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The 5 Best Pool Cues to Dominate the Game

Are you looking for the best pool cues to dominate the game? There are so many cues on the market it can be very difficult to make a choice. The first thing that you must decide is your budget. Prices for pool cues range from $20 to thousands of dollars for a custom cue. The general rule is that if you are paying less than $100 you probably aren’t getting anything that special. It will be better than your pool hall quality pool cue, but it isn’t going to help you dominate the game.

1) Owen Bunnell OB 130

If you want custom quality and look without completely breaking the bank, the Owen Bunnell OB 130 is a recommended buy. This fabulous pool cue will definitely up your game and make you want to visit the pool halls more often. This cue has a beautiful look as it is made with gorgeous Bird’s Eye Maple. You can choose any weight between 18 and 21 ounces. The price tag? This is no budget cue with a price of around $550, but if you have the dollars and want to spend them wisely you are not going to be disappointed.

2) Lucasi LHC97

This is a really good buy for your first high quality pool cue. It is a stunning looking cue which is made with Maple wood and has very attractive blue inlays. One very nice feature is the rubber grip – this is particularly helpful if your hands tend to sweat a lot when you play. You can usually find the Lucasi LHC97 for less than $500. Still a lot of money, but you can be sure that it will improve your game by a long way. A great investment.

3) George Balabushka Pool Cues

If you want a cue which many consider to be the very best in the world, then look at a George Balabushka cue. The only problem with this is that original Balabushka cues are very rare (he only made 1,200 in his lifetime). Of course being the best and having such scarcity means they can cost many thousands of dollars for an original.

Fortunately, you do not have to spend thousands of dollars to own a reproduction Balabushka cue. The new range starts at a price of around $550. If you have a budget of around $1000 you really can’t go wrong with a Balabushka GB-GS. This is a brilliantly crafted pool cue which is made out of a stunning combination of Birdseye Maple and Ebony. It has 12 notched Mother of Pearl Diamonds on the butt sleeve – making it distinctively recognizable as a Balabushka.

4) McDermott M29C

McDermott is a highly regarded maker of pool cues. You really can’t go wrong with their products. Which one you pick depends upon personal preference, aesthetics and of course the depth of your wallet.

If money isn’t an issue, then the McDermott M29C is a stellar choice. It retails around $1,680, but if you can get over the sticker shock you are going to be very happy about the improvement in your pool skills. This design combines a Birds Eye Maple forearm with an attractive lizard embossed leather wrap. Take this to your local pool hall and the guys are going to be intimidated!

5) Star SP10

What if you don’t have a huge budget? There are still great cues out there on the market which will up your pool game. One of the best manufacturers in the sub $200 range is Star. The great thing about Star cues is that they are manufactured and backed by McDermott, but you can have a quality pool cue for a fraction of the price of a McDermott cue.

One of the best value pool cues is the Star SP10 which retails around the $195 mark. It is made of Hard Rock Maple and has attractive purple pearl inlays. The color may be a little bold for some tastes, but this is still a great performing pool cue for the money.

 

Which of these great pool cues are you tempted by?

The 4 Pieces of Pool Equipment You Need to Up Your Pool Playing

At first sight the game of pool may seem to be a simple art. However, the more involved that you get into the game you will realize that there are certain things that you can do to really up your game. Obviously a lot can be said for practice makes perfect, but there are also some items of pool equipment that you can buy that will need up your game. If you want to take the art of pool playing to the next level it may be time to invest in some great items of pool equipment. Small changes can make a huge difference to your game.

1) Pool Cues

This really is the biggest investment that you can make to improve your game. The pool cues in the pool hall may be just fine, but they really will never give you an advantage over the next guy. If you are serious about your game it is time to invest in your own pool cue. If money is no object you can spend thousands of dollars on the next best thing, but even a small investment of under $200 is going to give you a big advantage.

We all want a George Balabushka original, but upwards of $5,000 is going to put a huge and unacceptable dent in most pool player’s wallets. Some great pool cues can be bought in the less than $200 range. Look at the Star brand. They are backed by the renown McDermott quality guarantee, but for a much lower price.

