View Full Version : Pool in Germany
03-08-2007, 02:23 PM
I have the good fortune of having a very good chance of living in Heidelberg Germany for about a year starting this fall.
Do they play pool there? I mean, I know they do, but is it popular and is it common for people to play 8-ball, 9-ball, etc. in pool rooms and taverns and such? Any info or suggestions are appreciated.
03-08-2007, 02:58 PM
I lived there for 6 years (1993~ 1999) and they indeed have a nice pool system. You are best off to join a private pool club Poolbilliardverein. They practice in their own private clubhouse several times a week and play matches at least once a week against other teams. They typically play 8 ball, 9 ball and 14.1. You will qualify for one of their teams depending on your skill level. They take membership, which is a reasonable cost, practice time and their matches very seriouly. The area you will be in is very beautiful but the pool is not quite the level on average of Frankfurt, Berlin, etc.
If you really want to learn the language join a non-English speaking pool club. I did.
Do not assume you are a superior player there to show them how the game is played. That's how I met Oliver Ortman and Ralph Souquet.
Do not be a typical American whiney loser when you don't win. The Germans have these types as well but for the most part, they are in control of their emotions which helps their game.
If you have wealth, do not try to impress them with it, they won't care.
German pool players, typically, don't participate in 10 different sports as many Americans do, they concentrate on pool and have earned a reputation for tough, accurate play.
Enjoy them. I met and have maintained friendships with some of the greatest people in the world from that experience.
Be patient, you will not be accepted right away but earning their respect is well worth the wait.
Take most of the Billiard related stuff you prefer with you. There's plenty of Masters and such but if you want something there it will cost more and there are very few billiard supply places handy and open for many hours.
Don't give advice, no matter how well intended, until you reach a certain level of friendship/respect with your team. You will know when this occurs, I won't have to tell you.
If you have trouble hooking up with the right people after you are there, PM me and I'll provide names and numbers for you.
You will have the time of your life if you approach it with an open mind. Don't sweat the small stuff.
03-08-2007, 05:40 PM
Thanks! Sounds great. I definitely will PM you as it gets closer, and when I find out for sure, if you don't mind.
And about the "typical American" stuff - I model myself after Earl Strickland, do you think that will work? (just kidding)
03-09-2007, 09:24 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BRussell:</font><hr> I model myself after Earl Strickland, do you think that will work? (just kidding) <hr /></blockquote>
<font color="blue"> Like a Charm! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif </font color>
03-12-2007, 08:37 AM
Deeman - did we ever cross paths? I was in the Air Force stationed in Schwaebisch Hall from 1989-1991 and then from 91-94 I was in the Koblenz area. After that I was back in the Schwabisch Hall area until 1999. My name was John Collins and I did the Instroke cases from 92-99 in Germany.
Anyway, I echo everything you say. The Germans have a great system for pool. Join a club, whether it be one that has their own clubhouse or one based out of a poolroom. The competition is stimulating.
I was a Landesliga/Regionaliga player. The levels go from Kreisliga(local level within a about an hour's driving distance) Landesliga (up to about two hour's distance) Regionalliga (2-3 hours) and Bundesliga (National Class - Ortmann/Souquet level).
The best is to find a good bunch and stick with them. If you are a good player you will find that higher level teams will want to recruit you. This can be good or bad. I preferred to stick with my friends and go as high as we could together.
Germans snap their fingers to indicate a good shot. Two snaps.
Competition is generally once or twice a month on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Your team will play 7 or 8 sets against another team either at home or away. The games are 14.1, 8-Ball and 9-Ball. The higher the level of the league the longer the races.
A lot of clubs have scheduled practice sessions but most don't. I got involved with coaching the juniors and that was fun.
If the club is based out of a poolroom then you will generally get a discount on table time or even free time during practice sessions. If it is based out of a private clubhouse then you will have to pay a monthly membership due in order to play. Time will either be free or very cheap.
In one place I played each member who had been there long enough got a key. So we often had sessions at 4am playing and cutting up.
The Heidleberg area has some nice clubs as I remember. The pool level is pretty good around there.
Have fun. If you run into Andreas Sattler tell him John Collins says hi.
03-12-2007, 12:55 PM
I was certainly there during that time and played all over the country so we may have at least tapped elbows at one time.
Yes, I loved having a key to the club even though I had two tables in my home. It was a blast playing the consistently high level of player you saw in the big clubs and natrional tourneys.
03-12-2007, 07:23 PM
Thanks for the great info. It sounds like when I get there I'll just need to find some clubs or pool rooms and pick one. Any suggestions for how to go about finding and picking?
06-27-2007, 12:03 AM
One way to find pool halls is to look for a local businessman who caters to the military folks. They will speak German as well. As them to help you find local billiard clubs.
If you feel like travelling down to Mannheim, (about 35 minutes from Heidelberg) there is a smaller town near there called Lampertheim. In that town is a billiard hall run by Klaus Zobreckis. He's a professional level player, and he ran 100 in straight pool on me the first time I played him. He speaks very good english, and can help you find the regional tournaments.
Also, in the Mannheim city center, is another billiard hall, has some great players. Has two floors, with the top floor reserved for "players", and like in most billiard halls, you can buy a monthly membership that will alow you to play anytime they are open.
After the first few months, you will easily be able to read the tournament flyers. Good luck.
07-09-2007, 06:15 PM
If you get a chance, and are looking for a challenge, play some Russian Billiards.
07-11-2007, 08:59 PM
Hey, thanks for the excellent tips. I am leaving in a few weeks, and I had kind of forgotten about this thread.
Another question: Are there any pool-related idioms in German that would be helpful to know before I leave? Good shot? OK now give me my ****** money? Danke sehr.
07-12-2007, 09:43 AM
Good Shot - Guet Stoss
Er Spielt vie eine Tier - He played like an animal
Snap your fingers for a good shot
Oh, Mein Gott....for when you miss an easy nine! I used this every day!
Eine Bande - Bank, one rail.
Tish is table
Locke is pocket
It's been years so my spelling is probably slipping, like the other parts of my mind. Just drove to Texas stayed a few hours, spoke at two events and drove straight back here for an award I'm giving in a coupple of hours so I'm not too fresh right now.
Mostly the gestures, attitudes and frustrations are universal in pool. Don't worry, you'll pick up all the important stuff very quickly. Language will not be a barrier to good play and great relationships.
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