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  • Pocket size for beginners

    Hello,

    Our club in Odense, Denmark recently expanded with two new Wiraka M1 snooker tables, which is really great. Now, to try and attract new members, we are talking about, opening up the pockets on one of our two old Riley tables. The corner pockets are around 8.5cm but they arent cut very friendly, meaning you almost have to be as precise as on our new Wiraka tables. We are talking about installing a piece of wood between the cushion and the slate to widen the pockets, is this way to go about this?

    Which size do you recommend for both the corner pockets and the middle pockets, and which method would you recommend.

    Thank you for your time.

  • #2
    would you not just be better leaving them as they are and offering reduced rates on the old riley tables? and offering some "coaching" sessions for beginners.

    You could even go as far as to offer 2 hour / half day sessions on the old tables with a "coach" on hand to run them through the basics, offer advice, answer questions etc. In a format you determine i.e 30 mins /1 hour basics (stance, cueing, sighting etc) and then 1 hour / 2 frames of free play, then more basics, then more free play etc.

    You could maybe include 1 months membership to the club (if you have to pay membership) and a set number of hours of table time to use within that month (on the old rileys) all in a package deal.

    It all depends on how your club works.

    I personally don't see the point of training new members / beginners to play on easy tables, as it's then another learning curve for them to learn to pot on properly cut pockets.
    Last edited by andi mack; 21st December 2015, 12:37 PM.
    Andi Mack

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    • #3
      You can never have pockets big enough - quote by Cliff Thorburn which I agree with. Players will learn quicker on tables with generous pockets and who cares about learning on tighter pockets as most of those players will never be pros or even good amateurs and playing in the world champs.

      A lot of pros first learned to play on bigger pockets
      Terry Davidson
      IBSF Master Coach & Examiner

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by andi mack View Post
        would you not just be better leaving them as they are and offering reduced rates on the old riley tables? and offering some "coaching" sessions for beginners.
        Thank you for the input. Our club is acutally very cheap, so its not a matter of pricing (<10£/month for students and under 18, for unlimited play on great snooker, pool and billards tables.). The thing is that people tend to visit our club and too many conclude that the game is impossible and we never see them again. If we make just one of four tables easier we will be better equipped to give new players, young and old, a fair chance at getting some succes the first few times they spent here. Once a player is hooked, I personally think that a combination of tables tight and loose is great.

        In regards to Terry's input (thank you by the way), which size and method would you recommend?

        Comment


        • #5
          I always played on the tightest available pockets. Is this why I am rubbish?

          I think it helps you learn the positional side of the game, if you are always dropping the balls. Personally I think it helps all sides of your game if you have to hit the ball in the right place to pot it. What you need to have with tight pockets is fast and reactive playing conditions. If you can't pinch angles as much, you need the table to react to be able to get position.

          I think templates that conform to tournament conditions are fine.....modern ones seem a bit more generous than back in the eighties, because people like to see heavier scoring. I slightly regret that, because I think it shifts the balance away from a safety/grinding style, which I actually really like to see. I often fast forward through the bits where a player gets in and makes a breal....there seems to be less jeopardy than there used to be. I love a safety battle, and the player getting in, but with the pressure of knowing that a frame winning break is a real achievement.

          Part of the problem with modern snooker, and I believe a reason for it's decline in popularity, is that big scores have lost a bit of magic.

          Of course that could just be me.

          If the tables were mine I'd just make sure they are in good condition, with great cloth. As long as the balls will go in the hole it's the same for both players. Uniformity is not always good.....of course if people don't want to play in the tables because of it, that's a different matter.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Terry Davidson View Post
            You can never have pockets big enough - quote by Cliff Thorburn which I agree with. Players will learn quicker on tables with generous pockets and who cares about learning on tighter pockets as most of those players will never be pros or even good amateurs and playing in the world champs.

            A lot of pros first learned to play on bigger pockets
            Personally i always look for the table with the tightest pockets, as i enjoy the challenge of it.

            That said, I'm just an average club player and certainly don't posses the level and depth of knowledge of someone like Terry. So if he's saying make the table easier, then make the table easier.

            Originally posted by michaelthrane View Post
            Thank you for the input. Our club is acutally very cheap, so its not a matter of pricing (<10£/month for students and under 18, for unlimited play on great snooker, pool and billards tables.). The thing is that people tend to visit our club and too many conclude that the game is impossible and we never see them again. If we make just one of four tables easier we will be better equipped to give new players, young and old, a fair chance at getting some succes the first few times they spent here. Once a player is hooked, I personally think that a combination of tables tight and loose is great.
            Wow, that's some cracking pricing you've got there.

