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View Full Version : Recommeded pocket size?


midnightpulp
12-22-2007, 01:04 AM
Gonna be having my table redone soon and I'm wondering what's a good size pocket for a home table.

Right now, they're too forgiving. I just played on one of the tightest tables in a local room here and would like to be prepared for such conditions. However, I'm under the belief that super tight pockets should only be employed if you can keep the rest of the table pristine, Pro tourney conditions. This table was anything but and magnified every mistake. If you hit the jaws, the ball bounced out.

A home table usually undergoes similar wear.

Any opinions?

av84fun
12-22-2007, 01:19 AM
Gonna be having my table redone soon and I'm wondering what's a good size pocket for a home table.

Right now, they're too forgiving. I just played on one of the tightest tables in a local room here and would like to be prepared for such conditions. However, I'm under the belief that super tight pockets should only be employed if you can keep the rest of the table pristine, Pro tourney conditions. This table was anything but and magnified every mistake. If you hit the jaws, the ball bounced out.

A home table usually undergoes similar wear.

Any opinions?

Personally, I think that super-tight home table pockets can be over done.

The theory is that if you practice on super-tight pockets at home, then you can play great on tables with larger holes.

I think there is a point of diminishing returns to that theory. Clearly, such tight pockets will cause you to miss more often and I think that will have an impact on confidence. For sure, it gets you out of your rhythm.

IMHO, 4 1/2 pockets are plenty tight enough.

Regards,
Jim

softshot
12-22-2007, 01:28 AM
AM I the only one who has noticed that you can make the pockets so small that no one can make a ball......but you still scratch just as often....:D

midnightpulp
12-22-2007, 01:39 AM
Personally, I think that super-tight home table pockets can be over done.

The theory is that if you practice on super-tight pockets at home, then you can play great on tables with larger holes.

I think there is a point of diminishing returns to that theory. Clearly, such tight pockets will cause you to miss more often and I think that will have an impact on confidence. For sure, it gets you out of your rhythm.

IMHO, 4 1/2 pockets are plenty tight enough.

Regards,
Jim

Totally agree.

I became passive on that table tonight. Slow rolling everything, second guessing myself. You couldn't hit anything with speed. Even a Diamond pro cut won't spit a ball back out if you nip the jaws. I could easily see how that mentality could seep into one's overall game if they consistently played on such a table.

midnightpulp
12-22-2007, 01:43 AM
Oh yeah. Are we talking one equal measurement from the mouth to the throat?

Most tables have a wider mouth. The table I played on tonight had 4.5 inch opening then funneled in dramatically to about 3.75 to 4 inches.

Franky
12-22-2007, 01:56 AM
I suggest 4.5" at the points if you want a tight but reasonable experience. I have 4.25" and its not too tight, but you do have to be accurate. I played on some 5" buckets recently and I really had to shank a ball to miss.

Make sure that your table mechanic knows what he/she is doing and you'll be fine with whatever measurement you tell them to extend the rails to. If you're in Southern California, Ernesto and Oscar Dominguez do arguably the best work in the country...and they're super friendly too boot.

I rack balls
12-22-2007, 02:03 AM
4.5, if they start to feel roomy redo it again..........

midnightpulp
12-22-2007, 02:06 AM
I suggest 4.5" at the points if you want a tight but reasonable experience. I have 4.25" and its not too tight, but you do have to be accurate. I played on some 5" buckets recently and I really had to shank a ball to miss.

Make sure that your table mechanic knows what he/she is doing and you'll be fine with whatever measurement you tell them to extend the rails to. If you're in Southern California, Ernesto and Oscar Dominguez do arguably the best work in the country...and they're super friendly too boot.

I am in San Berdo and very familiar with Ernesto - SoCal legend. Grew up reading about him.

4.5 at the points and the throat?

A lot of the Diamonds I see on TV (Never played on one), the pocket measurement seems uniform, parallel: | | as opposed to \ /.

Yeah, buckets can make you lazy.

