Billiards anyone?

Dan R

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Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Posts
6,519
Age
64
Location
Charleston, SC
Once upon a time I worked for a company that sold billiard tables. We also sold many game room items, i.e. poker tables, foosball, pool cues, air hockey, etc. It was a fun and interesting job. We sold some top brands, like Brunswick and Olhausen. My boss had immense knowledge of pool tables. The key to setting up a pool table is to level it properly. Most tables have 3 pieces of slate, except 7' coin operated where the entire table is one unit. Most people buy the 8' size. Pros play on a 9' table, while most coin op. tables are 7'. There is also a Pro 8' size in between 8' and 9'. The nice thing is the angles are the same on any table so the size is irrelevant.

I want to get back out there and play some pool. You'd be surprised how many billiard games there are besides straight pool and 9 Ball. One thing I noticed about billiards is that it covers all economic levels. There is everything from high rollers betting big bucks to pool room hustlers to family players that have a table at home. It cuts across every demographic. Any billiard players here?
 

dented

Doctor of Teleocity
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Apr 17, 2006
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13,922
Location
Lake Lanier, Georgia
Heck yeah! Not lately but I played Straight, 8 ball (tournaments too) 9 ball, 3 ball, Last Pocket. Cute story as my Dad was a barroom player that earned his way a lot. My Dad was an orphan. He left the orphanage in Pennsylvania and got a job in a barber shop sweeping up and cleaning equipment. He was about 14. The owner let him stay in the shop at night. Many of those old shops in the east had pool tables in them. My Dad would SLEEP on the pool table, no kidding. But before he went to sleep he practice his game. He later would bring my brothers and me as kids and later the grandkids along to watch him play. He was amazing and he taught all of us the rules and how to play and how to think through the game. In the 90s after my wife passed away I was playing in tournaments in local pool clubs and bars. Mostly 30 people or less. Some single some double elimination. I was bringing home about $700 a month after expenses at one point. Then I went back to school and it all went away. I like watching others play no matter what the skill level.
 

Linderflomann

Tele-Meister
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May 13, 2021
Posts
171
Age
52
Location
Europe
I love me some snooker, I feel it's the Rolls Royce of these types of games. The World Championship just ended as well which was pretty amazing.
 

uriah1

Telefied
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Feb 12, 2011
Posts
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Around
I use to take my great grandpa to shoot some pool. Only time I could get him to talk. Had his own cue.
Talk about after his time after WW1.
He got mustard gas so never talked about the war to end all wars.
 

gypsy jim

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Posts
1,541
Location
Kensington, Maryland
I played a lot as a kid at The House of Lords in Wheaton, Maryland, mostly straight-pool, 8 ball, and 9 ball. The old men played one-pocket. Pool is all about que control and trying not to get out of shape. I've had an 8 foot Olhausen at home for 35 years but it has seen very little use.
 

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kuch

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Sep 30, 2011
Posts
449
Location
Great Northwest
Billiards/pool. 15 years ago we finally got into a house that has a room big enough to fit a 8' pool table-Olhausen. I play at least once a week. Its my kids and grandkids who love it and play for hours when they come by.

I spent way too much time in a pool hall in my late teens... way too much time...
 

nvilletele

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jul 4, 2008
Posts
3,755
Location
California
I used to play snooker on a huge table when I was at school in England. Wonderful game.

Used to play pool with friends. We had a term, I believe one of us made up, for those shots where the cue is all the way across the table from where the ball it was to strike was situated. We called them Sahara shots, as it felt as if you had to cross the entire Sahara to reach the ball. Perhaps it was a more general term, but I never heard it anywhere than amongst my cohorts. (Yes, I said "amongst my cohorts.")

I got a pool table some years ago, post divorce, thinking it would be good for the kids to have friends come over to play. We enjoyed it, but it soon fell into less than full use. So it got sold. Luckily, I got a pretty decent price for it. Three piece slate, a pretty big table as I recall.

Never played real three-cushion billiards or whatever it is called, on a table without pockets.

Trouble - with a capital T that rhymes with P and that stands for Pool.

