View Full Version : The myth about casual games in bars

03-05-2003, 09:39 PM
For some reason there seems to be a feeling out there that all games played in bars aren't serious, and are just casual type games that aren't very entertaining, at least this is what some people out there have been led to believe.
I don't really agree with this assumption, I see excellent games in the bars all the time and have a hard time believing this myth that has been created.

My favorite place to play pool isn't at a pool hall but is at a bar, the place that I frequent has as good games as any pool hall, the competition is equal, equipment's all high quality. The best game I've seen (in person-8ball and 9ball) was in a bar. I can't say what it's like in your area but there seems to be a general belief that games in the bars aren't serious. I think this isn't exactly true, what are your thoughts on the idea that games in the bars all suck?

03-05-2003, 10:35 PM
Apparently that "some reason" is because there aren't enough bars with "better than" good pool tables available.

You got to be lucky to find one that does. And, that to me would be an exception, rather than the rule.

There isn't a "myth" here.. bar tables that out play tables in pool halls are the extreme exception. Usually they are just the 'pits' and not many good players (average or above skill levels) will put up with the poor equipment.

Consider yourself very lucky. I wish it were a "myth".

03-05-2003, 10:44 PM
I agree completely, Tom.

I quit playing in bars years ago. Now I only play in pool halls or on private tables (like my own). As you said, the equipment invariably stinks, not to mention the smoke, loud music, and inevitable obnoxious drunks. Oh, and let's not forget the folks you run up against that have some bizarre idea of "The Rules" (if they have any idea at all), and think you must be an idiot because "everybody else plays that way." Sheesh.

snipershot, I'm glad you found a bar you like. Enjoy it. Odds are it's a one of a kind. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif


03-05-2003, 10:45 PM
Personally, I think games in bars are jokes. I just can't take them seriously. Maybe there's a certain mentality you have to posess to take a bar game seriously, but I just don't have it. I can't take a 7' table seriously, especially when I play on 9' all the time. Then the felt...boy! The balls typically don't roll and it's a crap shoot as to whether your ball will actually hit the pocket the way you planned with all the divots and such in the felt. Not to mention the table is as uneven as I don't know what.

In one bar I frequent, one of the tables is next to a fireplace and they actually have a short stick and a sign above it that says, "for tight shots" with an arrow pointing down at the cue. Kinda silly to me.

On top of all that, you have to deal with tons of traffic.

It's all quite terrible, actually!

L.S. Dennis
03-06-2003, 01:13 AM
I agree that playing in bars is definetly LESS than ideal!
However there is one good thing to be said about the bar scene and that is that there is money to be made playing in those bars with the bar tables! Although one will have to pay the price of putting up with the drunks and the cigarette smoke, I'm not sure it's worth the couple of extra buck you might make there!

03-06-2003, 10:04 AM
For the most part, I have to agree with you, Tom.

Believe it or not, in the North NJ area where I live, there are several bars that have decent tables. They actually use Simonis 860 on the tables! I guess it's due to the various leagues in the area(APA, TAP, 2 independants) and alot of people that love pool. Now I know this is not the norm because I have seen some less-than-ideal tables in my travels but I thought you might get a laugh outta this.


03-06-2003, 10:09 AM
For the last few years, the Derby City Classic has provided at least 20 bar boxes for added pleasures (tournaments and side action). All of these tables are Diamond Smart tables. They are Simonis covered and all use the red circle cue ball. The best bar box table I've ever played on. They play just like the 9 footers only at a smaller version..

03-06-2003, 12:14 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Yuppie:</font><hr> Personally, I think games in bars are jokes. I just can't take them seriously. Maybe there's a certain mentality you have to posess to take a bar game seriously, but I just don't have it. <hr /></blockquote>

What if you were playing for $$$, say a race to 5 for $100.
Would you still not take the game seriously? It also sounds like I'm fortunate to have a bar with decent tables and equipment to play in as well.