MexPoolPlyr
12-22-2007, 03:00 AM
Hey Midnight, you'll like 4 1/4 with the straight cut pops uses. They play a nice medium for 1 hole, 9 ball, and friendly enough for some 14.1. He usually recommends 4" straight cut, but its not great for 14.1, more for 1 hole and 9 ball. Thats jmo tho, he can turn your table into a billiard table or make them buckets. As long as we get paid. :D

PM me if ya want our # or any q's. gnite, n merry xmas.

Franky
12-22-2007, 03:54 AM
Calling these guys = happy table

Here's a pic of what their work looks like when you ask for 4.25" pockets

JimS
12-22-2007, 05:12 AM
My Diamond has 4.5" pockets and they're plenty hard enough to present a challange and no room for nonchalantin. Have them set up, as much as possible, like a Diamond. Part of the challange with a Diamond Pro is the deep shelf and you may not be able to duplicate that.

Masayoshi
12-22-2007, 05:42 AM
i was playing on this earlier today, makes everything else seem like buckets.

Snapshot9
12-22-2007, 07:11 AM
going to say 4 3/8", which is tight, but not too tight, especially to start off with, JMHO.

mosconiac
12-22-2007, 08:14 AM
My old AMF had 4-1/2 pockets and they were just right. Tight enough to test your ability, but not so tight to make you change your game. If you go smaller you will begin to shy away from certain position shots...you'll be forced to start rolling most shots.

When you go to a easier table everyone will be shooting those position shots on you and your superior shot-making skills won't have as much value.

What is your current pocket size? This is an important part of the equation. You can't take 5" buckets down to 4-1/2" without some concession.

In the case of my old AMF I had to use 1/4" shims (for a total of 1/2" reduction). I bought them from AMF. They were not quite as lively as stacked 1/16" shims get. Anything above triple shims is ridiculous IMO.

FWIW, my Kim Steel has 4-5/8" pockets (as the rails are cut, no shimming) and its too easy IMO.

Let us know what you have now and we can recommend the best solution for you. :)

Pete
12-22-2007, 08:49 AM
If you look on youtube there is a how to measure pockets. Very educational. He also talks about the depth of the shelf. I think he works for Diamond.

Hope this helps.

Pete

Jaden
12-22-2007, 10:30 AM
Oh yeah. Are we talking one equal measurement from the mouth to the throat?

Most tables have a wider mouth. The table I played on tonight had 4.5 inch opening then funneled in dramatically to about 3.75 to 4 inches.

Most people aren't aware how much the cut of the pocket plays into its playability...

When the mouth is much wider than the drop, the angle of the cut is more likely to rebound into the opposing side of the mouth causing the ball to rattle. Straight cut 4.25" pockets are harder to rattle a ball on, (don't get me wrong though, it's easier to miss), than a wider mouth narrower drop 4.75" pocket....

There's really so much that has to do with rattling a ball that it's difficult to cart blanche say that this or that plays into the most...

You have the angle of the shot, the type of felt, the spin on the OB....The humidity... These aren't all things that can be compensated for accurately but they do have an effect...

midnightpulp
12-22-2007, 11:12 AM
My old AMF had 4-1/2 pockets and they were just right. Tight enough to test your ability, but not so tight to make you change your game. If you go smaller you will begin to shy away from certain position shots...you'll be forced to start rolling most shots.

When you go to a easier table everyone will be shooting those position shots on you and your superior shot-making skills won't have as much value.

What is your current pocket size? This is an important part of the equation. You can't take 5" buckets down to 4-1/2" without some concession.

In the case of my old AMF I had to use 1/4" shims (for a total of 1/2" reduction). I bought them from AMF. They were not quite as lively as stacked 1/16" shims get. Anything above triple shims is ridiculous IMO.

FWIW, my Kim Steel has 4-5/8" pockets (as the rails are cut, no shimming) and its too easy IMO.

Let us know what you have now and we can recommend the best solution for you. :)

I have a 30 year old Bruns. Heirloom. The pockets are 5 in wide.