2) Pool Cue Cleaner

This may seem like an obvious point, but when you have made an investment in a pool cue, you really need to look after it. The more you play the dirtier it gets. That’s just a fact of life. So always make sure that you are carrying around a good pool cue cleaner which is easy to use. Something like Cue Doctor Cue Shaft Cleaner and Conditioner does the job inexpensively and efficiently. Don’t neglect the investment you have made in your pool cue and it will most surely pay you great dividends.

3) A Hand Towel

 

This one is so obvious, but it really is essential. This very simple and cheap piece of pool equipment is one of the most overlooked things in the game. We get stressed and we sweat. It’s a fact of life and this can damage our pool cue. A very simple way to keep all that perspiration and grime off your beloved pool cue is to take a simple hand towel with you and make sure that you use it regularly. Simple and very low cost.

4) A Great Pool Cue Case

There is a common theme here. Protecting the investment that you made in your pool cue is an essential part of upping your game. What is the point in buying a great pool cue if you leave it wide open to damage by not having a good, reliable, pool case?

There are many on the market and you do not have to spend a lot of money. A lot of it is personal preference about design. Just pick the one you like the look of and as long as it protects your precious asset, your perfect pool cue, go ahead and get the one that you want.

The Top 5 Pool Tables for Your Home

If you are looking for a great pool table for your home here are some of the very best available to suit all budgets.  Remember to take care of your investment!  Pool tables should be kept in stable temperature and humidity controlled environments.  That means that you might not want to stick your brand new pool table in your musty basement.  We often consult with our Trenton-local heating, ventilation, and air conditioning company to ensure that a pool table installation is done in the proper environment.  This protects your pool table, and might even improve your home a little!

Brunswick Crown Gold V

This is for those people who really don’t want any compromise and have a budget which has no limit. It costs around $10,000, but if you want the very best then this will most definitely be it. This classic table is the gold standard of players looking for a great table for their home. The very best pool halls have the Brunswick Crown Gold V, and if you can make the investment for your home you will not be disappointed.

Brunswick has been in the business of building great pool tables for almost two centuries, and are recognized in the industry as the very best. You really can’t go wrong with a Brunswick pool table for your home.

Fat Cat Frisco II 7.5 Foot Billiard Game Table

If you are looking for a home table which costs less than $1,000 this is one of the best options out there. It isn’t slate, but for that price you really aren’t going to get that. This is a 7.5-foot table so it is a convenient size for a home set up.

The Fat Cat Frisco pool table has beveled legs and a mahogany wood veneer – giving it a classic look. It has brown felt, which may be seen as advantage for a home pool table as it is more likely to match with interior décor.

Legacy Rylee Pool Table

This is a very classic looking pool table with brown cloth and is available in a choice of hardwood finishes. There is ornate carving on the legs of the table which gives it a very traditional look. It is made of solid hardwood, so this attractive pool table is built to last. The Legacy Rylee Pool Table is available in either 7 or 8 foot sizes. You can choose from lots of different cloth colors including Brunswick Centennial Cloth (this is a $300 upgrade). The Legacy Rylee Pool Table is available at around $2,300.

This pool table is backed by a lifetime guarantee. It is certainly built to last and it’s beautiful styling and excellent build quality will make it a pool table that will be part of your home for many years into the future.

Minnesota Fats Westmont Pool Table

The Minnesota Fats Westmont is a good choice if you are looking for a decent quality contemporary pool table for your home game room. It has pedestal style legs and a cherry finish veneer, giving it a solid construction and a modern look. It has nice quality midnight blue colored cloth. It isn’t a slate bed, but you really wouldn’t expect that for a pool table which is priced around $1,200.

The table has levelers built in so it is very easy to adjust the height to get it to be level on your floor. This is an excellent buy for those looking for a pool table on a budget. Nice quality at a reasonable price.

Brunswick Tremont Pool Table

You do not have to spend a fortune to buy a Brunswick pool table. The Tremont is an excellent quality table with a classic style. There are many color of cloth to choose from and it retails at $2,000.

Which of these pool tables are you tempted to buy?

10 Best Pool Halls in the US

Are you looking for a great place to hang out and play a game of pool? There are so many pool halls in the US, but you need to be sure that you are spending your time and money in the very best locations. Here is our pick of the best pool halls in the US right now.

