Efren's knowledge

cincy_kid

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Watching the Efren vs Django match and Danny D said commentating something like:

(referring to Efren) "..there's not much he doesn't know...he has a lot of one pocket knowledge...not sure how he got all that knowledge living in the Philippines, there must have been some great player there he learned from..."

Just curious if anyone knows? Who did Efren learn from? Was there a great player before Efren that he learned from over there?
 

Jimmy B

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Watching the Efren vs Django match and Danny D said commentating something like:

(referring to Efren) "..there's not much he doesn't know...he has a lot of one pocket knowledge...not sure how he got all that knowledge living in the Philippines, there must have been some great player there he learned from..."

Just curious if anyone knows? Who did Efren learn from? Was there a great player before Efren that he learned from over there?

He learned One Pocket from Freddie The Beard in Chicago..
 

Billy Jackets

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Watching the Efren vs Django match and Danny D said commentating something like:

(referring to Efren) "..there's not much he doesn't know...he has a lot of one pocket knowledge...not sure how he got all that knowledge living in the Philippines, there must have been some great player there he learned from..."

Just curious if anyone knows? Who did Efren learn from? Was there a great player before Efren that he learned from over there?
I remember Freddy saying Efren played him "to learn". He said Efren beat him with the small spot he gave him , then beat him even, then offered to spot him, and I think he passed. Sounds like the Ol' McGonagle to me.
I do think Efren was watching Grady to learn, more than to shark him , when Grady told him to get away from the table, when he was shooting,
in that match, lol, but who knows. I think Efren just had a mind for pool and with all his rotation and carom billiard experience, it was only a short while, until he was at the top of the learning curve. He probably played or watched 30 high level games a day for a couple of years. That's enough to get pretty sporty, fast .
 

BRLongArm

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I remember Freddy saying Efren played him "to learn". He said Efren beat him with the small spot he gave him , then beat him even, then offered to spot him, and I think he passed. Sounds like the Ol' McGonagle to me.
I do think Efren was watching Grady to learn, more than to shark him , when Grady told him to get away from the table, when he was shooting,
in that match, lol, but who knows. I think Efren just had a mind for pool and with all his rotation and carom billiard experience, it was only a short while, until he was at the top of the learning curve. He probably played or watched 30 high level games a day for a couple of years. That's enough to get pretty sporty, fast .
Anybody who has played him chess understands he enjoys the strategy. One Pocket has often been described as the Chess of pool. Together with all the general pool and billiards knowledge he had, he came to the game well armed.
 

RabbiHippie

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I remember Freddy saying Efren played him "to learn". He said Efren beat him with the small spot he gave him , then beat him even, then offered to spot him, and I think he passed. Sounds like the Ol' McGonagle to me.
I do think Efren was watching Grady to learn, more than to shark him , when Grady told him to get away from the table, when he was shooting,
in that match, lol, but who knows. I think Efren just had a mind for pool and with all his rotation and carom billiard experience, it was only a short while, until he was at the top of the learning curve. He probably played or watched 30 high level games a day for a couple of years. That's enough to get pretty sporty, fast .
I agree there was "no shark intended" with Efren standing too close to the table. I think it was more of a cultural difference as Efren was still fairly new to the United States and no Filipino player would have ever been bothered by someone standing next to the table.

There are some action matches on YouTube where you can see the typical playing conditions in the Philippines. It's much more crowded than what Americans are used to with spectators jammed in all around the table. There's usually someone in the crowd who dips his finger in talcum powder and marks spots on the table in between shots for side-betting purposes. It drives me nuts for someone to touch the table while I'm shooting but the Filipinos don't even notice the interruption. I think the Filipino ability to be "shark-proof" is as great a contributing factor to their excellence in pool as their gambling culture.
 
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RabbiHippie

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Anybody who has played him chess understands he enjoys the strategy. One Pocket has often been described as the Chess of pool. Together with all the general pool and billiards knowledge he had, he came to the game well armed.
What I love about this early match with Grady is how Efren uses his creativity to draw on his skills from 3-Cushion and balkline like the sequence where he kicked to freeze to a ball in the stack three times in a row or when he pulled off the shot that Grady calls the greatest he'd ever seen. (I'm convinced Grady's compliment was sincere and that Efren executed the shot as intended; there are some commenters on YouTube that think differently.) Efren was still "learning" the game and in a sense didn't yet know that he wasn't supposed to pull off shots like that.
 

demonrho

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We can't forget Efren's mastery of 18.1 caroms which gives him a special finesse touch that even regular 3c billiards players (at least in U.S.) don't have.
 

kollegedave

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Oh really? Cool!

