As a nine-year-old I, Pepijn de Wit, started playing pool. Standing on an empty crate of Coca Cola, firing those balls towards the pocket. I’ve dedicated a lot of time to trying to be the best ever since. I was obsessed by the game and the satisfying and powerful feeling of winning. I became an addict. Addicted to the technical challenges. Later to the mental challenges as well.
At eighteen, eleven Dutch National Youth Championship wins and seven European Championships (that resulted in only one bronze medal) later, the joy disappeared. I decided this wasn’t the right thing to do for me. It seemed meaningless to keep putting effort in this thing I called my sport.
After a year or two, I was able to see pool as a hobby. By that time, I started to play One Pocket and bank pool. My passion for pool resurrected. These games brought back the joy (and a National Championship win in both disciplines). I even ended up playing the Derby City Classic 2015 in Elizabeth, Southern Indiana. The place to be for One Pocket and bank pool players.
University & Pool
After finishing high school and putting an end to my pool career, I went to University to study cultural anthropology. I had no idea why. I just thought it was interesting. It turned out to be the best choice I’ve ever made. This study has broadened my perspective on everything in life and lit up many internal fires. Now, more than ever, I want to see the world in order to learn about it and its people.
Pool, still being my passion, even became part of my study. After obtaining a Bachelor degree, I continued with a Masters degree for which I did three months of fieldwork in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It resulted in a thesis titled: ‘Negotiating masculinity in Yogyakarta’s pool centers: A game of skill, contesting and respecting values, and possessions’.
Studying anthropology brought me to some beautiful places, the Philippines for a course about water management and Indonesia for my M.A. research being the most memorable ones. It provided me with never-to-be-forgotten experiences and friends.
The idea of blogging
Another part of me is enthusiastic about writing, which is a more recent development. During my studies I had to write a lot, but it wasn’t out of free will. Through time I’ve got quite some positive feedback about my way of writing. I decided to give it a try et voilà, I now have my own blog. The general idea behind the first version of my blog was that it was going to be a platform for me to write about anything and everything in order to unleash some long withhold creative brain farts. It was called pepijndewit.wordpress.com and launched on January 16th, 2017.
Advocating One Pocket
It made sense to me to start off with writing about pool, because that’s what I do and know a thing or two about. Before I started the blog, I was already working on Project One Pocket by putting on paper what One Pocket means to me and what it could mean to all other pool players. I just needed a way to spread these words, but I didn’t have a proper platform to do so. Luckily, I was planning to start a blog to write about anything that came to mind. Pool came to my mind very often. Not very surprising.
The first few months it didn’t feel like a coherent story that was presenting a clear subject, me. I was struggling with the identity of the whole thing. For some reason I didn’t want it to solely be a ‘pool blog’ in the beginning, but I had just a few other vague, humoristic, and poetic posts that were not about pool.
After three months or so, I saw the light and decided that the chaotic subject of ‘me’ wasn’t the most interesting subject for the international audience that I had in mind. Then it got me, I knew my blog was going to be the platform to advocate One Pocket, to share knowledge, thoughts, and ideas about pool, and to inspire others to take action in order to help to elevate the sport. The entertainment section is in order to make people laugh and to keep things light once in a while. Two important things for me as well.
One Pocket Series
Soon after I started this blog, I realized that it wouldn’t be enough to only write about the game to advocate One Pocket. The game is now gaining foothold in the Netherlands and there’s a growing group of players who’s enthusiastic about the game, but there were almost no opportunities for competitive play (in the form of tournaments) on a regular basis. So, I took the mission to a different level by organizing the One Pocket Series, a One Pocket tour in the Netherlands, which made its debut on June 25th, 2017. The second season has already come to an end, and the third will be announced in the near future.
To be continued…