AZB'ers perception of skill "yardstick": bar table vs. 9-footer

Donny Lutz

Ferrule Cat
Silver Member
Back and forth

People who can play the big table, can most likely play on a bar box also. People who play mostly on a bar box will have a tough time on a 9 footer. Much easier to go from big to smaller. With that said, I sure don't agree that its just a coin flip with most on a bar box. I will say, just like the big table, the one with the best break will win, if their run out speeds are close. Most bar box specialist like David Matlock could also play on a big table, just not at the same level. Take Reed Pierce, who was always known as a bar box player only, until he won the U.S. open. My point is, most who play at a high level on a bar box, can also play on a big table, maybe not at the same level, but they can play. How many here will bet they can beat the 10 ball ghost on a valley with slow cloth? Do you think it would be easier on a diamond?

My history may be unusual.

I played on 9-foot tables in the '50s, then moved to the bar tables in the mid-sixties because it was SO easy to make money on them. I'm not talking about big money matches, but I won a substantial amount playing for $50 a game and less.

To qualify this, I should say that bowling was my primary sport till the early '70s, so I never put in the time to compete with the big boys on the big tables.

In the '90s, I went back to the 9-footers and did struggle at first, but when I was playing my best, I was doing well on both. In 2005, I played in three leagues, one a travelling league mostly on bar boxes, one league on 8-footers, and one on 9-footers. I led all three in individual average.
 

Pete

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
For me, I don't think of Bar Box as the same thing as pool. My only experience on them was with the big cue ball and when my team went to the season finally tournament where we played with a regular sized cue ball. With the regular sized cue ball the game seemed much easier to me.

I liken this to tennis vs table tennis. Both require skill and a lot of it transfers from one to the other. Bowling would be the same example.

But once again, what do I know???
 

smashmouth

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
it's night and day imo and nothing like tennis to table tennis which is an olympic sport and would not have any of their champs getting beat by the traditional tennis people
 

Pete

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
it's night and day imo and nothing like tennis to table tennis which is an olympic sport and would not have any of their champs getting beat by the traditional tennis people

That wasn't what I meant. I don't consider them the same. Though there are skills that transfer from sport to sport they aren't the same. Just because you can play a great game of 3 cushion doesn't mean you are equally as skilled at potting balls. They are different things. I feel that Bar Box isn't the same Game/Sport as full size table Pool (but the cue ball makes it an even bigger difference to me).
 

nobcitypool

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
For most purposes, and certainly when discussing the professionals, you can leave out the heavier cue ball as a difference. I can't remember the last time I played any bar box table with the heavier CB and most serious players I've seen carry a green dot CB with them to play on bar boxes with.

As far as comparing the two, there are some similar skill sets and some different skill sets involved. My table at home is a 9 Diamond but most of my outside competitive play is league on 7' Valleys. I don't believe there is any question it is easier transition from larger to smaller than vice versa. However, it would be foolish to think any large table professional could come in and run over a local 7 foot bar box specialist in 8 ball.

I think it is a testimony to SVB's talent and hard work that he is capable of winning any game on any table.
 

Spimp13

O8 Specialist
Silver Member
I struggle on the big table but play pretty decent on the barbox to which I mostly play on. If I were to flip the switch I would guess going from the big table to the barbox would be difficult in terms of the playing shape aspect of pool since you have less real estate to work with.
 

NitPicker

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
What is a "true player"?

I think most people look at this all wrong.

I play on 7' barboxes, 8' home tables, 9 and 10 foot tables at pool halls, as well as 12' snooker tables. I play rotation games, pocket games, billiard games, bumper pool, hell I've got an old school carom board at home. I play on slow cloth, fast cloth, dirty cloth, worn cloth, and even no cloth (see carom table). I play with Amarath balls, Brunswick balls, Cyclop, or no balls (again carom table). I play with clean balls, dirty balls, scratched balls, chipped balls. I play using springy rubber rails and dead rubber rails or even solid wood rails (carom table).

To me, this makes me a "true player" of cue sports/games.

I don't care how big the box is, once you confine yourself to only one box, you've become a specialist. A one trick pony. And if everything has to be a certain way, you're also a front running, one trick pony.
 

Jaden

"no buds chill"
Silver Member
I'v confined myself to one box...

If I didn't confine myself to one box, I think my wife would kick me out...