03-06-2003, 12:51 PM
I've had bad experiences playing in bars. We have a few around my area. They all have pool tables. One of them has a cue about the size of a jump stick because one side of the table is really, really close to the wall. Another has some nice tables, but it's a rough crowd. I've had to fight my way out the door there. The owner of a strip club was backing a guy against me one time. We, of course, played at his club. That was fun /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif. It's hard to concentrate on shooting pool, when you have a damn stripper coming up to you asking you to buy her a drink every time money exchanges hands. Nice tables tough.

I shoot mainly at our Moose Lodge when practicing. They have nice tables. It has a bar. I guess it might qualify as a bar and not a pool hall. Most people go there to drink, not shoot pool.

03-06-2003, 01:08 PM
That Smart Table is the nuts. I love it.

Actually, the tables in the local bars are usually Valleys or Dynamo but with Simonis which makes it a little more bearable /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

BTW-rumor has it that Diamond Smarts will be used in Valley Forge this year. Looking forward to that.


The Rhino Chaser
03-06-2003, 01:12 PM
I would say that for the most part your best games and players are found in the pool hall. However that's not always the case. For the longest time there wasn't a pool hall in my town. The only two places to play were the bar and the pool hall. Since leauge pool rules in this area. The bar was where to find a game. A pool hall opened within the last three years but some players remain loyal and you can still find a good game in the bar.

03-06-2003, 01:32 PM
There is a lot of good players at bars. Out here some of the best play at one bar in particular. That is usually a tournament. I don't mind bar tables especially if they are in good condition. The problem is most bar/bars do not do that. For the ones that cater to pool players they generally do keep things in decent condition. There is a difference between a bar where people play pool and a bar geared towards pool players.

03-06-2003, 01:36 PM
You may be actually making the wrong assumption what people think. I don't know the real number, but I bet 8 out of 10 players play in bars. With all the league play and the pretty nice bar tables today, there may be many more serious bar players then pool room players. I go to the pool room and all I see is guys and girls playing and few who care one bit about the game. I like all tables, I have never been a snob about any one game or venue. I am just as happy playing 8-ball in a bar, as playing one pocket in a pool room. You may be surprised to see, at a lot of tournaments where there is a bar table in the room, how many good players like to match up on them. This may be a little off point, but you read a lot about the Sardo rack. One of things I like about pool is some of the randomness of the different games and tables, I don't want to play in a laboratory. Attempts to make everything universal and perfect, I believe defeat some of the fun of the game. Just my opinion, happy to just play pool. I will tell you something funny, I was in a bar in Key West one time. Another guy and myself were going to play and discovered none of the cues had any tips. I had a cue in the car of course, but I did not go get it, we decided to play anyway with the house cues with no tips. I played another time in a place where the electric went off during a storm. After waiting for a while when it did not come back on, we started playing with candle light and of course no air conditioning. The guy got even and beat me in the dark. It was amazing, he must have been part owl, he was running out in the dark. I played another time in a place where a section of the ceiling came down in the poolroom and the place flooded. There was 2 inches of water on the floor, We took off our shoes and kept playing. We played all night and were still playing the next morning when guys came in with machines to pick up the water and dry out the place. It is fun to be a pool player.

03-06-2003, 02:02 PM
In the words of the Great Minnesota Fats "You need to play in a wax museum, then if somebody moves, screw the hell out of town."

03-06-2003, 02:49 PM
There certainly are alot of good players found in the bars, I agree that things shouldn't be universal and the same everywhere, this would make things boring if you knew what to expect everytime you walked into a place to play pool. Lot's of us (pool players) are spoiled in a sense that we have excellent equipment at home that's top of the line, when we go out to shoot pool and the place we go doesn't have excellent equipment we complain that it's not as good as whats' at home.