Yeah, I'm leaning toward 4 1/2. Playing on that table last night, I had to temper my aggressiveness.

Robertduke
12-22-2007, 11:43 AM
AM I the only one who has noticed that you can make the pockets so small that no one can make a ball......but you still scratch just as often....:D

Hahaha thats great..

Fatboy
12-22-2007, 11:55 AM
4.5 is what i like, at one room I play at they have some that are 4" and some that I belive are 3 7/8" or 3 15/16" they are just too tight,

I dont buy the theory that playing on super tight tables makes other tables easy, i talking about 9 ball specifiaclly. Reason is on a table with 4 3/4" pockets the game changes because now you can cheat the pocket by shooting into one side of the pocket. When you shoot into on side of the pocket that is a small target, if your a banger this wont matter but when you can play some big pockets just give you more options not just an easier target,

another reason I dont like suoer small pockets is you dont have as many chances to gret the rythem of running out, its more of a sinch the ball and take what the table gives you and sinch the next ball, i like the rythem and flow of easier pockets for 9ball,

i just play on Daimond tables now, they are all about the same so its cool

buck15
12-22-2007, 12:22 PM
i was playing on this earlier today, makes everything else seem like buckets.
that looks like my buddys table but a little looser. lol. i will measure it next time i am there. i usually play once or twice a week on it. it will break your spirit in about an hour or less. if you touch a rail going in, anywhere into a corner it will not got. i mean brush it. i have stayed down on shots and they have hit inside the jaws and not gone in. it will make all other tables look like bar tables but you can't have fun on it. maybe one pocket but when you start playing different because a straight in shot down the rail, you know won;t go so you play for a bank, it is not any help. jmo.

poolhustler
12-22-2007, 06:49 PM
Here's my answer........Gold Crown I........set up by Ernesto.......

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b186/martinbro/DSC00095.jpg

Russ....

buck15
12-22-2007, 08:23 PM
my friend just told me his pockets are 4 inches at the opening and 3.5 at the shelf. any comments??

poolhustler
12-22-2007, 08:47 PM
my friend just told me his pockets are 4 inches at the opening and 3.5 at the shelf. any comments??

Yes.....If the pockets are not cut correctly, they will spit out balls that should drop. Ernesto cuts his pocket openings so that a well hit ball will drop, even if hit with speed on 4" pockets.......

Russ.....

mantis99
12-22-2007, 08:56 PM
Remember that you can always use pocket reducers if you want to make the table tighter for practice, and remove them to play competitively. I see no real reason to play on pockets tighter than 4.5"

alstl
12-22-2007, 09:05 PM
Gonna be having my table redone soon and I'm wondering what's a good size pocket for a home table.

Right now, they're too forgiving. I just played on one of the tightest tables in a local room here and would like to be prepared for such conditions. However, I'm under the belief that super tight pockets should only be employed if you can keep the rest of the table pristine, Pro tourney conditions. This table was anything but and magnified every mistake. If you hit the jaws, the ball bounced out.

A home table usually undergoes similar wear.

Any opinions?

My home table has deep shelves on the pockets. It forces you to change your game and some shots you don't try unless you absolutely have to because the pockets will reject the ball unless you play pocket speed.

av84fun
12-22-2007, 09:14 PM
my friend just told me his pockets are 4 inches at the opening and 3.5 at the shelf. any comments??

What is his speed...say on the APA scale?

poolhustler
12-22-2007, 09:17 PM
Remember that you can always use pocket reducers if you want to make the table tighter for practice, and remove them to play competitively. I see no real reason to play on pockets tighter than 4.5"



I do........

I play in local tourneys that use GC tables with 4" pockets !!

It all boils down to what you want from the game.

Russ.....

midnightpulp
12-22-2007, 09:51 PM
Buckets. And yes, that is duct tape, a dog tag style chain I found in the garage, and other random "poor man's" tricks in hopes of the Centennials remaining off the concrete floor. :D (My table is in the garage.)

