View Full Version : Those beautiful nine-footers...

Steve Lipsky
05-23-2003, 11:25 PM
Back from Vegas, and it was quite a trip. I played well, my team played well, and the casinos can't even say they took much of my money. It was a nice 10 days.

Of course, the time takes its toll. Your eyes get used to those hideous bar boxes, and it's amazing how quickly you forget what real pool is. I came back to my home room, and I couldn't get over it. It was daunting seeing all those regulation tables.

I remember being struck by something as soon as I stepped in the room. A nine-foot quality pool table is a thing of beauty. Not just in what it represents, but simply as a piece of art. After total immersion in a world of bar boxes, the sheer size of a real table was something to behold. The cloth was oceanic in its scope. The equipment - shiny balls, shiny rails, and a nice wooden rack - seemed so inviting.

The task of playing on this thing seemed absurd. Balls would have to be hit cleanly to fall. Getting out of line would mean serious trouble. Out of line on a bar box was an almost silly concept. As long as you could see your next object ball on the smaller tables, it didn't really matter. But, as I began the laborious task of regaining a stroke on the nine-footer, I realized how important proper position was. Out of line on one of these things meant somehow getting to another end of the table; it required a power in my stroke I hadn't used for a week and a half. It was both scary and wonderful.

But nothing was so sweet as when I had run my first rack. I felt like I had done something.

Well, that's my ode to nine-footers. Maybe you had to be there. I don't know. But even though I'm counting the days until the next Vegas tournament, maybe I'll be counting a little slower this year.

- Steve

05-24-2003, 01:33 AM
I'm not sure what to say Steve. Beautiful post.


05-24-2003, 04:24 AM

It was refreshing to hear a player of your caliber express the same feelings I have for the abominable barbox, the Valley barbox in particular. Consider yourself lucky that you live in an area of the country where you have a choice to play and compete on high quality 'real pool' equiptment.
Some of us in the outback of the pool world are regulated to this other reality pool world whenever we want to compete. The only commercial regulation pool tables are hundreds of miles distance from my world. My only salvation is a real Brunswick in my home, but the frustration of being a 'big' table player forced to play on crap, and I mean forced, is hard to over come. Everytime I take my game out I have to make the transition to the small, low quality, bad lighting, dirty balls, bad rails, super forgiving pockets, outdoor carpeting cloth, unlevel tables, lopsided cueballs,.................I could make this list much longer but.......I don't want raise my blood pressure.....LOL
The worst thing to fade in the barbox world of pool is knowing that your opponent remains in the match not by the skills he has built into his game but by the forgiveness of the equiptment and the shortness of the race. If the break shot is important in big table pool it is, in some cases, the only skill required to be highly competitive in the 'lala' land of barbox pool. I have lost matches to guys in barbox pool that couldn't beat the ghost in three ball on a regulation pooltable but they break good on the slop boxes and they can shoot balls north and south...LOL...it drives me nutsssssssssss...
Now that you've given me a chance to once again rant about the wretched, ignoble and contemptible barbox I have to get ready to play a round of golf for the marbles.....LOL......I hope you haven't ruined my day.......LOL
Steve, concider yourself lucky you have real equiptment at your doorstep and real players to knock heads with virtually whenever you wish, you are a lucky man...

05-24-2003, 06:20 AM
Tap Tap Tap

Well done.

05-24-2003, 07:13 AM

Great observation. Its almost like coming home to that comfortable couch or easy chair. You know it makes you just feel better.

Pool Rooms, Billiards Parlors full of 9 foot tables. What a great thought.

05-24-2003, 08:51 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote cheesemouse:</font><hr>

....outdoor carpeting cloth, ....<hr /></blockquote>

We played our annual Hamiltucky APA tournament on bar tables, but they were level and covered with Simonis 860. I played there for 8 straight days. Last night I finally got to play again but it was at the local tavern with the shag carpet cloth. My 36-inch draw shot somehow turned into a 6-inch draw shot LOL

Wally~~re-adjusting his pitiful stroke /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

05-24-2003, 01:46 PM
Amen. After that sort of stay in pool purgatory, I'd be singing, Give me green, lots of green ... 9 balls on a 9-footer ... don't fence me in.

05-25-2003, 01:34 PM
How about a ten footer? I'll bet that would be cool to play on, although it may be a little fustrating at first.
Are there any ten footers anywhere in New York city?

#### leonard
05-25-2003, 09:37 PM
Tom I would have to say that the NYC Athletic Club might be the place for 5x10. I think they have 6x12 snooker tables.####

05-26-2003, 03:56 AM
Hi Steve,
Nice post-"theres no place like home!":)
And for those who did not know, Steves team took first place on our BCA-9 ball league, (monies and airfare to Vegas),they played very strong-so once again, congratulations to your team for the win!
See ya soon!

05-26-2003, 08:29 AM
Great post, Congrats to you and the team, you all played great. The night I watched your team, I don't think you let one opponant to the table(other than to break), it was beautiful. You are one of those rare players who make it look effortless. And that entire cueball 'foul' fiasco was worth the price of admission. What would the BCA be with out a little drama!
I will finally get a chance to play today, I have not touched my cue since I left Vegas! I am looking forward to all that green.

05-26-2003, 07:36 PM
Hi Steve,

I had a very similar feeling when I returned home and wanted to post about it, but I couldn't figure out how to express it well like you did.

I had spent the four weeks prior to Vegas playing and practicing solely on the bar box...

Upon my return from Vegas, the first time out to PettyPoint Pool Hall, I threw a handful of balls on the nine footer and let the stroke out. Man! That felt gooood! Really gooood! It was definitely a freeing feeling. I had surely missed it. As I missed all the tight pockets with my "close but no cigar" shots.