Myself, I'm not too picky when I go out to bars, if the equipment is in reasonable condition, a level table, straight cue, etc. I will play with this equipment all night long (assuming I don't have my own stuff with me which is rare), others won't touch it if it's not top of the line /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif. It's unfortunate but it's true /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

03-06-2003, 05:27 PM

There seems to be three main themes, 1. it is unusual to find a good bar box and or nine footer. The tables seem to run from run of the mill to worse. Also many have that heavy no action cue ball.

2. It does not necessary mean that there are bad players in the bar. Action could be great and the table lousy.

3. If you are into hustling bars could very well be a high-light for you.


03-06-2003, 07:01 PM
Where I'm from all we have is the 7 foot valley Box. I don't think there is a "pool hall" with in 250 miles from us. Some day I will go and find one but until I do I am going to enjoy my Bud when I play. The bars do a nice job in keeping things in line for league play. But they should since the league nights are the biggest nights of the week for them. Competition is intense and very competitive that is for a bunch of Ranchers and Farmers. Love the Game


03-06-2003, 07:26 PM
I agree with every word &amp; every post, popcorn was being a little too kind &amp; political, he is trying to cover his A** probably &amp; not offend a friend, when you read the end of his post, he tells you how nice bar pool really is.

You go to the Vegas events for the three major leagues, the bar box play is great, or at the Hopkins, at the bigger events, they give you a decent table &amp; balls to play on. The problem is the system, the big coin op distributors make the deals with the bars, we will split the quarters &amp; I will take care of everything, you dont have to do nothing. That would be great, but they dont, which is why you have rocks from the moon as balls, tables with 20 yr old rubber that is deader than my brain, cues with snap on tips, broken ferrules, cues that are S***, it's a damn world record if you ever run 5 balls with all of these handicaps.

The coin op guy who runs this, feels you are all drunks &amp; dumb s*** who dont know no better. Vote with your feet, tell the owner of the bar, if he does not get this guy to give you some decent playing tools, you will leave &amp; not come back, dont bitch about this, do something about this, and get several people together as a group to make an impact, then walk.

The coin op guy is screwing all of you, just to maximize his profits, and he is destroying the enjoyment of the game so he makes more money. I hope this really burns your ass, because there is a bad guy here, &amp; you just found him, and it is not me dude.

Bar Boxes &amp; the bar environment is for drunks, total beginners, dudes out on a date &amp; women apa 2's. A serious player wont go near them, unless he is a full time serious bar box hustler working the drunks &amp; laying down &amp; hiding his skills. There is some real money in hustling the drunks, if you know how to do it. The hustlers out there, are almost unbeatable on that table &amp; conditions, they are killers at what they do. You can play one &amp; never have a clue how really good the dude is.

I'd rather work in my garden than aggravate &amp; upset my self playing on that crap. www.fastlarrypool.com (http://www.fastlarrypool.com)
Best Wishes, Fast Larry Guninger

03-07-2003, 12:44 AM
There's a certain standard that a table has to be before i would play any games of significance to myself on them

bad tables and bad equipment just bring the better players back to the pack and make it all a cr*pshoot

i'm especially fussy with the cueball. If it's so bad that it's totally uncontrollable, what's the point in playing ?

Ralph S.
03-07-2003, 08:52 AM
Let me start by saying that there are serious players that can be found in the bars playing on bar boxes. Period! I am very fortunate to have some very good eqipment in alot of the places I frequent, which have barboxes. I also love to play on the big tables, but dont get to very often. My personal opinion is that if you are any kind of a serious player at all you will play on just about any table as long as it is in good condition. The house cues shouldnt be a factor either as just about any serious player is going to have their own cues very close by. BTW its good to see you posting again Rhino.

03-07-2003, 09:27 AM
i like playing in bars period. i like the fact that anyone can play anyone. i like the fact that the table is smaller.

i personally enjoy playing pool. i would play outside in the rain if that was all that was available. i shoot pool for fun.