1) Amsterdam Billiards and Bar New York

This is a popular spot in the heart of the East Village in New York. The award winning Amsterdam Billiards has 25 Brunswick Pool Tables to enjoy. This great pool hall has been a New York favorite since 1989.

It has everything that you want in a pool hall. Plenty of high quality tables, generous spacing between the tables, and lots of seating. The atmosphere is lively and friendly.

The one downside is that this place can be a little pricey, but considering that it is located in New York and has excellent facilities, most think that it is worth it.

110 E 11th Street
New York
NY 10003

www.amsterdambilliards.com

2) Hard Times Billiards Bellflower CA

Hard times is one of the best pool halls that you will find in Los Angeles (it also has another location in Sacramento). If you are looking for a traditional style pool this is a great place to try out. Prices are good and the atmosphere is very friendly.

17450 Bellflower Blvd
Bellflower
CA 90706

www.hardtimesbilliards.com

3) Trick Shots Billiards Waterford Lakes Orlando Florida

Trick Shots has several locations in the Orlando area – it is a franchise operation, but still very much worth visiting as they have the formula pretty much exactly right. They have plenty of high quality tables, good service and a friendly atmosphere. They have recently banned smoking inside the building as well, so this is appealing to many customers.

11351 Lake Underhill Road
Orlando, FL 32825

www.trickshotsbilliards.com

4) Good Timez Billiards Las Vegas

This is regarded as one of the very best pool halls in Las Vegas. It has all the things that you need to make a great pool hall. High quality tables, good lighting, plentiful seating and a good ambiance. It also offers something which is almost unheard of in Las Vegas – a smoke free environment. Pricing is great too as it offers $8 per person play if you go between 10 am and 6pm.

5740 W Charleston Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89146

5) Sandcastle Billiards Edison NJ

This is a great pool hall where the friendliness of the staff and the owner makes all the difference. There are plenty of high quality tables and the place is very well maintained. They do not have a bar, but you can bring your own drinks. The place is nicely decorated with “Color of Money” movie memorabilia on the walls.

101 Townsley Street
Edison, NJ 08837

6) Marie’s Golden Cue Chicago IL

If you are looking for some nostalgia this place is for you. This is very much an old style pool hall but is friendly and well maintained. There are 20 pool tables to choose from, and the space around the tables is good. The equipment is kept in good order so you don’t even have to bring your own cue if you don’t want to.

3241 W Montrose Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618

7) Felt Englewood CO

Felt is a friendly pool hall located in Englewood Colorado. There is a good selection of 7 and 9 feet pool tables. The service is friendly and there is a great selection of beers on tap.

101 W Floyd Avenue
Englewood, CO 80110

www.feltbar.com

8) Family Billiards San Francisco CA

This is an excellent facility which has 18 Brunswick Crown Gold Tables to enjoy. This place also has the advantage of being open to anyone aged 18 and over so you can bring your younger family and friends to play pool.

2807 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94118

www.familybilliards-sf.com

9) Billiards Palacade San Francisco CA

This is a very well maintained pool hall in San Francisco which has a good selection of 9 foot tables, Amarith Pro Balls and very high quality Simonis Cloth. A very affordable, traditional pool hall. This place opened in 1972 and there is a good reason why it’s still successful.

5179 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94112

www.billiardpalacade.com

10) Chris’s Billiards Chicago IL

This is where the pool scenes for “The Color of Money” were shot. Fame aside, this is still a great place to play a game of pool. Reasonable prices, well maintained tables and equipment. Whatever type of pool table you want, you will find it here. They also have a bring your own bottle policy so you can save on the bar tab.

4637 North Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60630

5 Ways to Know if You’re in a Great Pool Hall

What makes a great pool hall? It is not always easy to define what makes a great pool hall – sometimes you just know one when you find one! However, great pool halls do seem to have the following things as essential components.

Atmosphere

There is nothing worse than walking into a quiet pool hall with no atmosphere. It’s good to have a balance of lively and not overly loud. The staff in the pool hall are so important. That surly guy on the door is not going to put you in a great mood to enjoy your game, but if you are welcomed with a smile it makes a big difference.

Top Notch Equipment

Sure you can bring your own cue, but the quality of the pool table is very important No one wants to play on sub quality tables. Lighting is also very important – if that is not up to scratch then it can seriously affect your game and your experience.

