Pocket Size

skogstokig

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
you have it in your own reply, the races are too short to be able to compare properly.

how long do you propose those races should be, for it to not become a lagging contest? and who would promote such an event?
 

klikr

Member
how long do you propose those races should be, for it to not become a lagging contest? and who would promote such an event?
I'm not a promoter, so I can't really tell. Snooker fans seem to be okay with races to 19 or so.. Also maybe doing quicker 2 sets of races to 4 or 5? saw that in a tournament recently, can't remember which one it was, found it fitting... the lagging contest character of things... maybe throw a coin instead? at each beginning of a set?
 

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
How do you propose wearing the cloth out prior to first round matches?

I would argue the opposite. We are seeing optimal position play. Most of the time, one is needing to cheat the pocket because they got out of line. If the cheat is no longer there (it still is to a degree even with 4" pockets) the player must play a perfect cue ball. I think we saw that all week long during the UK Open.

90% of the shots a professional player shoots are pocket speed.

4.5" pockets on new cloth allow far more shots to fall that shouldn't. We saw it at the Mosconi Cup a few years ago when they were playing on the Rasson with 4.5" pockets. Shots along the rail were hitting the 2nd diamond out and still falling.

In an event with a field of mostly short stop/amateur players (like the DCC), pockets should be 4.5", but events with fields of primarily World Class players, 4" pockets should be the norm.
It is not possible for pro tournaments to be played on worn cloth, so the only option is 4-inch pockets, so in my opinion, Matchroom has it right.

For a longer tournament, by the end of the first week (if they don’t replace the cloth) the tables will start playing a little closer to how 4-inch pockets should play - brutally tough for us amateurs but how they should play for the pros.
 

SEB

Active member
It is not possible for pro tournaments to be played on worn cloth, so the only option is 4-inch pockets, so in my opinion, Matchroom has it right.

For a longer tournament, by the end of the first week (if they don’t replace the cloth) the tables will start playing a little closer to how 4-inch pockets should play - brutally tough for us amateurs but how they should play for the pros.
Surely there’s simple technology for accomplishing this.

Just run it through a machine like they do jeans.

I do not want 9 ball to turn into snooker!!

Unfortunately with 4 inch pockets, it’s headed that way.
 

FunChamp

Well-known member
I remember back with 5 inch pockets and folks playing One Pocket. You could see some great deep pocket ball extractions. You can't do those shots today.
Couple of three factors here. 1. Cloth speed. 2. Shelf depth 3. Pocket size 4. Pocket cut angle.
Personally I think pockets should be 4.75 with in between angle and depth. No smaller than 4.5 in. This is not snooker. You should be able to pass a ball past another ball.
Slow the cloth and equipment down, guys will have to stroke harder and in turn miss more. Players today can poke and barely stroke the ball and move whitey all over the place. On brand new cloth I can draw the ball and make it do a car burnout. It's ridiculous.
 

pt109

WO double hemlock
Silver Member
I remember back with 5 inch pockets and folks playing One Pocket. You could see some great deep pocket ball extractions. You can't do those shots today.
Couple of three factors here. 1. Cloth speed. 2. Shelf depth 3. Pocket size 4. Pocket cut angle.
Personally I think pockets should be 4.75 with in between angle and depth. No smaller than 4.5 in. This is not snooker. You should be able to pass a ball past another ball.
Slow the cloth and equipment down, guys will have to stroke harder and in turn miss more. Players today can poke and barely stroke the ball and move whitey all over the place. On brand new cloth I can draw the ball and make it do a car burnout. It's ridiculous.
I have played snooker in British clubs on cloth so thick you wouldn’t believe….42 ounce….slow pool cloth tends to be about 24 ounce.
the game was horrible….pro snooker has gone to speedy cloth and it’s raining centuries….the game is beautiful.
…..the most money I ever won in one session was snooker on a 5x10 with carom cloth…never had one surprise, like skid or roll-off.
….if pool went to coarse, cheap cloth again, I’d quit playing…hell, I like 3-cushion, anyway.