Thanks for the post. I'm glad we finally got to meet for real in Vegas.

Steve Lipsky
05-26-2003, 08:43 PM
Thanks for the nice thoughts, everyone.

I think what inspired me to make the original post was that, upon returning home to the larger tables, I wanted to play for the first time in quite awhile. It's weird. I almost always enjoy playing, but I don't often lust for it. Seeing the regulation tables made me want to screw my cue together in a way I guess I've missed for some time now.

I suppose because the poolroom is an integral part of my everyday life (even if I don't play, I'm usually still there), I needed this step away from it to realize how beautiful it can be. It's just so damned pure on the nine-footers! Mistakes can't be blamed on a light cueball, or an unlevel table, or unpredictable rails; they can only be blamed on me. And that feeling of total responsibility over the outcome of an inning is priceless.

On the bar boxes, watching someone get out wasn't fun, or inspiring, or really anything at all. But on the larger tables, have you ever sat in your chair while your opponent made a beautiful out, and actually enjoyed the contest taking place? It happens to me, but it never really happened out there on those tables. I rarely appreciated an out - be it mine or my opponent's. And that's a terrible way to play this game.

Anyway, thanks again for all the replies...

- Steve

05-26-2003, 08:52 PM
In the good old "USA" the sport is represented "properly" when played on 9' tables. My staple is the early "Gold Crowns", before the III's, the frame, the aprons, the pocket sounds, the fatty (American made) counters, great slate frames, the "ball boxes" its truly the "real deal" shall I go on?

05-27-2003, 12:00 PM
Wow, I'm not sure what to say... I love pool, wether it's on a bar box or a 9 footer, both you and your opponent are playing on the same equipment. So blaming the equipment for their luck or yours for that matter is kind of cheap.

Yeah, bar boxes that aren't taken care of can be terrible to play on. 9 footers that aren't taken care of are horrible to play on too.

6 holes, 16 balls and a cue. It's all pool and I love it.

Fred Agnir
05-27-2003, 12:10 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Aboo:</font><hr> Wow, I'm not sure what to say... I love pool, wether it's on a bar box or a 9 footer, both you and your opponent are playing on the same equipment. So blaming the equipment for their luck or yours for that matter is kind of cheap. <hr /></blockquote>I think you missed the point of an excellent post.


05-27-2003, 12:17 PM
I'm sure his point was just to say that he's happy to be back in his home pool hall...
But within that was a thinly veiled shot at anyone who doesn't prefer a 9 foot table.

I was not trying to make a shot back at him, but simply saying that an out is an out, and a beautiful thing. They should be appreciated and admired, regardless of the equipment.

Fred Agnir
05-27-2003, 12:23 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Aboo:</font><hr> I'm sure his point was just to say that he's happy to be back in his home pool hall...
But within that was a thinly veiled shot at anyone who doesn't prefer a 9 foot table.<hr /></blockquote>I'm sorry you see it that way. I think it's obvious Steve's preference to play on a 9 foot table, but certainly, Steve isn't taking a shot at "anyone who doesn't prefer a 9 foot table." That's quite a leap.


05-27-2003, 12:33 PM
Hmmm, perhaps you are right. I apologize if I jumped to conclusions or attacked without reason.

My frustrations stem from the fact that I've been trying to "get out" on bar box tables seriously for about 3 years now and have only managed it once.

05-27-2003, 10:44 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fred Agnir:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Aboo:</font><hr>But within that was a thinly veiled shot at anyone who doesn't prefer a 9 foot table.<hr /></blockquote>certainly, Steve isn't taking a shot at "anyone who doesn't prefer a 9 foot table."<hr /></blockquote>Yes, Aboo, Slipsky is taking a shot at the 7' table game itself, not its participants. IMO. I agree widd'em.

And even if Greg/Diamond fixes all of the pocket openings, cushions, cue balls, slates, and cloth, it will still only be a 7' table. Lordy, what's next, 6' tables?


05-27-2003, 11:17 PM
Maybe it's Jim Beam talking now, but I thought Steve couldn't be more on target in that post. Sure isn't sour grapes, considering how well he and team did. And nobody would question it isn't a considerable achievement just to make it to Vegas. Still, playing on 7-footers is kind of like speed chess or platform tennis or softball. It's a funky version of the regular game. A helluva challenge, but it has to be refreshing to make those balls go the distance again.

Steve Lipsky
05-28-2003, 11:41 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Aboo:</font><hr> ...both you and your opponent are playing on the same equipment. So blaming the equipment for their luck or yours for that matter is kind of cheap.<hr /></blockquote>

Just for the record, I did not intend these posts to be a slam against people who like to play on smaller equipment. I was just pointing out that they don't, and will never, do it for me.

As for your statement above though, I do take issue with that. Are you saying that if we were playing on a table made of sand, I should enjoy it just as much? After all, the sand will affect both me and my opponent equally, right?

Well, that might make the game fair, but it doesn't mean as poolplayers we have to enjoy it.

And, truly, bad equipment does NOT affect both players equally. If a table has one bad spot on one rail (unbeknownst to the players before they start), where is it written that this will affect both players equally? What if I never took a shot that hit that spot, but you got bad on a money ball because of it?

Only near-perfect equipment guarantees a fair game, in my opinion.

- Steve

05-28-2003, 01:05 PM
We're kind of taking this to extremes here. I'm assuming you wouldn't work all year and pay exorbinant entry fee's to play on tables made of sand... /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Again, if I came off to strong in my first post, I apologize.

I guess it's just our definitions of "perfect equipment" that are different.