “CBC” was the pool room of the future. It was bright, clean, carpeted, and spacious with 24 tables including a Snooker table and a Billiard table, four 9-footers and the rest 8-footers. Two large, raised seating areas offered plenty of room for spectators and diners to sit in comfy chairs to sweat matches or watch the big screen televisions while they enjoyed a meal from the full restaurant menu and drinks from the fully stocked bar. Darkly stained wood and decorative brass bars embellished the interior giving it that final touch of “upscale” distinguishing CBC as a billiard parlor instead of a pool hall. With a club membership, drastic savings on table rental and pro shop items could be had by any who were willing to pay the menial fee for the annual membership. This was my new hang out!

Working 2nd shift at the Little Debbie factory since 1987, I had become somewhat of a night owl. I would rush straight to CBC after work and close the place down nearly every night. The night crowd consisted mostly of people my age who worked in the service industry or other local factory workers. There were a few guys who played better than the rest of us, but still not what I would consider good players.

I don’t remember how I happened to go into CBC early the first time but what I do remember is the daytime clientele was a little different! These guys could play! Most of them were older, retired or worked from home, or just had money and didn’t really have to be anywhere if they didn’t want to. All of them would play for a little cash. It didn’t matter what table. They played 8-ball, 9-ball, Snooker, Golf on the Snooker table, even some 3 Cushion Billiards, and One Pocket! I, like most everyone, had started out playing 8-ball not knowing any other games existed. Then I learned about 9-ball. What a game, that 9-ball! Flog at everything, chunking for the cheese! Now, that was fun! So naturally, 9-ball was what I wanted to play when I decided I was going to show these old fogies what youngster could do! I could roll the 9 from anywhere, and I did! Sometimes, it would even go in, sometimes… What I didn’t count on was, these old guys just went ahead and ran out. What? Where was the fun in that? Well, I imagine having a wad of cash placed in their hands after it was over was all the fun they needed! What was that saying Fast Eddie coined in The Color of Money? “Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.” On the flip side of that coin, money lost is twice as sour as money spent. I came to realize pretty quickly where I stood in the pecking order. Once I got that figured out, I was ready to be a student of the game and these old guys were going to be my instructors whether they knew it or not!

I started frequenting CBC during the daytime hours more often. Since they opened at 11:00 am, I had about 3 hours to play before I had to rush to work. The old guys were there every day and were more than happy to “gamble” with me for the short time I had available. Some days I would get so involved with playing that I would come down with horrible afflictions and not be able to make it to work. That happened way too often! In fact, my boss finally required a doctor’s note every time I was “sick” and unable to work. Fortunately, in those days medical insurance was actually worthwhile and a trip to the doctor for a cold, flu symptoms, or other minor ailments was relatively cheap. Yes, it was actually affordable before the Affordable Care Act! Anyway, so I found the most inexpensive and effective condition was viral Pink Eye. I found that out by actually getting it for real and missing two weeks of work while it ran its course. If I wanted a few days off work all I had to do was drive to the doctor’s office, dab a little soap in my eye and wait for the conjunctivitis diagnosis. BOOM! 3 days off work, minimum! I could play pool to my heart’s content! To this day I often wonder how I was able to keep my job at the plant for just shy of 25 years!

Every one of those daytime players had an impact on me and my pool game in some way or another. There was one guy in particular who actually referring to him as a “guy” seems somewhat disrespectful. He was, Mr. Allen. A military veteran from World War 2, Mr. Allen was confined to a wheelchair and appeared to be approximately 300 years old. He always wore a smoking jacket, an Ivy hat, and chewed on a half-smoked stogie as big around as the butt of a cue! Although smoking was allowed in CBC, I never saw Mr. Allen smoke his cigar. He just held it with his teeth and when he spoke, well, I think we’ve all heard or can imagine someone speaking with a large cigar in his mouth! Mr. Allen played One Pocket. He would roll around the table in his wheelchair bumping balls to the rail driving his opponents insane as they tried to shoot balls at their own pocket. I had seen the game before but never had any real interest in it. It seemed stupid and downright boring to me. If there are 6 pockets on the table why only use two of them? Yeah, crazy, what a dumb game, One Pocket! 9-ball was the game, baby! Roll them all, test the rails, one will fall!

In my simple, little mind I was an up-and –coming player with high aspirations of “going pro.” I had watched both The Hustler and The Color of Money several times and knew how to handle myself in the pool room. What attracted me to this game of One Pocket was not the intrigue of an intellectual game pitting the wits of each player against each other in a strategical battle of chess moves on the pool table. No, it was the fact that Mr. Allen had seemingly no stroke, couldn’t reach the cue ball if it was in the middle of the table, and appeared to miss everything at which he shot! Mr. Allen drove a brand-new, bright, red Cadillac Coupe de Ville with a white top. That car was always spotless, immaculate! I had heard he lived up on one of the nearby mountains, either Lookout Mountain or Signal Mountain, which was also an indication of being well-to-do. Yep, that was my incentive to learn One Pocket. How hard could it be, anyway? Mr. Allen was going to be my meal ticket. He was going to make all this time off from work pay off. I was going to beat him out of his fortune, a little at a time every day until I could afford the finer things in life! So I asked him to teach me the game starting out at $5 per game. Of course, it was a hustle. It was perfect! I was going to pretend I didn’t know anything, let him drop his guard, and then beat him out of his cash! By the end of that first day I had barely enough cash to get to work until payday. Eat? Luckily, the Little Debbies were free in the break room. They weren’t much for sustenance but they kept my stomach from growling! Boy, oh boy! What a hustler I was!