Do you realize that the balls go airborne on those horse blankets most of the time?
 

Dan Harriman

One of the best in 14.1
Silver Member
There has been much discussion about the small pockets at the UK Open, and we also had the problem at Derby City where there were a lot of unexpected misses blamed on pocket size. I would like to hear some more opinions, and primarily I would like to express my own. There are certain things that really bother me when watching pool. First, to see a ball poorly hit that drops because the pocket is "loose", for whatever reason. Second, to see a well struck ball hang that should have dropped. One extreme is as bad as the other. What can be done to eliminate BOTH of these problems, if they are seen as such? Thanks to all for their views!
Pocket size is not important as how much elasticity the rubber has, if cushions/rubber is soft - cushions will slide instead of rebounding. With soft cushions and customized facings in pockets - a 4 1/2" pocket can play very easy. The recent changes in tightening matchroom sports pockets - was much needed. So if some promoter stated "the only Thing i did to that table is put in new facings" just note the pockets may accept a ball like rainwater through a sieve
 

pvc lou

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have played snooker in British clubs on cloth so thick you wouldn’t believe….42 ounce….slow pool cloth tends to be about 24 ounce.
the game was horrible….pro snooker has gone to speedy cloth and it’s raining centuries….the game is beautiful.
…..the most money I ever won in one session was snooker on a 5x10 with carom cloth…never had one surprise, like skid or roll-off.
….if pool went to coarse, cheap cloth again, I’d quit playing…hell, I like 3-cushion, anyway.

Do you realize that the balls go airborne on those horse blankets most of the time?
How much have you played straight rail? What's your high run?

I'm genuinely curious, pt.
 

pt109

WO double hemlock
Silver Member
How much have you played straight rail? What's your high run?

I'm genuinely curious, pt.
I’ve never played straight rail. I‘ve been remiss in this, Raymond Ceulemans said you need it to be a top 3- cushion player.
 
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hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Sierra Billiards opened in Fresno 6 weeks ago. All of the table are brand new Diamond tables with 4.5” CP and 5” SP,
except that four of the 9’ tables have 4.25” CP and 4.75” CP. I play there most days and I can assure you the 4 1/4” CP
tables definitely play harder. It tends to happen mostly with the CP rejecting a OB struck too hard but avoiding that can
be hard playing shape for the next OB 8-9’ away. Same shot played slower goes in but now you wind up with a long
bank shot or a maniacal cue shot so you go for the run out and the OB waggles it’s tail in the CP. Same shot played on with 4.5” CP goes in. I’d love to see one SB table converted to 4” CP & 4.5” SP or switch one to a 10’ billiards table.
Finding a billiards table to play is like looking for The Golden Fleece so might as well just toughen up a 9 table, IMO.

4.5 is pretty much the ideal size for everything. Enough that you need to actually make the shot, big enough you don't need to be a 700+ Fargo to use it.

I don't like different table setups in the same room, if they have tournaments on them. Tighter pockets are nice for those that want the challenge but then pose an issue during tournaments when players can be playing on a table they make balls on to one that all of a sudden rejects the same exact shot. Matches on tight pockets end up being like matches between two D players, it's whoever hangs up the game ball that wins.
 

pvc lou

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I’ve never played straight rail. I‘ve been remiss in this, Raymond Ceulemans said you need it to be a top 3- cushion player.
It's a fun and difficult game (for me). I would like to know how quickly a player of your caliber could get good at it.

I'm not good at it.
 

Bavafongoul

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
4.5 is pretty much the ideal size for everything. Enough that you need to actually make the shot, big enough you don't need to be a 700+ Fargo to use it.

