One pocket becomes a family affair: Mother and son, 12-years-old, match-up every week

One pocket becomes a family affair: Mother and son, 12-years-old, match-up every week

One Pocket became a family affair within the van Berkel family. The 12-year-old Mika van Berkel and his mother match-up every week and it’s serious business. He gave her a 13-3 handicap a few weeks ago and that already increased to 15-1 in the meantime on which mother replied: “it might be time for a new opponent”. That definitely makes your one pocket heart beat faster, right?! It’s one of the best things I’ve heard the past few months regarding one pocket in the Netherlands. The game is finding its way to the players, but there’s is still a lot of work to be done. Not only because Mika needs new opponents to up his game.

Mika is one of the new young guns heating things up in the under 16 division. He has a smooth stroke and that perfectly fine touch which pool players recognize when they see someone who can play. He walks around the table with confidence, ready to wipe you from the table. Determined he is. Already at the age of 12 he has a genuine interest in the game of one pocket, which is quite unique. Most youth players just want to fire away those balls and smash them into the back of the pocket as often as possible. So, what is it that this youngster likes about the game? He said the following (translated from Dutch):

I like the tactics and that not everything depends on only potting balls, but I have time to play my own game during a match. Whenever I get to the table it’s possible to turn the game around and win when I’m behind.Mika van Berkel

One Pocket Series 2018

Mika van Berkel

Not only Mika likes the weekly one pocket game. His mother enjoys it as well, even though Mika is pretty tough on his mother:

One pocket is a game in which you can keep up with a, in general, better player through moving instead of making balls. Also because of the easy handicap system. That’s much more fun than watching someone run a 9-ball rack time and time again. The handicap I get from Mika is ridiculous. It started out with a funny bet in which I wanted to play him 13-3, which he managed to win. I was a little ashamed that he still won, but I’ll keep trying because I still like to play the game! The handicap even went up to 15-1 recently. It’s time for Mika to play against better players.Mother of Mika

Mika participates in every 2018 One Pocket Series Open. He managed to win a match during the first tournament, but unfortunately not in the second. He’s currently ranked 20th on the OPS ranking, and 24th on the Dutch national ranking! A huge achievement by this young player who’s greatly supported by his mom. Mika will play the European Youth Championships for the second time on 19-31 July in Veldhoven, the Netherlands.

I don’t want to jump the gun, but I hope more youth players get inspired by Mika and his mom to start playing one pocket and eventually grow out to a new European one pocket force. But, let’s first concentrate on promoting the game and spread the virus. Keep it up!

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About Pepijn de Wit

I’m an adventurous 30-year-old from the Netherlands. I started playing pool as a nine-year-old standing on an empty Coca-Cola crate to be able to reach the cue ball and grew out to a hobbyist with 15 national titles on his name. Now, I consider myself a one pocket enthusiast and push for one pocket to electrify the Netherlands and Europe. I therefore started the One Pocket Series, a national tour to promote the game. Next to that, I've studied cultural anthropology, I currently work at a casino, and truly love the outdoors. My ambitions are big, my dreams even bigger.