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David in FL

The Pool/Billiards Topic

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1 hour ago, commishbob said:

Probably so. It would be hard to convince my wife to go along, though. She was never a fan of the places I played (other than my brothers house) 😉  Heck, I wasn't a fan of some of those places myself. It would have to be at a Dave and Busters or something like that.

Your wife might be pleasantly surprised at some of the nice rooms out there these days. My current room is nonsmoking, with a no shit scratch kitchen that puts out some great food.  Clean and very family friendly.  Plenty of ladies playing.  Some at a disturbingly high level!  :-)

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I have a Brunswick Gold Crown shoe-horned into my basement.  I got it at a good price and figured I'd just renovate/add-on to the house to make it fit better. The obstructions are minimal but I just use the table for practice so if the stairs get in the way, I just move the cue ball. My main playing cue is a Poison Bolt that I won in a raffle at a league tournament. I like the feel a lot more than a custom cue I have. Maybe I'll take pictures later.

Favorite game would definitely be 14.1 but the closest league is up in Syracuse (90 minutes from my house). The league I'm in plays 8, 9, and 10 ball primarily but we also have "Fast 8" where you have 4 solids, 4 stripes, and the 8-ball and then play as 8-ball.  i guess it's for when the league matches run late and you just want to get home.

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24 minutes ago, krupa said:

I have a Brunswick Gold Crown shoe-horned into my basement.  I got it at a good price and figured I'd just renovate/add-on to the house to make it fit better. The obstructions are minimal but I just use the table for practice so if the stairs get in the way, I just move the cue ball. My main playing cue is a Poison Bolt that I won in a raffle at a league tournament. I like the feel a lot more than a custom cue I have. Maybe I'll take pictures later.

Favorite game would definitely be 14.1 but the closest league is up in Syracuse (90 minutes from my house). The league I'm in plays 8, 9, and 10 ball primarily but we also have "Fast 8" where you have 4 solids, 4 stripes, and the 8-ball and then play as 8-ball.  i guess it's for when the league matches run late and you just want to get home.

14.1 on a Golf Crown.  That’s old school fun right there!  :beer:

They don’t play a lot of 14.1 down here.  One pocket has kind of taken its place as the game of choice outside of the usual rotation games.

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12 hours ago, billchao said:

I'd love to have a shop where I can install a pool table and a golf sim, too. Just wouldn't know where I'd put any tools 😜

So the key for me was to fill the garage so full of junk that my wife can't park her car in there anymore. She is all for the shop...haha. It will be a 36x48 so it should have room.

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3 hours ago, David in FL said:

14.1 on a Golf Crown.  That’s old school fun right there!  :beer:

They don’t play a lot of 14.1 down here.  One pocket has kind of taken its place as the game of choice outside of the usual rotation games.

I don't have the patience for one pocket. I like pocketing balls too much. 🙂

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10 hours ago, krupa said:

I don't have the patience for one pocket. I like pocketing balls too much. 🙂

Yeah, I’m not a huge fan either.  They call it the “chess” of pool, but good grief it can drag on...!

8 hours ago, nevets88 said:

Now I feel like watching The Hustler/The Color of Money.

Right?

Every now and then, as a special treat for a cue that’s been a particularly good girl, we’ll cuddle on the couch and watch one of them.  :-D

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Hold on to your butts! This is going to be a bit of a long post. A bit of back story:

So I started playing pool over at my grandma's house when I was about 11 years old (1999). Most of my mom's side of the family would go over there every Saturday from 4-10 pm or so starting before I was even born, but I didn't get to play on the big boy table until I proved myself on the bumper pool table. They had an 8 ft furniture table in the basement, and all of the men in the family would spend a good amount of time down there, especially in the winter. Once I was big/capable enough to play on the 8 footer, they would pay me a quarter for every time I crushed their beer can and got 'em a fresh one. Once I had 4 quarters, which only took about 10 minutes with how many people were there, I could get in line to play a dollar a game. Winner kept the table, so there was a chance for me to get in plenty of pool, as I had a natural knack for it. I can remember bringing home 20 dollars in ones on many occasions.

I kept going to my grandma's every Saturday until my friends were old enough to drive. I was around 15 (2003 maybe 2004) at the time, and as everyone who has been that age knows, the last thing you want to do on a Saturday night is hang out with family when you are a teenager (you regret the time you miss with family later as they start passing). I didn't really play any pool after this for quite some time, except on holidays or the odd Saturday when I did spend time with family.

 

Fast forward to 2009-10, which put me at the 21-22 age range. I could go to bars, and was living in Columbus at the time. There used to be a place just down fourth street from me called Suzie Cues. I would go get blasted in there and play pool and stumble home when all the fun was had. This only lasted for a year and was probably a once every other week kind of thing. It was loads of fun getting back to a table, but I wasn't hooked yet. I left Columbus to come back to Dayton in January 2011.

