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My experience playing Chineese 8 ball
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Straightpool_99
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My experience playing Chineese 8 ball - 08-08-2017, 02:02 PM

I guess not many people have had the chance to play a lot on these tables and some may be curious about how they play?

Well, let me start by saying I'm a pool and snooker player, but these pockets...they are tough! Even tougher than most snooker pockets. Balls along the rails, especially those who are fractionally off the cushion are amazingly difficult. When the cloth has been broken in even a ball in hand shot is not a given. You really can't do anything with the cueball and still expect to pot these consistently.

That being said, it's perfectly possible to run racks of 8 ball on this kind of table, if the balls cooperate. The table will expose every bad fundamental habit you have, brutally. If your stroke is bad, you'll not have a good time.

The table I've been playing on is the "Joy" brand, with very thick slate, nice responsive cushions and what appears to be high quality snooker cloth. It plays just like cloth should, which I expect many of you may never experience. If you're used to 760/860 Simonis, this plays quite differently. The cueball is more under control, yet you still have quite a nice speed to get around. It's not slow at all. It's not as hard wearing as normal pool cloth, but man I wish this was the standard! The nap hardly comes into play but it's there of course. You really don't want to roll any balls on this table. Sure, the balls roll amazingly true because of the thick slate and overall high quality of the table, but you have so little margin for error that it is better to use a bit more speed to get a true cutting angle. You can't slow roll and slop balls in anyway, though you can get a little bit more of a margin for error if the ball is inside the pocket. The pockets are fair though. You will not be surprised by balls hanging up, like you will on a tight pool table. If you hit the cushion or bend of the pocket before the ball enters, it has no chance what so ever to go in

8 ball really is a different animal on this table. It brings out the best of both regular 8 ball and UK 8 ball and takes it to the next level! It's still a runout game, but can be played very tactically as well, depending on your skill set.

So far I'm a big fan.

Last edited by Straightpool_99; 08-08-2017 at 02:06 PM.
  
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08-08-2017, 03:03 PM

Where is this table located?

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08-08-2017, 03:17 PM

The side pockets are your friends. Sometimes its easier to bank into a side than make a straight shot into a corner because flat balls close to the rail that are well struck don't have to go in. On old cloth with little slide can be brutal.


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08-08-2017, 03:27 PM

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Originally Posted by crazysnake View Post
Where is this table located?

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Somewhere in Europe
  
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08-08-2017, 03:28 PM

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Originally Posted by Nick B View Post
The side pockets are your friends. Sometimes its easier to bank into a side than make a straight shot into a corner because flat balls close to the rail that are well struck don't have to go in. On old cloth with little slide can be brutal.
All true. The side pockets are surprisingly generous.
  
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08-08-2017, 03:51 PM

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Originally Posted by Straightpool_99 View Post
I guess not many people have had the chance to play a lot on these tables and some may be curious about how they play?

Well, let me start by saying I'm a pool and snooker player, but these pockets...they are tough! Even tougher than most snooker pockets. Balls along the rails, especially those who are fractionally off the cushion are amazingly difficult. When the cloth has been broken in even a ball in hand shot is not a given. You really can't do anything with the cueball and still expect to pot these consistently.

That being said, it's perfectly possible to run racks of 8 ball on this kind of table, if the balls cooperate. The table will expose every bad fundamental habit you have, brutally. If your stroke is bad, you'll not have a good time.

The table I've been playing on is the "Joy" brand, with very thick slate, nice responsive cushions and what appears to be high quality snooker cloth. It plays just like cloth should, which I expect many of you may never experience. If you're used to 760/860 Simonis, this plays quite differently. The cueball is more under control, yet you still have quite a nice speed to get around. It's not slow at all. It's not as hard wearing as normal pool cloth, but man I wish this was the standard! The nap hardly comes into play but it's there of course. You really don't want to roll any balls on this table. Sure, the balls roll amazingly true because of the thick slate and overall high quality of the table, but you have so little margin for error that it is better to use a bit more speed to get a true cutting angle. You can't slow roll and slop balls in anyway, though you can get a little bit more of a margin for error if the ball is inside the pocket. The pockets are fair though. You will not be surprised by balls hanging up, like you will on a tight pool table. If you hit the cushion or bend of the pocket before the ball enters, it has no chance what so ever to go in

8 ball really is a different animal on this table. It brings out the best of both regular 8 ball and UK 8 ball and takes it to the next level! It's still a runout game, but can be played very tactically as well, depending on your skill set.

So far I'm a big fan.
What's funny is I played on those tables when I was a kid living in Canada in the middle 70s ,couple friends had them they were for those who did not have the space for bigger tables , needless to say when I came back to the states my barbox game was pretty sporty ,, I'm thinking seriously about changing my 8 ft over to snooker rails

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08-08-2017, 04:03 PM

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Originally Posted by one stroke View Post
What's funny is I played on those tables when I was a kid living in Canada in the middle 70s ,couple friends had them they were for those who did not have the space for bigger tables , needless to say when I came back to the states my barbox game was pretty sporty ,, I'm thinking seriously about changing my 8 ft over to snooker rails

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You could do that, I suppose, but you'd probably have to modify the slate a bit as well, if you want to perfectly emulate this type of table. You should just go for it, if you have the skills to make it happen. though you'd have to modify the rails a bit to make them fit on a regular pool table.