It seems like Danny would have known that in 2013 but maybe not! :)
Even in 2013 Danny D was no spring chicken. He may have forgotten that Efren went to one pocket school in Chicago. I think Billy Incardona played him some early on, but I am not 100% on that. I feel like I remember hearing Billy and Freddy talking on an accu-stats tape or two telling stories of Efren's early days learning in Chicago.

kollegedave
 

mr3cushion

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We can't forget Efren's mastery of 18.1 caroms which gives him a special finesse touch that even regular 3c billiards players (at least in U.S.) don't have.
Demon, 18.1 Balkline is the, 'Driving' game of Balkline. 18.2 is the 'Finesse' game. There are Many Viet players in the USA that play Very good, 'free' game and the Balkline games.
 

NH Steve

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I think the thing this proves, is One Pocket is the crown jewel of pool/billiard games. By that I mean, in the game of One Pocket every obscure bit of pool and billiard knowledge can come into play -- and does when you watch Efren play. The game was in a sense invented for players like Efren!! As others have already said, the fact that he had such tremendous skills at both pool (especially 15 ball rotation) and billiards (especially Balkline), set him up to succeed at One Pocket.

The only one thing he was not very good at in his early years playing the game was the concept of "playing the score" -- but the thing was he did not need to particularly much because he played the game so well in his own right. Look at the first 5 times he entered DCC -- he won the One Pocket division every single one of those 5 years (there were some years he did not come). But I witnessed first hand when he finally lost in One Pocket at the Derby, and it was getting beaten by Gabe Owen. In that match, he clearly failed to play the score and at that time Gabe was playing great One Pocket, and he snatched victory from the jaws of defeat because of Efren's failure to play the score. At least that is what I saw play out.
 

Billy Jackets

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What I love about this early match with Grady is how Efren uses his creativity to draw on his skills from 3-Cushion and balkline like the sequence where he kicked to freeze to a ball in the stack three times in a row or when he pulled off the shot that Grady calls the greatest he'd ever seen. (I'm convinced Grady's compliment was sincere and that Efren executed the shot as intended; there are some commenters on YouTube that think differently.) Efren was still "learning" the game and in a sense didn't yet know that he wasn't supposed to pull off shots like that.
I remember that shot , I am one of the ones that think Grady thought he lucked out, and that the compliment was insincere, but who knows? If he did play it , I agree , it's an amazing shot.
 

wgcp

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I think if you asked Efren about the shot, he would smile, raise his hands and say "I got lucky"....have personally seen him do that after some incredible shots.
 

NH Steve

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I think if you asked Efren about the shot, he would smile, raise his hands and say "I got lucky"....have personally seen him do that after some incredible shots.
Yes for sure! He pulled off one of those miracle “lucky” shots on me and upon seeing my stunned look instead of “I got lucky” he hit me with a “What happened?” — when he knew darned well what happened lol.
 

baby huey

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The great players of yesteryear all played every game available. Except for Ronnie Allen who was pretty much a one pocket specialist, Ed Kelly, Boston Shorty, Marvin and Jersey Red played 3C, nine ball, 14.1, snooker and banks. Efren plays everything top shelf so I'd expect him to learn quickly and he did. He was the king of one pocket for so many years and even today he is a force to be reckened with.
 

RabbiHippie

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The great players of yesteryear all played every game available. Except for Ronnie Allen who was pretty much a one pocket specialist, Ed Kelly, Boston Shorty, Marvin and Jersey Red played 3C, nine ball, 14.1, snooker and banks. Efren plays everything top shelf so I'd expect him to learn quickly and he did. He was the king of one pocket for so many years and even today he is a force to be reckened with.
Here's a video of Efren Reyes vs. Ronnie Alcano playing the Filipino version of 15-ball Rotation to 61 points. This is the main action game in the Philippines and there are some different rules, but I was struck by how often bank and combination shots come up that are similar to what you see in One Pocket. Could be another factor in how quickly the Filipinos adapt to One Pocket despite not playing the game much in their own country.

I can see where being able to roll up to a ball without hitting a rail as in Snooker would be a strength in playing intentional fouls at One Pocket as well.
 
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