Well, either you're closing your eyes
To a situation you do now wish to acknowledge
Or you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated
By the presence of a pool table in your community.
Ya got trouble, my friend, right here,
I say, trouble right here in River City.
Why sure I'm a billiard player,
Certainly mighty proud I say
I'm always mighty proud to say it.
I consider that the hours I spend
With a cue in my hand are golden.
Help you cultivate horse sense
And a cool head and a keen eye.
Never take and try to give
An iron-clad leave to yourself
From a three-rail billiard shot?
But just as I say,
It takes judgement, brains, and maturity to score
In a balkline game,
I say that any boob kin take
And shove a ball in a pocket.
And they call that sloth.
The first big step on the road
To the depths of deg-ra-Day--
I say, first, medicinal wine from a teaspoon,
Then beer from a bottle.
An' the next thing ya know,
Your son is playin' for money
In a pinch-back suit.
And list'nin to some big out-a-town Jasper
Hearin' him tell about horse-race gamblin'.
Not a wholesome trottin' race, no!
But a race where they set down right on the horse!
Like to see some stuck-up jockey'boy
Sittin' on Dan Patch? Make your blood boil?
Well, I should say.
Friends, lemme tell you what I mean.
Ya got one, two, three, four, five, six pockets in a table.
Pockets that mark the diff'rence
Between a gentlemen and a bum,
With a capital "B,"
And that rhymes with "P" and that stands for pool!
And all week long your River City
Youth'll be frittern away,
I say your young men'll be frittern!
Frittern away their noontime, suppertime, choretime too!
Get the ball in the pocket,
Never mind gittin' Dandelions pulled
Or the screen door patched or the beefsteak pounded.
Never mind pumpin' any water
'Til your parents are caught with the Cistern empty
On a Saturday night and that's trouble,
Oh, yes we got lots and lots a' trouble.
I'm thinkin' of the kids in the knickerbockers,
Shirt-tail young ones, peekin' in the pool
Hall window after school, look, folks!
Right here in River City.
Trouble with a capital "T"
And that rhymes with "P" and that stands for pool!
Now, I know all you folks are the right kinda parents.
I'm gonna be perfectly frank.
Would ya like to know what kinda conversation goes
On while they're loafin' around that Hall?
They're tryin' out Bevo, tryin' out cubebs,
Tryin' out Tailor Mades like Cigarette Feends!
And braggin' all about
How they're gonna cover up a tell-tale breath with Sen-Sen.
One fine night, they leave the pool hall,
Headin' for the dance at the Arm'ry!
Libertine men and Scarlet women!
And Rag-time, shameless music
That'll grab your son and your daughter
With the arms of a jungle animal instink!
Mass-staria!
Friends, the idle brain is the devil's playground!

Trouble, oh we got trouble,
Right here in River City!
With a capital "T"
That rhymes with "P"
And that stands for Pool,
That stands for pool.
We've surely got trouble!
Right here in River City,
Right here!
Gotta figger out a way
To keep the young ones moral after school!
Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble...
 
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Bellacaster

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Sep 5, 2010
Posts
1,229
Location
Ypsilanti, MI
I grew up with a 9' AMF table in my house. My dad was a good pool player and I don't think I ever beat him. As a small kid I would watch him and his buddies from the top of the stairs through a cloud of smoke play and cavort. My mom was a teacher, so a lot of the guys playing with my dad were various teachers I would later have. In my 20's, while living in Chicago, I played a lot of pool at bars and would spend entire days off in pool halls.

One pocket is the game of champions. It involves a lot of bank shots, safes and combinations. If you go into a pool hall and see a crowd of people around a table where people are obviously gambling, they're playing one pocket. Straight pool is my second favorite game; it's a lot of fun, but it was also the game they played in the classic film the Hustler.