:grin::eek::grin::eek:

Jaden
 

gmoney1

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
[QUOTE=Jaden;4939545]If it's a coin flip for top players, then why did Shane take first in both the USBTC nineball and tenball this year???

Sure, it equalizes things a bit, but not as much as people like to think...

Also, yeah big tables and little tables really have to be looked at separately.

People with good all around skills can switch back and forth, but people who don't focus on having good all around skills often can't transfer back and forth very easily at all.

People who play almost exclusively on big tables, will often find getting shape on a little table a difficult proposition and players who almost exclusively play on little tables, will find long shots difficult and moving the CB around the table difficult on big tables.

Jaden[/QUOTE]

I have only read first post and i agree with this above comment about shane. The best player will find a way to win on any size table
 

tony frank

THE TRAPPER
Silver Member
Yo so nice that all of you have choices. It's a hundred mile round trip for me to play on a full sized table. AND for about 200 other locals. There are surely many, many areas similar where a full size table is NOT at all available OR very expensive and time consuming to even go to. The bar box is ALL many have or ever will have to do their playing. No way are they like the 9 footers AT ALL. Some excellent players for sure but no way competitive with the top shooters from the pool halls. Even a 4 x 8 is problematical. Been there.

THE TRAPPER
 

Rico

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Bar box

That Dave Matlock guy was a bar table specialist .I quite sure he would play most on here on any table. Try him at 3-cushion.
 

sjm

Older and Wiser
Silver Member
My thinking is this: If you're great on a bar box, a nine footer, a ten footer or a twelve footer (snooker), you're a great cueist.

To be really good on a barbox, you need to be able to deal skillfully with table congestion, and this requires a lot of finesse, possibly more than on the bigger tables. As a ball pocketer, you won't be tested much, meaning you can survive with slightly inferior stroke fundamentals, and your speed control will not be tested to the max.

Move up to the nine footer and your stroke fundamentals and speed control have to be better.

Move up to the ten footer and your stroke fundamentals and speed control have to be even better. Also, unless you are very tall, you'll have to become highly skilled with the bridge.

Move up to the twelve footer and you'll face a test of your stroke that is so rigorous that some great players haven't been able to succeed at the pro level, such as Mizerak, Rempe, and so far Pagulayan. The speed control required in safety play will also be very difficult to master.

Bigger tables require more skills, but like I said, anyone who excels on any size table has earned the right to be called an excellent cueist.
 

Dunnn51

Clear the table!
Silver Member
To answer the OP's question.....
I have found that long table players fare better against BB players in both format. Know only 1 BB player that has made a solid transition . Seldom do you let your stroke out on a BB. A caveat: BB players are better at making cut- shots.
 

Donny Lutz

Ferrule Cat
Silver Member
hall of famers

To answer the OP's question.....
I have found that long table players fare better against BB players in both format. Know only 1 BB player that has made a solid transition . Seldom do you let your stroke out on a BB. A caveat: BB players are better at making cut- shots.

Actually, there are several members of the BCA hall of fame that played a lot of BB pool.
 

Donny Lutz

Ferrule Cat
Silver Member
big ball

For most purposes, and certainly when discussing the professionals, you can leave out the heavier cue ball as a difference. I can't remember the last time I played any bar box table with the heavier CB and most serious players I've seen carry a green dot CB with them to play on bar boxes with.

As far as comparing the two, there are some similar skill sets and some different skill sets involved. My table at home is a 9 Diamond but most of my outside competitive play is league on 7' Valleys. I don't believe there is any question it is easier transition from larger to smaller than vice versa. However, it would be foolish to think any large table professional could come in and run over a local 7 foot bar box specialist in 8 ball.

I think it is a testimony to SVB's talent and hard work that he is capable of winning any game on any table.

I knew a road player who carried a "big ball" and a "mud ball" with him. He'd often try to sneak one of them into the game to throw off his "fish", and sometimes pulled it off!

I haven't played much in the last few years, but I still saw the "big ball" or the "mud ball" occasionally in retro taverns in 2010.
 

sfleinen

14.1 & One Pocket Addict
Gold Member
Silver Member
To answer the OP's question.....
I have found that long table players fare better against BB players in both format. Know only 1 BB player that has made a solid transition . Seldom do you let your stroke out on a BB. A caveat: BB players are better at making cut- shots.

Dunnn51:

Yours and Jaden's are along the lines of the type of feedback I was looking for -- staying true to the spirit of the question of i.e.:

1. what do barbox skills have anything to do with expertise on the big table?