            I hope you find the magic formula that brings in the new members, good luck with it.

            Originally posted by tetricky View Post
            I always played on the tightest available pockets. Is this why I am rubbish?
            LOL same, maybe we both need to start playing on more open tables?
            Andi Mack

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            • #7
              Packing out cushions to widen pockets is not good
              you will have Riley two pin loose corner pocket plates, or under bolted plates that cannot align if bolted type

              to tetricky
              on the modern Vs 80 s templates it is the 80s templates that are large type not the other way around my old 80s templates are slightly larger than those used on Star tables .
              These are my old 80s templates http://gclbilliards.com/enlarge-to-t...crat-in-derby/

              Having slightly larger pocket openings build confidence on potting and break building accuracy comes later as instructed by many modern snooker coaches http://gclbilliards.com/open-up-pock...unger-players/
              Last edited by Geoff Large; 21st December 2015, 09:48 PM. Reason: spelling
              [/SIGPIC]http://www.gclbilliards.com

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Geoff Large View Post
                ....to tetricky
                on the modern Vs 80 s templates it is the 80s templates that are large type not the other way around my old 80s templates are slightly larger than those used on Star tables .
                These are my old 80s templates http://gclbilliards.com/enlarge-to-t...crat-in-derby/

                Having slightly larger pocket openings build confidence on potting and break building accuracy comes later as instructed by many modern snooker coaches http://gclbilliards.com/open-up-pock...unger-players/
                Did you use to do Beeston Snooker hall? What were the two match tables cut like (the ones right at the far end)?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Geoff Large View Post
                  Packing out cushions to widen pockets is not good
                  you will have Riley two pin loose corner pocket plates, or under bolted plates that cannot align if bolted type

                  to tetricky
                  on the modern Vs 80 s templates it is the 80s templates that are large type not the other way around my old 80s templates are slightly larger than those used on Star tables .
                  These are my old 80s templates http://gclbilliards.com/enlarge-to-t...crat-in-derby/

                  Having slightly larger pocket openings build confidence on potting and break building accuracy comes later as instructed by many modern snooker coaches http://gclbilliards.com/open-up-pock...unger-players/
                  Geoff is that bottom table for nine ball?
                  This is how you play darts ,MVG two nines in the same match!
                  https://youtu.be/yqTGtwOpHu8

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The logic of having bigger pockets is simple. If you learn to pot quicker, which you will with larger pockets, then you will concentrate of cueball control more and every shot becomes easier if you have decent position. As I said, a lot of pros learned on tables with big pockets.

                    The only problem I see with this club in Denmark is if you only open up one table people will prefer to play on it rather than your tighter tables because everyone want to look good and get the odd higher break,
                    Terry Davidson
                    IBSF Master Coach & Examiner

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      we have three tables at our club, two have "nice" pockets, one has "tight" pockets.
                      there is only one person I know that prefers the "tight" table, people will stand and wait for one of the "nice" tables, or even leave as they wont play on the "tight" table.

                      One day I will take down the prints of the templates and compare them
                      Up the TSF!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DeanH View Post
                        we have three tables at our club, two have "nice" pockets, one has "tight" pockets.
                        there is only one person I know that prefers the "tight" table, people will stand and wait for one of the "nice" tables, or even leave as they wont play on the "tight" table.

                        One day I will take down the prints of the templates and compare them
                        This is exactly what happens with every club that decided to bring their pockets out. They have to understand they will have to do all their tables unless the want to specifically exempt one as a 'match' tables. Players will always gravitate to the more generous pockets.
                        Terry Davidson
                        IBSF Master Coach & Examiner

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thank you for all your valuable input!

                          Now the question is where do we find a suitable template to cut the holes after?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tetricky View Post
                            Did you use to do Beeston Snooker hall? What were the two match tables cut like (the ones right at the far end)?
                            I did some re-covering at Beeston before it closed the pockets where 3.5 inch
                            [/SIGPIC]http://www.gclbilliards.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Terry Davidson View Post
                              This is exactly what happens with every club that decided to bring their pockets out. They have to understand they will have to do all their tables unless the want to specifically exempt one as a 'match' tables. Players will always gravitate to the more generous pockets.
                              The chap who likes the tight pockets is the one I would want in my team. Ambitious for accuracy is what it's all about, not just bigger breaks made on easy tables. When these folk go to a league match on a tight table, they'll get found out. I'd take a 50 on a Star over a ton on an easy table. If you play on tight tables, you can compare your standard to the pros. You can't do that on easy tables so it's much harder to know how good you are.

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