Even the small details like the availability and quality of the chalk can make a good place into a great one.

Pricing

Pool halls are there to make money, but some are most definitely better value than others. Location is important we know. Obviously you will pay more in Manhattan than you would in Houston, but some pool halls have their pricing too high for the quality of play and experience that they offer.

The Professionals Like to Hang Out

Not only is it very cool to watch the professionals play sometimes, but you can also be pretty sure that if they are there then there is a good reason for you to hang out there too. The pros know how to find a good pool hall so follow them and you shouldn’t go far wrong.

Additional Facilities

This is always a personal choice of course, but for some people the absence of a bar means that a venue might be good but it can’t be great. There are many perfectly fine pool halls, but if you want to enjoy a beer with a game and the hall doesn’t have a license then this is not going to be the perfect place for you to hang out.

Another important factor for many people relates to that controversial subject – smoking. If you want a smoke free space, then your game is going to be ruined if the guy at the next table is enjoying a cigarette. If you are the guy who wants to enjoy his favorite cigarette or vape then you are going to want to be in a very different place. Personal preference, but an important one nevertheless.

Great pool halls have good seating. No one wants to be sitting in the chair too long as we all want to be enjoying time at the table, but it is nice to have somewhere to take a seat between shots.

Only you will truly know if you are in a great pool hall. What is good for one person really isn’t for another. What do you think makes a good pool hall?

10 Best Strategies to Win at Pool Every Time

Pool is a game of skill, but strategy is also a very important part of your game if you want to win more of the time. Here we share some of the best strategies to win at pool every time.

1) Deal with the Problems First

It can be tempting to take the easy shots first, but this is rarely the best solution. Strategically it is better to deal with the problem balls first and leave the easiest until last.

2) Be Careful

If you have to take the choice between a risky shot or a defensive one in a game of pool you should usually chose the safe option. This is not the approach that many amateurs take, but it can mean the difference between winning and losing.

3) Take the Upper Hand

Winning at pool isn’t just a question of you making the best shots. It is a question of you making things as difficult as possible for your opponent.

4) Beware of Clusters

It is very frustrating to be close to the end of the pool game and you realize that your final shots are going to be extremely difficult because you have a cluster problem! If you can’t break out from that you are soon going to find that it’s game over. The best strategy is to deal with the clusters early on in the game so that towards the end you will have a free run at taking your best shots.

5) Know Your Weaknesses

Some shots may be more difficult for you than others. If you know that rail shots are going to be a problem for you think carefully about whether you take the shot or play more strategically.

6) Play the Game Like a Chess Match

There is no point in just taking an easy shot and then having no plan of what to do next. If you leave yourself with nowhere to go after that first shot, then your opponent gets the chance to play again and dominate the game. Always plan ahead, just as you would in a game of chess. Think of your next move.

7) Think Like a Winner

If you do not have confidence in yourself, you will find it very difficult to win at pool every time. Skills are very important, but belief in your game can take you to a higher level. Having confidence is important.

8) Have an Exit Strategy

It is always a good strategy to work out which ball you will pocket prior to the 8 ball. If you have your eye on this key ball this can mean that you have an easy exit strategy to pocket that immediately followed by the 8 ball.

9) Block the 8 Ball

If your ball is blocking the 8 ball, then leave it well alone. Your opponent cannot pocket the 8 ball if you are in the way. Only disturb this situation if you know that you have a clear exit strategy and can win the game after you free up the winning ball.

10) Put in the Hours

No one becomes a great pool player without paying their dues. The best way to up your pool game and make sure that you win every time is to spend a lot of time at the table. There is no substitute for experience.

10 Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Pool Score

Do you want to take your pool game to new heights? These simple tips and tricks can help take your pool playing score to new levels.

1) Get Your Head in the Game

We all know those times when we are sure that we are going to make that shot before we even take it. Confidence backed with skill is a winning combination. The opposite is also true. Even the easiest of shots can be doomed to failure if your heart just isn’t in it. The simple mind shift of believing in yourself can go a long way to improving your game.