I don't have the opportunity to play much anymore, but really would like to. I have a decent Joss cue that I'd like to put to use. One thing is for sure after playing in recent years, my eyesight hasn't improved over time.
 

bluesfordan

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 1, 2006
Posts
3,001
Location
Nashua NH
I haven't played in ages. we have a bowling alley where I used to play a lot, don't remember if they were coin operated. The biggest issue I've had with home tables is space, I hate shooting with short cues. You need a good 5-6 feet around a table to comfortably shoot with full length cues, you're talking bigger than a lot of suburban bedrooms. Which is why nearly all the tables I've seen were in basements. Where you then run into conflicts with lolly columns unless the house has a really large footprint. I grew up before McMansions were the norm of new construction, so maybe it's a bit different now. But older houses built before the late '80s, early '90s, a pool table was an extravagant use of limited space.

hmm, I lost my right eye to failed surgery and while I'm ambidextrous, I am dominantly right handed. I'll probably have to shoot lefty. Now I want to go play and see what happens.
 

JL_LI

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
May 20, 2017
Posts
8,844
Age
72
Location
Long Island, NY
I lost a lot of quarters playing pool while I was in college. The more I drank, the more I lost. But it was fun anyway. Girls in mini skirts always won. Nobody wanted them to sit down.
 

stxrus

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Joined
May 25, 2007
Posts
9,806
Age
70
Location
St. Croix, USVI
I played and really enjoyed pool a lot. I never was very good but I had fun.
If I had room I’d have a table here.
 

MickM

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Platinum Supporter
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Posts
6,360
Age
64
Location
A steel guitar engagment.
I used to play snooker on a huge table when I was at school in England. Wonderful game.

Used to play pool with friends. We had a term, I believe one of us made up, for those shots where the cue is all the way across the table from where the ball it was to strike was situated. We called them Sahara shots, as it felt as if you had to cross the entire Sahara to reach the ball. Perhaps it was a more general term, but I never heard it anywhere than amongst my cohorts. (Yes, I said "amongst my cohorts.")

I got a pool table some years ago, post divorce, thinking it would be good for the kids to have friends come over to play. We enjoyed it, but it soon fell into less than full use. So it got sold. Luckily, I got a pretty decent price for it. Three piece slate, a pretty big table as I recall.

Never played real three-cushion billiards or whatever it is called, on a table without pockets.

Pool - with a capital P that rhymes with T and that stands for Trouble.

Well, either you're closing your eyes
To a situation you do now wish to acknowledge
Or you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated
By the presence of a pool table in your community.
Ya got trouble, my friend, right here,
I say, trouble right here in River City.
Why sure I'm a billiard player,
Certainly mighty proud I say
I'm always mighty proud to say it.
I consider that the hours I spend
With a cue in my hand are golden.
Help you cultivate horse sense
And a cool head and a keen eye.
Never take and try to give
An iron-clad leave to yourself
From a three-rail billiard shot?
But just as I say,
It takes judgement, brains, and maturity to score
In a balkline game,
I say that any boob kin take
And shove a ball in a pocket.
And they call that sloth.
The first big step on the road
To the depths of deg-ra-Day--
I say, first, medicinal wine from a teaspoon,
Then beer from a bottle.
An' the next thing ya know,
Your son is playin' for money
In a pinch-back suit.
And list'nin to some big out-a-town Jasper
Hearin' him tell about horse-race gamblin'.
Not a wholesome trottin' race, no!
But a race where they set down right on the horse!
Like to see some stuck-up jockey'boy
Sittin' on Dan Patch? Make your blood boil?
Well, I should say.
Friends, lemme tell you what I mean.
Ya got one, two, three, four, five, six pockets in a table.
Pockets that mark the diff'rence
Between a gentlemen and a bum,
With a capital "B,"
And that rhymes with "P" and that stands for pool!
And all week long your River City
Youth'll be frittern away,
I say your young men'll be frittern!
Frittern away their noontime, suppertime, choretime too!
Get the ball in the pocket,
Never mind gittin' Dandelions pulled
Or the screen door patched or the beefsteak pounded.
Never mind pumpin' any water
'Til your parents are caught with the Cistern empty
On a Saturday night and that's trouble,
Oh, yes we got lots and lots a' trouble.
I'm thinkin' of the kids in the knickerbockers,
Shirt-tail young ones, peekin' in the pool
Hall window after school, look, folks!
Right here in River City.
Trouble with a capital "T"
And that rhymes with "P" and that stands for pool!
Now, I know all you folks are the right kinda parents.
I'm gonna be perfectly frank.
Would ya like to know what kinda conversation goes
On while they're loafin' around that Hall?
They're tryin' out Bevo, tryin' out cubebs,
Tryin' out Tailor Mades like Cigarette Feends!
And braggin' all about
How they're gonna cover up a tell-tale breath with Sen-Sen.
One fine night, they leave the pool hall,
Headin' for the dance at the Arm'ry!
Libertine men and Scarlet women!
And Rag-time, shameless music
That'll grab your son and your daughter
With the arms of a jungle animal instink!
Mass-staria!
Friends, the idle brain is the devil's playground!

