Old balls vs. old cloth.

Sloppy Pockets

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I had an opportunity to play on a red-lable Diamond last week when I was visiting my son in NC and was very disappointed. The table played slow as shit. The cloth looked to be Simonis 860, same as I have on my home table, but the balls just died unless you really put a good stoke on the CB. The wear on the cloth was not severe like I've seen on a lot of commercial tables, maybe just a bit more worn than mine.

When they handed me the ball tray I was happy to see that they were Centennials as that is what I play with at home. But after several draw shots that failed to do much more than stop, I took a closer look at the balls. They were beat. Dull looking and covered with fine scratches and several small chips, as well as being pretty dirty.

I now understand why some guys take the trouble to bring their own balls when they go out to play. Not only did these Cents roll slow as snails, they seemed to have a lot more throw, causing me to undercut several shots that seemed pretty easy. Some of these obviously skidded on me, the first time I noticed this phenomenon so clearly. They banked funny as well. I ended up playing like an APA 2 and left after about an hour, even though they were having a $2/hour table rate special. It was just no fun at any price.

I was so upset with my poor play that, after driving 14 hours back home, the first thing I did was screw my cue together and go downstairs to play a few racks of 9-ball. It was like magic. The racks opened up and spread nicely, the balls rolled fine, the shots went in the hole, I got position way easier and even my stroke felt much better.

I never believed that ball condition was such a big factor before, but it certainly appeared to be for me last week. Much more so than the old cloth at any rate.
 

pt109

WO double hemlock
Gold Member
Silver Member
Everything you described sounds to me like loose cloth, not the balls.
..balls cut thick....doesn't want to draw..spin wears out quick.

I think that if you pressed your hand on that cloth and shoved...
....you would create ripples.

If a cloth is going to last a long time, it should be re-stretched.
 

Sloppy Pockets

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Everything you described sounds to me like loose cloth, not the balls.
..balls cut thick....doesn't want to draw..spin wears out quick.

I think that if you pressed your hand on that cloth and shoved...
....you would create ripples.

If a cloth is going to last a long time, it should be re-stretched.

The cloth seemed pretty tight to me. Maybe even tighter than on my home table. I remember back after I had my table for a year or so the cloth got loose like that during the summer, even with a dehumidifier running. You could definitely feel the cloth move on the slate if you leaned forward on your bridge hand. This table didn't do that at all.

Besides, before I re-stretched my cloth I don't ever remember it playing that terribly slow. Maybe a touch slower, but I could still draw my rock back the length of the table. On the table I played on last week, the most draw I could get was about 4' when the balls were only a couple diamonds apart, and that was with the red circle ball they gave me. Force follow wasn't anything to write home about, either. It was like playing with cheap balls on a dirty bar box with old nappy cloth, only the 9' length made it so hard to move the ball it wasn't worth me playing on it. I just don't have a big enough stroke for that kind of play.

Maybe I'm out to lunch about it being the balls, I'm certainly no expert. But I remember playing on a few Diamonds that had cloth so old and worn it looked like the seat of old suit pants and you could still move the ball where you needed to without a Herculean stroke. I just figured it had to be the beat up balls, so I thought I'd throw it out here for discussion.
 
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