The Chineese 8 ball tables that are being officially marketed are very good quality snooker tables, but they rely on a very heavy frame and slate to make them play nicely. I did see a couple of flaws in the design, but the thing is just so darned heavy and solid I doubt there will ever be a problem in the near future. The fact that it is so heavy makes the balls roll true and far. I suspect a thinner slated table will not play quite as nicely. The cushions have a lot of bounce like all quality snooker tables, but they do not play like pool cushions, so if you train on these exclusively, you may have an issue with transitioning. Especially with kicks and banks.
  
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08-08-2017, 04:41 PM

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Originally Posted by Straightpool_99 View Post
You could do that, I suppose, but you'd probably have to modify the slate a bit as well, if you want to perfectly emulate this type of table. You should just go for it, if you have the skills to make it happen. though you'd have to modify the rails a bit to make them fit on a regular pool table.

The Chineese 8 ball tables that are being officially marketed are very good quality snooker tables, but they rely on a very heavy frame and slate to make them play nicely. I did see a couple of flaws in the design, but the thing is just so darned heavy and solid I doubt there will ever be a problem in the near future. The fact that it is so heavy makes the balls roll true and far. I suspect a thinner slated table will not play quite as nicely. The cushions have a lot of bounce like all quality snooker tables, but they do not play like pool cushions, so if you train on these exclusively, you may have an issue with transitioning. Especially with kicks and banks.
I'm checking into the rails the furniture type I saw looked real close to my olhuasan that's 1" I believe but it's a great playing table never the less , my friends a table mech , and I have skill so I ain't scared lol

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08-08-2017, 05:42 PM

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Originally Posted by one stroke View Post
I'm checking into the rails the furniture type I saw looked real close to my olhuasan that's 1" I believe but it's a great playing table never the less , my friends a table mech , and I have skill so I ain't scared lol

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Chinese 8b table rails are NOTHING like pool rails. They're steel backed and have a flat-front like snooker rails.
  
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08-08-2017, 06:06 PM

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Chinese 8b table rails are NOTHING like pool rails. They're steel backed and have a flat-front like snooker rails.
Thanks for the info

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08-08-2017, 06:52 PM

I play for 2 weeks on these tables every year when I visit my family in China. Every time I return, I run racks like no tomorrow. Why? Because my aim went way up but I still have my stroke, which means nighty night to any opponent on a diamond or GC. Every time I get on these tables I spend the first 2 days fixing my stroke from all the bad habits formed in the past year. I have to say they are great practice tables, but anything more than 2 weeks and I'll probably give up pool since I'm not a big fan of how restrictive chinese 8 ball is. To be honest though, it's really anything near the rails that would give you trouble. A ball on the spot (which has the widest corner pocket) or a ball in the middle of the table is not that much harder to make. But anything near a rail, either short rail or long, takes a lot of focus and a smooth stroke to make.


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08-09-2017, 07:34 AM

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...I'm not a big fan of how restrictive chinese 8 ball is.
As a spectator, this is my opinion with Chinese 8 ball. Yes, Chinese 8 ball places a premium on potting accuracy, but you'll never get to see superman runouts such as the one Melling put on Mika a few weeks back. No one playing Chinese 8 ball would even attempt a timing shot, swerve shot, or a 4-rail bank to complete a runout as Melling executed. And that's why I enjoy watching 8 ball played on normal pool tables much more. Sure you'll get the easy runouts on American tables. But I'd rather see an easy runout than a player executing a safe simply because the OB is too close to the rail.
  
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08-09-2017, 07:57 AM

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As a spectator, this is my opinion with Chinese 8 ball. Yes, Chinese 8 ball places a premium on potting accuracy, but you'll never get to see superman runouts such as the one Melling put on Mika a few weeks back. No one playing Chinese 8 ball would even attempt a timing shot, swerve shot, or a 4-rail bank to complete a runout as Melling executed. And that's why I enjoy watching 8 ball played on normal pool tables much more. Sure you'll get the easy runouts on American tables. But I'd rather see an easy runout than a player executing a safe simply because the OB is too close to the rail.
Well put. Its just too restrictive. The flow and creativity of even the top players is blunted. Can you imagine what a match between two mid/lo league players would be like? Does watching paint dry ring a bell? I appreciate the skill required but i still have a tough time watching an entire match. I'd much rather watch one of Darren's WPS matches. MUCH more entertaining, imo.
  
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08-09-2017, 08:20 AM

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Originally Posted by pocketsplitter View Post
I play for 2 weeks on these tables every year when I visit my family in China. Every time I return, I run racks like no tomorrow. Why? Because my aim went way up but I still have my stroke, which means nighty night to any opponent on a diamond or GC. Every time I get on these tables I spend the first 2 days fixing my stroke from all the bad habits formed in the past year. I have to say they are great practice tables, but anything more than 2 weeks and I'll probably give up pool since I'm not a big fan of how restrictive chinese 8 ball is. To be honest though, it's really anything near the rails that would give you trouble. A ball on the spot (which has the widest corner pocket) or a ball in the middle of the table is not that much harder to make. But anything near a rail, either short rail or long, takes a lot of focus and a smooth stroke to make.
The "restrictive" thing is exactly why I am against tightening pool table pockets too much past 4.5" even for pro players. You take away all the fun action shots for all but the top shooters and then you have a pro tour with 10 players. There is a reason Appleton setup his 8 ball events the way he did, because he knows his pocketing and position works best on those types of tables with tight pockets and slower cloth. I doubt he did it for the general game but how well he can play on those tables.


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