Trouble, oh we got trouble,
Right here in River City!
With a capital "T"
That rhymes with "P"
And that stands for Pool,
That stands for pool.
We've surely got trouble!
Right here in River City,
Right here!
Gotta figger out a way
To keep the young ones moral after school!
Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble...
Never much for musicals but I like this.
 

MickM

Poster Extraordinaire
Platinum Supporter
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Posts
6,360
Age
64
Location
A steel guitar engagment.
Once upon a time I worked for a company that sold billiard tables. We also sold many game room items, i.e. poker tables, foosball, pool cues, air hockey, etc. It was a fun and interesting job. We sold some top brands, like Brunswick and Olhausen. My boss had immense knowledge of pool tables. The key to setting up a pool table is to level it properly. Most tables have 3 pieces of slate, except 7' coin operated where the entire table is one unit. Most people buy the 8' size. Pros play on a 9' table, while most coin op. tables are 7'. There is also a Pro 8' size in between 8' and 9'. The nice thing is the angles are the same on any table so the size is irrelevant.

I want to get back out there and play some pool. You'd be surprised how many billiard games there are besides straight pool and 9 Ball. One thing I noticed about billiards is that it covers all economic levels. There is everything from high rollers betting big bucks to pool room hustlers to family players that have a table at home. It cuts across every demographic. Any billiard players here?
The only thing I don't agree with is the size of the table not being relevant. I've seen more than a couple guys who could beat near anybody on a barroom table but you take them to a club or a pool hall with 9 ft. tables and it's like their first rodeo.
My dad put a table in the attic of our first house (that didn't have wheels) and it turned into my bed room when divorce took hold. Yea I was the terror of the neighborhood having my own table and played during my bar/drinking days but like anything else if you don't keep at it, it goes away. Not all, maybe the nuances.
 

RodeoTex

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Sep 14, 2005
Posts
11,856
Location
Uvalde, Tx
Some years ago when I was converting my oldel barn into a shop/private pub I started putting out feelers for a pool table on Facebook.
I got 3 the offers immediately that were pretty much "free, just come get it. How soon can you be here?"
I wasn't ready at the time and still aren't, but I don't think it'll be a problem to find one later.
 

Gardo

Friend of Leo's
Silver Supporter
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Posts
2,784
Age
66
Location
Lancaster Pa
I played a lot as a kid at The House of Lords in Wheaton, Maryland, mostly straight-pool, 8 ball, and 9 ball. The old men played one-pocket. Pool is all about que control and trying not to get out of shape. I've had an 8 foot Olhausen at home for 35 years but it has seen very little use.
When we remodeled the basement we put in a nice table. Believe it or not, my wife insisted we get one and I asked why. I like pool but if I have spare time I prefer picking up a guitar. She thought it would be nice when people come to the house. That happened a few times but not in several years.
So there it is covered up and taking up space . But at least it looks nice
 

Dan R

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Posts
6,519
Age
64
Location
Charleston, SC
@MickM the angles are the same but there's more real estate on a 9' table, that's for sure. If you never play on a 9' table, it takes a bit of getting used to. I guess my point is the game is played the same on any size table, you just may have to adjust to more distance in your shots.
 
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