Kelly pool (also known as pea pool, pill pool, keeley, the keilley game, and killy) is a pocket billiards game played on a standard pool table using fifteen numbered markers called peas or pills, and a standard set of sixteen pool balls. Gameplay involves players drawing peas at random from a shake bottle, which assigns to them the correspondingly numbered pool ball, kept secret from their opponents, but which they must pocket in order to win the game. Kelly pool is a rotation game, which means that players must contact the lowest numbered object ball on each shot first until the opportunity to pocket their own is presented. Two rule variants are set forth under rules promulgated by the Billiard Congress of America (BCA). In the simpler form, the object of play starts and ends with the goal of pocketing one's secret ball. In the second, in addition to the goal of pocketing one's secret ball, points are scored in various ways.
Reportedly invented by Chicagoan Calistus "Kelly" Mulvaney in 1893, kelly pool was a popular game during the early- to mid-20th century. Mentions of it were at one time common in US newspapers, often painting it in a negative light as its play was considered a stronghold of gambling. Authorities in various parts of the United States at times called for a moratorium on the game's play. Until 1964, in fact, playing the game was a fineable offense in the state of Montana.
Many billiard-specific and etymological sources point to kelly pool, or an early version of the game called kelly rotation, as the origin of the common idiom, "behind the eight ball". Some publications blithely assume the expression to be eponymously derived from the game of eight ball, but is has been pointed out that the expression came into use before eight ball was popularized, and that the game did not even use an actual 8 ball under the version first marketed to the public. The predecessor to the BCA, The National Billiard Association, meanwhile, holds that the expression simply emanates from the fact that the eight ball, being black-colored, is harder to see than other balls, thus resulting in an association with any difficult position.
Other articles related to "kelly pool, kelly, pool":
... and etymological publications state that the expression derives instead from kelly pool, or an early version of kelly pool called kelly rotation ... Panozzo in Steve Mizerak's Complete Book of Pool (1990), indicate that ascribing the phrase's origin to the game of eight ball results in an anachronism, the phrase being ... Pool by the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company, marketed by them with a special set of balls that did not have a numbered 8 ball, but rather came with a ball set consisting of seven ...
Famous quotes containing the word pool:
“I caught a blackjack right behind my ear. A black pool opened up at my feet. I dived in. It had no bottom. I felt pretty goodlike an amputated leg.”
—John Paxton (19111985)