Saturday, May 14, 2011

PoolSynergy 18: The Ayatolla of One-Hola

Favorite game? One-pocket without a doubt. This is the game of the famous Ayatollah of One-Hola, Jersey Red.  He was one of the first people I ever saw playing the game. And boy could Red play.
For our PoolSynergy topic this month, we’ve been assigned the task of writing about pool games. As exhibit number one as to why One-Pocket is the best of all of them, I submit to you the sequence of shots, below. It was executed by Red back in 1969, during a match-up with Ronnie Allen in Houston's Le Cue pool hall. I didn’t see this sequence first hand (I was only six years old at the time), although I don’t doubt Red pulled it off.

From Eddie Robins' Winning One-Pocket.

You can find more about this sequence in Eddie Robin’s excellent book, Winning One-Pocket.  As reported there by Grady “The Professor” Mathews, Red was at the table and needed all four balls. It looked like escape was impossible. Appropriately, Red remarked “even Houdini couldn't get out from here” before beginning his run. First he shot the combination seen in the top diagram. That is, he pocketed a ball in the upper right-hand corner while simultaneously sinking another back into his pocket on the lower left side. Notice Red went rail first to make this combination-bank shot. In the next diagram Red got to his wicket while simultaneously pocketing the hanger in the side pocket. He then pocketed the final two balls after they were spotted back up. Notice here the two-rail bank.

This match-up would have occurred within months of Red's second place finish in the 1969 U.S. Open. You can read more about Red and the U.S. Open in my book Hustler Days.  That's a picture of him there on the cover. And please go buy Robin's Winning One-Pocket. It's a great read.

About PoolSynergy
PoolSynergy is an online collaborative effort by pool and billiard bloggers, in which each agrees to write about a single theme. PoolSynergy submissions are published simultaneously by each of the participating blogs on the 15th of every month. To read a list of the other fine contributions this month, check out A Journey into Billiards blog, which you can find here.

1 comment:

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