2) Pool is a Three Speed Game

Do not be tempted to think that the harder you hit the more likely you will be successful. You will just make more noise! Really there are only three speeds that you should be using in your pool game. Soft, medium and hard are the only speeds that you need to play pool successfully.

3) Master the Medium Shot

We all know the players who just hit everything as hard as they can. It works sometimes, but really you have to have more finesse than that to master this game. Most of the winning shots require a medium shot in the center of the cue ball.

4) Defense May be the Best Tactic

This one can be a crucial one when taking your pool game up a notch. We all know that planning ahead is essential to this game, but many are tempted to take a difficult shot and risk the position of the cue ball for their opponents shot. Turn this around. Instead of taking a gamble, why not concentrate on making their next shot really difficult? Turning things around and using this tactic can make you a winner.

5) Think About Your Stance

There really isn’t any ideal stance for playing pool as things depend a lot on your height, body type and flexibility. Do not try and copy any particular stance as it is important to find out what works for you.

6) Keep Your Eye on the Ball

This advice translates just as well to pool as it does in golf. Studies have shown that focusing for a short time with a “quiet eye” will increase your chances of making the shot. Your steady gaze should last around 1 or 2 seconds for maximum effect.

7) Focus on the Object Ball Last

The pool pros generally agree that you should focus on the object ball last, not the cue ball. There may be various reasons for this including encouraging better follow through, and straighter delivery. Let’s not worry about the science as it just seems to work!

8) When Playing a Safety Shot Concentrate on the Cue Ball

As we have seen, defensive play should be a big part of your winning game. If you try and control both the cue ball and the object ball you may be setting your sights too high. It is usually easier to control the cue ball, so do this in a defensive shot.

9) Be Minimalist

You don’t see the pros indiscriminately hitting everything in sight, so don’t do it yourself. In all pool play it is generally the best tactic to disturb as few balls as possible with each shot. Less is more.

10) Practice Makes Perfect

This may seem obvious, but the more you play the better you get. If you can, get the help of a professional pool player. A couple of lessons from a great teacher will elevate your game to a new level.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why are the Tops of Pool Tables Green?

There are many shades of pool table tops available, but one of the most popular colors is green. What is the reason for the majority of pool table tops being green? We have to look a long way back in history to answer this question!

We can trace the origins of the game of pool as far back in time as the 14th century. This is when it is thought that the game of billiards, the forerunner of the game of pool, was first played.

The original game of billiards was very different to the game that we now play. The first games of billiards were played on the ground. The billiards of old was a bit like the game that we now know as croquet. The original game of billiards was played on grass, with various types of sticks being used to push the ball through hoops.

It seems that at some time over the evolution of the early origins of the game, players realized that it would be so much easier playing on an elevated surface! Someone had the brilliant idea of putting the game of billiards on a table. How much easier is that? One theory is that the top of the pool table was originally always green as it was made to match the color of grass. No one really knows if this is true or not, but it certainly seems reasonable.

Another plausible reason as to why the table top was originally green is simply that it was relatively easy and inexpensive to dye the cloth green. Really, no one knows the correct answer.

Historically the game of billiards gained popularity as very much the preserve of the rich and aristocratic Europeans. The first record of a billiard table was one which was ordered in 1470 by Louis XI of France. Mary Queen of Scots is said to have complained that there was no billiard table available for her entertainment when she was held in Fotheringay Castle awaiting execution.

The game of billiards also gets a mention in Shakespeare’s “Anthony and Cleopatra”. Napoleon was said to be very happy to receive the gift of a billiard table from England whilst he was exiled on the island of Elba. The game of billiards found its way to the United States and even Abraham Lincoln was reportedly a very enthusiastic player of the game.

Is green the best color for a pool table? There really is no one answer to this, and sometimes it just depends upon personal preference. The most popular colors today are green and blue, although there are many different ones available.

There have been many studies to test whether or any particular color is better for a pool table top. Some studies have concluded that the green is simply easier to look at for prolonged periods of time.

Most of the advice is to avoid dark colors including red, black and orange as they are not very easy on the eye. They can also be very difficult to keep clean, particularly black pool table tops.

So should you choose blue or green for a pool table top? Many people would say forget the science and just pick the one that you prefer. Sometimes going with your instinct is the best solution rather than overthinking it too much.