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Use the chart below to determine the pool table size that will fit best in your space, also keep in mind that playing with shorter cue sticks should be kept to a minimum for optimum play.
Billiards evolved from a lawn game similar to croquet played sometime during the 15th century in Northern Europe (probably in France). The term “poolroom” now means a place where billiards is played, but in the 19th century a poolroom was a betting parlor for horse racing.
Pro player and trick shot specialist Paul Gerni is nicknamed the “Ambassador” and speaks six languages. The term “scratch,” as applied to a pocketing of the cue ball, was derived from the penalty assessed for such a foul. According to research conducted a few years back, billiard champions have the highest average age of any sport, 35.6 years. Tom Cruise did his own trick billiard shots for the 1986 film, The Color of Money, except for one in which he had to jump two balls to sink another.
Before the invention of celluloid and other new-age plastics, billiard balls were made out of ivory.
Captain Mingaud, the inventor of the leather cue tip, was imprisoned for political reasons during the French Revolution. The world’s largest billiard hall was built during billiards’ “Golden Age.” “The Recreation,” a mammoth seven-story health spa, was a bustling Detroit business in the 1920s. Charles Goodyear – the inventor of vulcanized rubber, which revolutionized billiard cushions and countless other industries – died a virtual pauper.
Marquetry – the art of making pictures or designs with thin slices of wood, shell or other materials – has long enhanced the beauty of tables and cues. Many handicapped people have played the game of pool, but the story of “Handless George” Sutton is truly one of inspiration. Throughout most of the 1800’s, the chalk used on the new leather cue tips was carbonate of lime, better known as blackboard chalk. Most chalk used today is comprised of fine abrasives and does not contain a speck of chalk. Harvey Hendrickson probably made as much money as anyone with his “limited” skills at the billiard table. In the course of play, one day a visiting military cadet remarked that first-year cadets at this particular academy were known as “snookers”. Tables originally had flat vertical walls for rails and their only function was to keep the balls from falling off.


At times, including during the Civil War, billiard results received wider coverage than war news. Pool table sizes are determined by the playing field area dimension NOT THE OUTSIDE DIMENSION. Director Martin Scorsese said he wanted to let Cruise learn the shot, but it would have taken two extra days of practice, which would have held up production and cost thousands of dollars.
With the help of a fellow prisoner, he was able to have a billiard table installed in his cell. It featured 103 tables, 88 bowling lanes, 20 barber chairs, three manicuring stands, 14 cigar stands, a lunch counter on each floor, a restaurant that could seat 300, and an exhibition room with theater seating, that could accommodate 250 spectators. His company failed, he was imprisoned for debt, and he profited little from his breakthrough invention. Yet, his most famous match strangely had more to do with a penknife, than his unequaled wizardry of the game. From its earliest days, the game was often denounced as a sinful, dangerous, morally corrupt activity. They resembled riverbanks and even used to be called “banks.” Players discovered that balls could bounce off the rails and began deliberately aiming at them. When a player pocketed the cue ball, his opponent “scratched” a point off the shooter’s score.
Because billiard balls had to be cut from the dead center of a tusk, the average tusk yielded only 3 to 4 balls. It was during his incarceration that be became obsessed with the game, that he devised and perfected his invention.
Before “The Hustler” was released, the “Philco TV Theater” aired an episode called “Goodbye, Johnny,” which bore an uncanny resemblance to the Playboy short story. Despite his handicap (and long before the days of advanced prosthetics), he studied medicine and graduated from the University of Milwaukee. When the first championship pool tournament was held in 1878, the winner, and the event itself, all but went unnoticed.
In an inventory of the possessions of King Louis XI of France, his table was said to have contained the following: a bed of stone, a cloth covering, and a hole in the middle of the playing field, into which balls could be driven. Not with his ability to run racks or pocket balls, but with his freakishly unique ability to pick up and hold 15 billiard balls at once using one hand. The mace consisted of a curved wooden (or metal) head used to push the ball forward, attached to a narrow handle.


Thus a “bank shot” is one in which a ball is made to rebound from a cushion as part of the shot.
The easiest way to measure the table is to stand at one end of the table and measure the width of the pool table from the point of the cushion on one side to the other. His obsession became so intense, that at the end of his prison term, he actually asked for a longer sentence so that he could complete his study of the game.
In it, Cliff Robertson portrayed the cocky young hustler, making Robertson – not Newman – the original “Fast Eddie” Felson. After several games, Cannefax, who preferred a fast cloth, asked to move the match to a different table. In early American history, actual laws were passed (thanks to religious influences), outlawing the game in many parts of the land. When a tie-breaking playoff was suggested, Maurice Vignaux, the French champion and notorious whiner when things weren’t going his way, scoffed at the suggestion. Since the bulkiness of the mace head made shots along the rail difficult, it was often turned around and the “tail” end was used. The Indiana native merely proclaimed herself Champion of the World, and offered $5,000 to any woman who could beat her at pocket billiards. He insisted the title should be awarded based on the highest overall average (which he, of course, had at the time). Players eventually realized this method was far more effective, and the cue as a separate instrument grew out of the mace’s tail. He took his playing skills on the road, touring the country and amazing audiences for nearly 35 years. An incensed Cannefax drew a penknife and savagely cut the cloth down the center of the table. Hoppe was immediately awarded the match, and Cannefax was suspended from competition for a year. She was paid handsomely for her appearances throughout the 1920’s, taking on challengers and giving exhibitions, in both America and Europe. She followed this up with a well-publicized announcement that shocked the pool-playing world.



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