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Darren Appleton


Instruction Articles:
 
Saddle up!
February 2020

Itís Derby time, and that means one-pocket.

Itís Derby City Classic time, and that means One-Pocket! One-pocket is such an American game and it fascinates players all over the world.

Hereís a drill for all levels. Itís not very difficult and it benefits all games. Running eight balls in one-pocket requires good cue ball control and speed control because getting on the wrong side of the next object ball usually results in making life more difficult for yourself.



The setup and rules are simple: Pocket the 1 through 9 all in the same pocket.

I like to let my shot out and use four rails on the 1 ball (Diagram One). Itís easy to get the right shape. If you shoot softer and go just two rails, you can come up way short or get too far down table and leave less angle. Strike the cue ball at approximately 4 oíclock. The 2 ball is a simple center ball shot with a touch of left. Let the cue ball float over.

There are two options for the 3 ball (Diagram Two). I would not go the four-rail route (like the shot on the 1 ball) because it isnít easy to get shape on the 4 ball this way. I feel I can get better position using two rails. The key is to not baby the ball and come up short, leaving too thin an angle. If you land properly on the 3, the angle is pretty natural.

The 4 ball is just a hair of left English and high cue ball to come across a little higher for a nice angle on the 5. I would play the 5 the same way I played the 3.

There are two options on the 6 ball (Diagram Three), one rail or two. Two rails is probably the safer option.

In the diagram, I didnít leave enough for the 7 ball, but that happens. In this instance, itís okay to use two rails.

Use the same approach for the 8 ball, maybe a touch higher on the cue ball because there is less angle and you will need more of a punch shot. No English is required and you should end up with perfect position on the 9.

If you want to improve your runs in one-pocket, this is a great drill. Stay close to your work. Your confidence in match situations will soar.

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