03-07-2003, 09:34 AM
Well I haven't played pool on a bar size table in years.It use to be easy to find a bar with a pool table,in this area but not anymore, and I'm not sure why.At one time I use to avoid the bar size tables, because I didn't like the over sized cueball. Now I think all the tables have a regular size cueball.Maybe it has something to do with the cost of square footage in the NY-NJ area being so high, that the bar owners like to use there preminm space for other thing's.My own opinion was that if you were really a serious player you went to the local pool hall, and played with a real cueball.Do you think this helped contribute to this myth?

03-08-2003, 02:31 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote HOWARD:</font><hr> Sniper,

3. If you are into hustling bars could very well be a high-light for you.


<hr /></blockquote>

I don't really hustle at the bar, the bar I frequent has a high enough skill level that not many players could walk in and own the table. When I play for money in the bar I don't make alot, I usually come out a little ahead (or sometimes behind /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif). I'm fortunate to have a good bar to play pool in because the closest pool hall is about an hours drive.

03-08-2003, 02:35 PM
I have standards as well, mine sound like they are a tad bit lower that what yours are. A level table and a CB that rolls straight is pretty much what I expect, and around here that isn't very hard to find.

03-08-2003, 04:49 PM
I'll bet if you took all the money that trades hands on the bartables and all the money that trades hands on real pooltables it would be 100 too 1 on the bartables.....they are a bitch to play on but thats where the money is.......:(

03-08-2003, 11:26 PM
Hi Tom:
You're right.There aren't enough bars with good tables.

But good players gravitate to the ones that do. This nucleus of good players also brings in the up-and-coming players too.

What's behind all of this is an owner who loves pool and puts his money into the equipment (and tournament money too).

Just my 2 cents. --Ted from Phoenix

Fred Agnir
03-09-2003, 08:37 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote snipershot:</font><hr> For some reason there seems to be a feeling out there that all games played in bars aren't serious, and are just casual type games that aren't very entertaining, at least this is what some people out there have been led to believe.
<hr /></blockquote>
At the risk of completely hi-jacking your thread... I don't enjoy playing social pool in general (not to be confused with playing socially with pool players). It doesn't matter if it's in a bar or in a pool hall. Crappy, ugly, embarrassing excuses for pool games occur in both bars and in pool halls.

The myth about all bar game being casual only occurs when most of what you see at bars are non-players. When good players play, be it bar or pool hall, that's a different animal, and it's great to watch. When bangers play, be it bar or pool hall, it's an entirely different form of entertainment.


03-09-2003, 11:48 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fred Agnir:</font><hr>When bangers play, be it bar or pool hall, it's an entirely different form of entertainment.
<hr /></blockquote>Entertainment?

03-09-2003, 01:16 PM
I play in a bar in the Dallas area that has 6 good bar tables. The bar owner knows the value of attracting good players and the tables are serviced weekly, recovered every 3 months. A lot of the road players show up on occassion and I have seen $500 games (not races) I like to play on any size table but I know that I can get a good game on any night at this place so I keep bringing in my cue and putting up a quarter. ( Almost every one has their own stick). We have fun and play pool. What else is there?

03-09-2003, 01:25 PM
i bring my cue everywhere. i hate house cues.

Jon from MN
03-10-2003, 05:38 AM
I have seen 1,000.00 games of 9 ball on the bar box I have seen 10,000 sets on the bar box. The bars around here are starting to put in diamond smart tables. The closest 9 footer from me is 90 or 120 miles with the exception of 2 valley 9 footers with slow cloth that is 35 miles from home. If I didnt play on a bar box I wouldnt be able to play at all. We do have the casino tour here in mn and they are all played on bar boxs some valleys some diamonds. I do think more pool and money is played on the bar boxs. jmo ~~Jon from mn~~

Fred Agnir
03-10-2003, 07:35 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote cycopath:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fred Agnir:</font><hr>When bangers play, be it bar or pool hall, it's an entirely different form of entertainment.
<hr /></blockquote>Entertainment? <hr /></blockquote>
Think: comic relief