2. And why do people ask, "how so-and-so would do against so-and-so in 9-ball races on a barbox?" when talking about tourneys that are held exclusively on the big table.

It's like "why even go there" on barbox discussion, when you're talking about players competing in tourneys on a big table.

In decades past, I'd played in a couple local traveling leagues that played on barboxes. I found that while short-rack rotation games like 9-ball were EASIER on a barbox; 8-ball on a barbox was a bit more challenging than on a big table due to the congestion, need for precise cue ball control, and the difference in cue ball itself. So 8-ball, for me, was an environment where the barbox was a good test of skill, cueball-control-wise. After capping myself out in these leagues (where my skill-level rating was too high to be placed on any team and have a chance at playing, due to a combined team skill-level cap like you'd find in the APA), I've played exclusively on big tables since. It's like the straps that were holding my wings to my side were suddenly unbuckled, and I was free to stretch them out -- to explore other games and nuances of my stroke that I would've never been able to on the constrained coin-op barbox.

So, for me, when someone is talking about big table players / tournaments, and in referencing the question of how one player would fare against another player in that tourney, but asks it in a way that references the barbox (and especially 9-ball on a barbox), I'm left scratching my head at that question.

Good feedback all,
-Sean
 

owll

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
BB players are better at making cut- shots.

lol, above statement is absurd.

i havent played on bar tables in over 10 years, and didnt play much on them before that. ANY bar table players in jacksonville want to gamble, on bar boxes, send me a PM....i wont even bother hitting any on barbox prior to match up..
 

sfleinen

14.1 & One Pocket Addict
Gold Member
Silver Member
My thinking is this: If you're great on a bar box, a nine footer, a ten footer or a twelve footer (snooker), you're a great cueist.

To be really good on a barbox, you need to be able to deal skillfully with table congestion, and this requires a lot of finesse, possibly more than on the bigger tables. As a ball pocketer, you won't be tested much, meaning you can survive with slightly inferior stroke fundamentals, and your speed control will not be tested to the max.

Move up to the nine footer and your stroke fundamentals and speed control have to be better.

Move up to the ten footer and your stroke fundamentals and speed control have to be even better. Also, unless you are very tall, you'll have to become highly skilled with the bridge.

Move up to the twelve footer and you'll face a test of your stroke that is so rigorous that some great players haven't been able to succeed at the pro level, such as Mizerak, Rempe, and so far Pagulayan. The speed control required in safety play will also be very difficult to master.

Bigger tables require more skills, but like I said, anyone who excels on any size table has earned the right to be called an excellent cueist.

Stu:

Although it doesn't answer the question of why barbox discussion comes up in people's minds when talking about how one player would do against another player in a tourney that is exclusively big table skills, all what you write above is very true.

I've heard no less than Darren Appleton say this in e.g. TAR podcasts when talking about some of the tourneys that were held on the Diamond 10-footer.

To be sure, I think 8-ball on the barbox is a good test of skill, in navigating more congestion (i.e. narrower pathways between the opponent's balls) that you'd find with that same game played on the 9-footer.

So for me, whenever talking up the skillsets of one player vs. another, that's the only game on a barbox that I'd throw into an "all around" comparison. The usual 9-/10-ball, straight pool, one pocket, and banks -- all on a big table -- and then 8-ball on a barbox. The better cueist will definitely come out on top.

10-footers are interesting territory, because this will expose minute flaws in even the best 9-footer players over the long run, and this was evidenced out in that year when the DCC Straight Pool Challenge was held on the Diamond 10-footer.

However, I sort of agree with those players that complained that year, because the 10-footer was enough of a departure from the "standard environment of pool" to change the game. I.e. change the game away from standard pool-playing skillsets used on a 9-footer, to favor those with more regimented stroke fundamentals, like Stuart Pettman.

Anyway, I like your thoughts, Stu, and I agree with them. Hopefully the rest of the pool world will catch up with the differences between small table and big table play. They are not the same.

-Sean
 

Dunnn51

Clear the table!
Silver Member
Actually, there are several members of the BCA hall of fame that played a lot of BB pool.

Donny,
My reply was just an observation I have made having played both tables in leagues. That said, I was talking about the average player shooting on both tables. Of course there are exceptions, great players find a way to excel in any endeavor they pursue.
(Guess I should have added , "IMO" in my prior reply.)
 
Top