I don't like different table setups in the same room, if they have tournaments on them. Tighter pockets are nice for those that want the challenge but then pose an issue during tournaments when players can be playing on a table they make balls on to one that all of a sudden rejects the same exact shot. Matches on tight pockets end up being like matches between two D players, it's whoever hangs up the game ball that wins.
That definitely is a problem. If most of the tables were 4.5”CP, and only a couple were 4.25”, it is a much better balance than 50/50 is for conducting a tournament. Sierra Billiards isn’t set up for a tournament with only eight (8) 9’ tables. A field of 16 with double elimination or a field 32 with single elimination is the largest field Sierra could accommodate. Nonetheless, having a new pool hall with new immaculately maintained Diamond tables where I can play anytime for $65/mth is wonderful.
 

Island Drive

Otto/Dads College Roommate/Cleveland Browns
Silver Member
If table conditions don't allow a top pro to split a pocket and come 4 or 5 rails around for shape, there's a few items that create this.
Pockets are TOO small, pocket facings are not cut correctly, or the room is VERY humid with dirty balls and cloth.
 

skogstokig

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'm not a promoter, so I can't really tell. Snooker fans seem to be okay with races to 19 or so..

not happening. these are 256 or 128 player fields, it's just not manageable.

Also maybe doing quicker 2 sets of races to 4 or 5? saw that in a tournament recently, can't remember which one it was, found it fitting...

that is happening. it's called the predator pro series, and is the main 10-ball tour atm. it's effectively a lower tier tour because the top pros don't like the format.
 

straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Surely there’s simple technology for accomplishing this.

Just run it through a machine like they do jeans.

I do not want 9 ball to turn into snooker!!

Unfortunately with 4 inch pockets, it’s headed that way.
The only thing wrong with snooker is those dumb jaws. As long as the pocket is playable from down the rail you can get the apertures down under 3". No more pussy defense.
 

Mark V

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Snooker is a different game entirely and comparing, or worse yet migrating closer it will only hurt American pool. Pool is in my soul, and is now unwatchable to me. Tight pockets take the 'fun' shots out of the game. The shots casual fans actually come to see. The 'how the hell did he just do that' shots. What's wrong with pool is that IT'S JUST BECOME F'IN BORING. Tighter tables and glass slick cloth only magnify it.

Load that MF'er up with high right, fire it in like your life depended on it, come around 4 rails for the 9, look at your opponent in the chair and ask him 'how'd I hit it' in the middle of a running 4 pack.

That's what's missing in pool. Now we're obsessed with everyone having a turn at the table.

4.5" pockets, shag, race to 17.
 

Nyquil

Well-known member
I'm listening but you aren't accepting my reason. The best should play on the toughest IS the reason. Much like golf, the lower handicapped (better) players play from the back tees because it is more difficult. Professionals not only play the longest tees, but also on the toughest courses with the most difficult cup placement possible. In short, the best play on the toughest, most challenging courses. This is what Matchroom is doing with pro pool. Four and a half inch pockets on brand new, slick cloth is too easy for World Class players.

Agree to disagree, I suppose.
I agree with this. I have my table reclothed twice. It's forgiving for awhile to say the least that's on 4.5 inch pro cuts. 4 inches is fine by me but my mechanic said they need to make sure the shelf angles are set up better for tighter play rather than just focusing on the width. I think we will come to a standard soon for the pros. Personally though 4.5 for a league banger is good enough for me but the pros should be playing on 4 inches.
 

sjm

Older and Wiser
Silver Member
I like what Matchroom is doing but to say they are standardizing is an overstatement. It looks like they'll use 4" at the major 9ball championships (WPC, UK Open, Spanish Open, European Open, US Open) and possibly in their major invitationals (WPM, WCOP and Mosconi Cup). They surely won't mandate that all events carrying Matchroom ranking points adhere to these specifications, and that's as it should be. As in golf, when the major titles are up for grabs, the playing conditions should be tougher.

As we saw at Derby City 9ball, when the field has too much dead money in it, super-tight tables slow an event down to a crawl, and the 2023 Derby City 9-ball forced the two finalists (SVB and Gorst) to play 25 hours of pool on the final day.
 
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