 

Four to five more years would go by before I picked up a cue for any substantial amount of time. Sometime in 2014 or 2015 @topoftheline89 got an 8 foot table that we managed to get up into the top story of his cape cod. That is something I will never do again, moving a pool table. Just pay the guys that do it for a living. Anyway, we got the table up there, and he got it built and "leveled" (it wasn't that bad, but you know what I mean if you know anything about setting one up yourself). We started playing here and there, inviting friends to join in, but none of them quite had the competitive spirit that we did. Eventually there was a summer/fall where we started playing a lot. I mean a lot a lot, somewhere in the neighborhood of 40-50 hours most weeks. I eventually decided that this was something I really wanted to pick up, and I bought a McDermott cue in the fall time so I would have something to call my own. It was my first nice cue, and when I got my Pechauer, I sold it to @topoftheline89 so I still see it on a regular basis.

Come the end of the fall of 2016, I was starting to feel like I was getting quite good. We played lots of 8-ball, 9-ball, and some straight pool on that trusty table. Nate even installed a makeshift ball return setup out of PVC cut in half and some 2x4s. It actually worked really well and I may find pictures of it, or if he gets on here he may have some too. Anywho, we had been playing lots, and I thought I was real good, beating Nate often, but not always, and we would go in to this bar that has 1 valley bar box, and beat up on all the college kids. Since I was happy with my game, I decided to see if there was a real competitive venue or outlet and I found Airway Billiards.

 

Now any Daytonian that has been around for a while and is in to pool will know that the old Airway (they have moved since and things have changed) used to be the best place for tournaments, money games, you name it. They have been running a 5 dollar Monday night 9-ball tournament since the 70s.....I wasn't even alive then, not even close. Some of the best names in pool had been through that place, and some have been through the new Airway too.

So I found Airway and learned that they had tournaments on Monday (5 dollar 9-ball), Wednesday (10 dollar 8 ball with a calcutta), and every Saturday (a rotation of games corresponding to which Saturday it is in the month [1st week banks, 2nd week 8 ball, 3rd week 9 ball, 4th week one pocket, and if there is a fifth Saturday, straight pool]). I thought that this was the ticket...I had honed my skills and was ready for some action. I started going to the Wednesday 8-ball tournament, and sometimes the Monday tournament too. They always had a big tournament the Monday closest to Christmas, where there was a break and run, more money added, and tons of people would show up (60-100 in a place that has 10-11 tables). I got to meet some Dayton local legends, and our latest and greatest, young Billy Thorpe. Now that's a name you don't need to be from Dayton to know!

 

2017 brought my first taste of league pool, as an old man that saw me beating on the college kids at the bar invited me to play the 2nd half of the season with his team. I accepted, but within a few weeks, I regretted it. Most of the places only had one table, and everyone in the league was very slow to play. Now I've talked plenty about my pace of place on the golf course on TST, but my pace in pool may be even faster, so I was in Hell. Having to wait 4-10 minutes after I missed a ball in my game before I could shoot again, or waiting 50 minutes in between games was just not cutting it for me. I finished the season out, but told him I wouldn't be returning.

I was still playing the tournaments at Airway, and even some down at Michael's Billiards in Fairfield. Michael's is one of the nicest rooms in the country, and if you are a pool player that finds yourself in Cincinnati with nothing to do, it is a must go. These tournaments had much higher entry fees, but the paydays were great. Unfortunately, I was still only cashing infrequently at Airway, and the Michael's tournaments, I had no shot.

Fall of 2017 another group of guys asked me to play league, but I was hesitant after my last go. They assured me that all the bars had 2 tables to play on and that the latest they ever got done was 9:30 p.m. I decided to play, and have been with this team ever since.

 

Pick back up with @topoftheline89, who I had never stopped playing with all this time. We had kind of outgrown the 8 footer in the upstairs, and he ended up buying a 9 foot Olhausen tournament table and having it installed in his basement. The pockets were huge, but anything on the rail was tough to hit in at speed. We liked to call it the Bobblhausen, or "Olhausen, the best in bobbles!" because of this. Anyone that has played on these tournament tables from the 90s will know what I am talking about. The angle of the corner pocket is actually wider than any other table, so they are really easy from everywhere....except down the rail. We got used to it, but it never sat quite well with Nate.

