View Full Version : Relocating to USA - advice for a beginner

01-16-2006, 09:56 AM
Greetnigs all. I am a UK based pool and snooker player who will be relocating to the States (Las Vegas)in 2007.

I have played snooker and UK 8-ball(smaller table game) for around 20 years and at a reasonably high level and I do not want to give up on cue sports when I move over!

I need advice on taking up 9-ball and 8-ball as it is played in the States. I have played some 9-ball in the UK, but tables here are few and far between, so effectively I am a beginner. With my snooker background I don't have a problem making balls, but the tactical side of the game and positional play will be a challenge for me at first.

Firstly I need to know what kind of cue I should be looking at. Where are my dollars best spent? Do I need a separate break cue? How is the game structured at local level? Do pool halls run regular open competitions? Are there lots of weird and wonderful 'local' and 'house' rules (we have bizarre ones here)? Where should I play in Vegas?

If anyone of you can take the time to offer me some advice I would be most grateful and promise to buy you a drink once I move over.

01-16-2006, 10:25 AM
Couldn't get much more different than Las Vegas v. the UK. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Las Vegas has some pool, I don't live there but have played just a bit there. I don't like bar pool, but I have heard las vegas has a lot of it. You will hear about that from guys who live there.

If it were me, I'd get moved there and start going to the Cue Club on sahara. You will hear what is going on and decide what you like. Start looking at cues when you get here. I saw a used southwest at a shop there and my guess is that there are more than the usual number of them floating around las vegas, maybe not tho. Ideally I would find a player with a money problem and buy one. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif But I'd just decide what you like when you get here. Maybe buy something cheap until you decide what you really like and go from there. You will end up with a break cue and jump cue eventually, but you can play without them at first. Especially the break cue. You might break them somewhat better with a break cue, but you can break effectively with any decent playing cue.

Scott Lee
01-16-2006, 10:29 AM
BigMal...Most areas around the country have regular open tournaments, both in poolrooms and bars. If you let us know where you'll be living, someone here will likely direct you to places to play. As far as cues go, you don't HAVE to buy a different cue to play pool vs. snooker. I've seen many UK players shooting with their snooker cues, at national level tournaments in Las Vegas. The only main difference between snooker cues and pool cues is the taper of the shaft, and size of the tip. As has been mentioned in other threads, the Predator Z shaft is 11 3/4mm, and may be similar to what you're playing with now. IMO, you do not need a separate cue for breaking, but that will be debatable here. As far as rules go...yes there are "house rules" in some bars, but most tournament play will be some kind of 'league' rules, which often are BCA, and mostly always mean playing 'ball-in-hand' rules. Hope this helps...

Scott Lee

01-16-2006, 12:59 PM
Thanks for the advice guys, most helpful.

I did play some pool with my snooker cue and sadly I split the ferrule, so that is the last time I do that, although you are right many UK players use the same cue.

The Cue Club on Sahara I know of thanks to Earl Strickland who put a lot of hours in during the Mosconi Cup, so if it's good enough for Earl...

01-17-2006, 04:21 AM
Where abouts in the UK are you?

Quite a lot of Rileys clubs have or are putting in nine foot American-style tables - I was playing on one in Moseley (Birmingham) on Saturday. Their website has details on all of their clubs, including facilities, opening times, and the number and type of all the tables they've got. That would be my choice if there were one reasonably nearby and you wanted to get some practice in before you go.