Whatta you guys think?

http://a549.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/74/l_7763ee03a8fe69f580218175edb41c5c.jpg

av84fun
12-22-2007, 10:27 PM
I do........

I play in local tourneys that use GC tables with 4" pockets !!

It all boils down to what you want from the game.

Russ.....

Well...as long as the pockets are more than 2.25 then a game can be played. (-:

I have not done any formal survey, but I would GUESS that no more than 10-20% of all pro matches are played on tables with 4 inch pockets.

I don't see small holes on the practice greens at golf courses,,,or smaller rims in basketball practice. So I guess what I want is to practice with pockets that are the size of the vast majority of pockets I will play on competitively.

In the amateur world, that would be 4.5-4.75 in the majority of cases.

In the pro world I ASSUME that pocket sizes would be greater than 4 in. in most cases and I would want to know what SPEED will work on cuts where the point is obscuring a portion of the "actual pocket."

Regards,
Jim

poolhustler
12-22-2007, 10:39 PM
I understand what you are saying Jim. A few places that I play have tournament tables with 4" pockets. It's what we play on and also gamble on. So, it only makes sense that I practice on my table with 4" pockets. It is also just what I prefer.

Regardless what other sports have in the way of practice regallia, I firmly believe that if a player pratices on a table with tighter pockets, It will absolutely make you a better, more accurate shot maker.

:)

Sincerely,

Russ.....

branpureza
12-22-2007, 10:44 PM
these are pretty good sized pockets... every now and then it'll spit one out when i drill it down the rail.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/branpureza/Russian_billiards_ball_at_a_corner_.jpg

buck15
12-22-2007, 11:11 PM
What is his speed...say on the APA scale?
how high does the scale go?? i am not familier with the scale but he is an open type player. very good player.

gedukas
12-22-2007, 11:40 PM
Question for Mosconiac.....How are the pockets cut on your kim steele (parallel/angled? The local place a play at (the green pocket in lions illinois) has kim steeles with parallel cut pockets and well hit balls drop. They are cut at about 2 balls wide and have a little bit of a wider mouth.

CaptiveBred
12-22-2007, 11:48 PM
I say 4.5 for standard cut pockets are about as tight as you will ever want to go. They just spit out well hit balls. Its very frustrating to have your run end early on a shot that should have fell... My table (4.5 standard cut) will spit out balls that hit th facing clean if you hit them too hard or give them non-helper english. And that is just not right... If a ball hits the facing clean, it should fall no matter what... When pocket facing start to get deformed, they get MUCH worse...


For straight cut, 4.5" may be a bit too big... 4" may also be too small for a shot running down the rail... Thats a tough call since I rarely, if ever, see a straight cut table that tight...


Pocket geometry is very important for the playability of a table...



Braunpureza - that must be photoshopped :)

av84fun
12-22-2007, 11:51 PM
how high does the scale go?? i am not familier with the scale but he is an open type player. very good player.

10 I think. But your posted told me what I wanted to know. Some of the top players like to practice on unusually small pockets but others don't.

I know a Champion who had a GC with 4.25 pockets and sold it for 4.5s for pretty much the reason I cited...to practice on what they compete on.

And one fairly critical skill...cheating the pocket...can't be practiced nearly as much on, say 4 inch tables because there isn't much to cheat!

To each his own though.

Regards,
Jim

av84fun
12-22-2007, 11:54 PM
these are pretty good sized pockets... every now and then it'll spit one out when i drill it down the rail.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/branpureza/Russian_billiards_ball_at_a_corner_.jpg

yeah...spit it out into the bleachers!!

VERY funny!

Jim

StormHotRod300
12-23-2007, 12:24 PM
I'd say on a 9ft Diamond PRo the pockets are good as is! because of the deep shelf.

All other tables unless they have a deep shelf, need to go 4.5 or smaller, but not smaller than 4"

I did play on a 9ft GC that was triple shim and yea making a ball in the corner pockets were tough, but it was easy to scratch in the corner pockets lol.