 One day, he texted me talking about maybe buying a brand new Diamond 9 footer. I measured my garage at lunch on work to see if I could fit a 7 foot table, and lo and behold, one would just barely fit. I figured we could get a deal if we got both at the same time through the same guy. I placed my order very quick, but Nate decided that instead of a new table, he would have new rails fit to his Olhausen (by the same guy that did my table). He ended up getting it "Diamondized", which entails changing the profile of the cushion, as well as the angle of the pockets. He even took the pocket size down to 4.25", which is smaller than standard for Diamond, and WAAAAY smaller than they were before. Both of our tables play like a dream now. Mine is a 7' ProAm so it has a ball return but no coin door.

 

As the years went on, we both started really improving. Nowadays, if I go to Airway for a tournament, I may be the favorite to win, or at least one of three favorites. Nate gets in the money most times that he goes too. We haven't played many of these over the last year and a half, but when we do we always enjoy them. Last year, we both picked up golf, and it has cut into our pool time, especially when it comes to tournaments. I still play big ones down at Michael's when they have them, and try to do The Queen City Classic, which is biannual.

I've had a handful of tournament wins that got me cool paydays over 500 dollars with the biggest being 950, which ain't bad for 16 hours of having fun and shooting pool.

On to equipment:

Started with the McDermott, but sold it to Nate after about 6-7 months and got the Pechauer and eventually started collecting the accessories, shafts, jump and break cues, etc.

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I bought a Jacoby off some kid cause he needed the cash and I had been thinking about getting a Revo, but needed a cue that had a radial or uni-loc joint to get one. I put in for back-order on Seyberts, and 14 months later, they were holding me a 12.4mm radial Revo. The other cue is actually a carom cue that was given to me as a gift. I like to play 3 cushion, and I have a friend that deals in high end cues. He did a big deal with some guy and the guy threw in 5 carom cues as extras, so my friend gifted one to me. Just wish my name was Bob Thompson

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The next set of pictures are just of my table, and there is an older one of @topoftheline89's in there too. This is before the rails/pockets were redone.

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Last but not least, we have some fun pool photos of me, myself and I, at very different times in my pool career. The first one, I was probably 14 or 15, and was getting ready to take some dollars off of my dad and uncles. The second one was the only time I have gotten to play on a 12 foot snooker table. My friend took it and timed it perfect, first try. The last was taken during the VNEA state tournament in Canton, in the heat of battle.

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Good job.  That has to be the longest post I've ever thoroughly enjoyed reading.  

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Just now, Piz said:

Good job.  That has to be the longest post I've ever thoroughly enjoyed reading.  

Thanks man. I type fast, and anyone that has met me in real life knows that I could talk forever about anything....it's usually a problem lol.

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Great post.

Speaking of how we got started...

...My grandfather ran a small brewery in Appleton, Wisconsin, just south of Green Bay.  Across the street was Bleier’s Bar, owned by the parents of a Rocky Bleier, of Pittsburgh Steelers fame.  In the late 60’s my grandfather introduced me to pool in that little tavern.  Back then, a “little guy” could get a “little beer” too as long as his grandpa said it was ok.  :-)     
 

I remember being there with my dad and grandpa and meeting Rocky for the first time when he returned wounded from Vietnam.   I’m a hardcore Packer fan, but will always have a fondness for the Steelers as a result.
 

My first “good” cue.  A 1984 Meucci.  Back then, they were the cue to own.  It served me well for longer than @Bonvivant has been alive!  :-D
 

 

 

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Edited by David in FL

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1 minute ago, David in FL said:

My first “good” cue.  A 1984 Meucci.  Back then, they were the cue to own.  It served me well for longer than @Bonvivant has been alive!  :-D

The good ol' noodle. I've always preferred a stiffer shaft, and those things are the complete opposite lol

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1 minute ago, Bonvivant said:

The good ol' noodle. I've always preferred a stiffer shaft, and those things are the complete opposite lol

We played a lot more pocket speed shots back then.  I do have a Predator 314 shaft for it, but it’s pretty much retired in favor of my Nitty these days.  I’ve been known to keep a Meucci sneaky pete in the trunk of the car for the occasional bar game though...  ;-)

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My old McDermott and snooker cue, a pocket size check on the 9 footer, and some of my buddy's putter collection lol

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Those are tight pockets!  4 1/4”?
 

My local room uses all Diamond tables.  4 1/2” pockets, but still tighter and, due to their profile, less forgiving that most of the alternatives.  

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7 hours ago, David in FL said:

Those are tight pockets!  4 1/4”?
 

Correct. I wish I had a picture of how they were before because the difference is insane. 

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Before. Could find ay over the pocket picks.

 

This is my 9 foot olhausen. Was a tournament table out east in the early 2000s I would guess. A guy in portsmouth Ohio had three of them and I bought the last one for a cool $900(around 1600 installed). Had it Diamonized winter of 2018-19 and it has been a great table ever since. 

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Edited by topoftheline89

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