After that initial session with Mr. Allen, I was hooked! Needless to say, he put a humbling on me and made me realize I wasn’t quite as smart as I thought I was. I learned that One Pocket took more brains than brawn, and even though I might have been the better shooter, Mr. Allen could move circles around me! That became my daily ritual. I would meet Mr. Allen at CBC when they opened and play until I had to go to work, unless I called in sick. I’d like to think I was a quick learner, but in reality I don’t think I was. Mr. Allen would laugh and laugh at me as I would repeatedly get so frustrated I would start slamming balls around! Day in and day out we would play. For weeks, then months and I never finished a session ahead of Mr. Allen! I was learning though, and I put that knowledge to work at night, after work. The guys who came in at night would play and lose to me, just as I was losing to Mr. Allen. The more I played the game, the more I fell in love with it! No longer did I think One Pocket was a dumb, boring game. I was beginning to understand how complex and intricate it could be. I was learning how to out maneuver my opponents instead of relying on brute force and firepower to beat them. I was still a tiny, little guppy in a big pond, but I was growing. How much I would grow was up to me and destiny.

As time went by, I did finally start to beat poor, old Mr. Allen. I was no longer gunning for his fortune, though. I had grown to appreciate what he had taught me and respect him not only as a player, but as a person. He had to know my intentions when I came after him to play. He could have broken me, but he didn’t. Instead he just played for a measly 5 bucks a game, doing what he loved and helping a young, cocky dude learn the beautiful game of One Pocket along with a little much needed humility.

I don’t know what happened to Mr. Allen. I would assume that by now he has been gone for quite some time. I saw less and less of him as I dove deeper into this fascinating world of pool until finally, I had all but forgotten him. Again, life continued for me and I drifted away from the game. I can’t remember ever thinking of Mr. Allen again until just a few days ago when someone asked me how long I had been playing One Pocket. All of a sudden, a tsunami of memories flooded my mind and I have thought about almost nothing else! Maybe I’m getting a little sentimental in my old age, I don’t know. But I wish I could tell Mr. Allen how much I appreciate him and what he did for me. Back then, I really had no idea how great of an impact he was having on me. Now I understand. I never became the great player I once thought I could be, but thanks to Mr. Allen I developed a love and passion for the game of pool that would compete with anyone! That’s what Mr. Allen did for me and for that, I will be forever grateful! Now, I hope that somewhere along the way I have or I will spark that same passion in someone else and pass along the legacy of Mr. Allen.

This is The Lag…
"You can have the bragging rights, I'll take the cash!"-me
Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2019, 05:10 PM
Hardmix Hardmix is offline
Verified Member
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Cumming Ga
Posts: 755

1andDone thank you so much for the great read. I think anyone that is serious about this game has had a Mr. Allen in their life. I have been at it a little over 3 years myself and I have several gentleman shinning a light on path for me.

What a great game this is.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2019, 06:58 PM
jrhendy's Avatar
jrhendy jrhendy is offline
Verified Member
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Placerville, CA
Posts: 4,506

Thanks for your story. My Mr Allen was a little Filipino named Dado who robbed me for years. I played my first game of one pocket with him on a 5 x 10 snooker table around 1955.

He left Los Angeles area for a couple of years and when he came back I beat him. He quit after losing $50 and the guy with him busted me.

I am passing it along every week. A couple of the young guys I have been playing and helping out are now giving me a little weight. They are starting to win back the $ I won while they were learning.
Al Romero Cue
Magic Chalk
Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2019, 08:33 PM
LSJohn LSJohn is offline
Verified Member
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: monett missouri
Posts: 7,580

Originally Posted by 1andDone View Post
The Lag #16

An Honest Humbling for a Hungry Hustler

Very good, Kelly, thanks.

I'll bet you'd like to play as well as you write.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2019, 08:43 PM
Miller's Avatar
Miller Miller is offline
Verified Member
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: East St. Louis Area
Posts: 4,051
Thumbs up

great read and thanks for sharing....
Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2019, 09:26 PM
lll lll is online now
Verified Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: vero beach fl
Posts: 14,559

mr 1andDone or kelly
thank you for that post
earl morgan a/k/a jim "the harvard kid" introduced me to onepocket
i will forever be gratefull
if that name rings a bell with anyone
please pm me
i would love to hear anything about him
Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2019, 09:28 PM
jtompilot jtompilot is offline
Verified Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 3,753

You almost had me till you said four 9’ers. Reminds me of Dallas and most other Texas pool halls. I couldn’t read any more after that
Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2019, 10:38 PM
Custhar1 Custhar1 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Southaven ms
Posts: 20

good read
how true it is thanks for sharing
Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2019, 08:47 AM
12squared 12squared is offline
Verified Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Posts: 1,531

Thank you for sharing your story, well done (writing and playing).

Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2019, 10:24 AM
unoperro's Avatar
unoperro unoperro is offline
Verified Member
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,387

I enjoyed reading that. If you want to share some of your other non pool related blogs, look to the journal forum.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:16 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
All original content Copyright Onepocket.org and/or the original author. All rights reserved.