7 Predictions for the new Snooker Season July 06, 2017 08:097 completely random predictions for the 2017/18 snooker season.
The Great Cue Tip Debate (Part 2) June 12, 2017 13:03Second part of 2 of our discussion on snooker and pool cue tips, this time we look at layered tips.
The Great Cue Tip Debate (Part 1) June 05, 2017 08:41 1 CommentOver the years I have had numerous customers ask the question "which is the best cue tip?" This is Part one of the great cue tip debate.
Thoughts on the Women's Game April 03, 2017 12:41A short interview with Reanne Evans on the state of Women's snooker.
A Weekend at GB9 March 31, 2017 16:08An article about a weekend trip to play in a GB 9 Ball Tour event in February 2017.
Why Has American Pool Not Gained Traction in the UK? February 25, 2017 19:43 1 Comment
Firstly I want to say a big thank you to everyone that responded to last weeks email requesting some further information from you guys and girls. There are now some filtered sections of our email list that will be used to try and give you more relevant information. [If you are not a member then you can sign up >>> HERE]
In addition it was great to see a good chunk of you respond to our potential meet-up and coaching session. Apologies if I haven't yet responded to your emails this week but we have been moving software system and that has been grabbing my time.
Why has American Pool not gained Traction in the UK?
This weeks email is quite self-explanatory and again will not suit every reader but I hope you get some value out of it.
I want to take a look at why American Pool hasn't really gained traction in the UK. These insights are my own personal take on why the game hasn't quite moved forward. These insights look at the amateur side of the game that is where the future is developed.
Of course we have had major success since the mid-2000s at professional level. Darren Appleton, Daryl Peach, Jayson Shaw, Karl Boyes and Chris Melling have all won major International titles and Mark Gray has dominated on the European Tour.
This unprecedented success at European and World level saw 3 British players compete as part of the 5-man Team Europe in the most recent Mosconi Cup, thrashing the US team once again at their own game.
Why we have this success at world level needs another article but I want to take a look at a few things below as to why I believe the game has stagnated in the UK.
1. Access to Tables
A lot of snooker halls across the UK, since the smoking ban, have seemed to fade away so a lack of tables is not just restricted to the American Tables. There are less Snooker tables and UK Pool Tables. As a direct affect of this once thriving pool leagues are now seemingly struggling to hold on.
My first reason for a lack of development of American Pool is simply down to the access of the pool tables. American Tables, in the traditional sense, are 9ft x 4.5ft so are quite large and bulky items. Only select venues have the space to have the tables on site and lets not forget that snooker still dominates in this Country. Rileys clubs used to have the vast majority of American tables in the UK, where venues have gone from over 120 at the high point to around 50 now that is a lot of opportunity gone at grassroots level.
In order for any sport to develop, be it pool, badminton or basketball, there first has to be access to the correct equipment.
Of course there are 'barbox' tables that are popular in the USA but I will explain why they haven't taken off in the UK.
2. UK Pool Table Manufacturers would want to suppress the development
We have our own version of pool in the UK and the tables are invariably made here by manufacturers that are British and have a long history. These manufacturers would not take too kindly to US style 'barbox' tables becoming popular in bars across the UK.
I am not suggesting that there is a conscious effort to suppress the game but it makes financial sense for these table makers to try and keep their monopoly within pubs and clubs where they can. There is of course nothing stopping you playing 9 Ball on a UK pool table but it just isn't quite the same.
A whole industry is built around UK pool and an influx of different tables could cause problems for UK jobs, so in one way it could be seen as important to suppress the development of the game at grassroots level.
When you walk into a large pool or snooker club with American tables you will probably notice that most of those tables are in use.
This is of course a good thing.
However, when you delve a little deeper you realise that most of the people playing on them are just playing a version of UK 8 Ball on a larger American table. Although there is a version of 8 Ball played on American tables it is different, what should be happening is education. Clubs and more regular players should try and take an active approach to teach 9 Ball, 10 Ball and even some of the more obscure disciplines like One Pocket or Straight Pool. At the same time equipment can be discussed to give a more focussed approach to the needs of an American Pool player.
Without an understanding of why the tables are different and the different games that can be played on them then the game will continue to stagnate. Educate new and young players and maybe there would be a shift.
4. Cost can be prohibitive
When you look at buying equipment whether it be a table or a cue then you will find that there is a huge swing in price from snooker and UK pool eqipment an then American Pool equipment.
This of course can put potential players off as some of the prices are very very high indeed. But coupled with this a lot of the time the prices are high simply due to the research and development that has gone into the technology to produce solid hitting and low deflection shafts for example. Or the cost of importing tables from the USA or Europe.
Whilst American Pool hasn't quite gained the traction at grassroots level that our International success would suggest it probably isn't a bad thing. Maybe the number of players accessing the game now is the right number for the UK. Maybe I would be wrong in suggesting that players should move from what are our essentially traditional games of UK pool and snooker.
American Pool does not really have the prize money at professional level as that of snooker and that could also be another factor. Any aspiring cueist may see snooker as the way to riches.
There is also a very good chance that a number of players dabble across all games and that once they get to a certain level they will try and access tournaments and look to develop their game.
That's my thoughts anyway. I look forward to reading your thoughts via email, maybe there is something I have glaringly missed or something you do or do not agree with. Please let me know.
Until next week.
Pete Williams - Billiards Boutique
Please note that these articles are originally sent to our email members list on a Wednesday.
A Few Corrections February 14, 2017 08:42A follow up with corrections to an article I wrote about the future of english pool, especially in the UK.
A Response to: Blackball is the Future of Small Ball Pool February 08, 2017 11:38 1 CommentI agree wholeheartedly with you that more should be done by everyone to achieve unity in the game (one set of rules, one World Championship, one inter-county structure [per country], etc, etc) and those that are close to me (in pool circles) will know my feelings about that, but I'm afraid I disagree with virtually everything else you've written.
Blackball is the future of small ball pool February 03, 2017 09:35 1 CommentA personal opinion about the future of small ball pool, Blackball and World Rules.
Does Snooker Have a Future? January 26, 2017 10:40An in depth opinion on whether professional snooker has a long term future.
Why is snooker so hard? January 19, 2017 12:44 3 CommentsWhy is snooker so hard? Maybe as amateur players we try too hard to be exact, we try too hard to get perfect position each time.
I am a terrible snooker player... January 11, 2017 12:57 5 Comments
I have a confession. My name is Pete and I am terrible snooker player!
Have a Fantastic Christmas, See You in 2017! December 23, 2016 12:18
Wishing each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, have a great celebration wherever you are in the world and we hope Santa brings you what you asked for!
Just so you know these are the opening times over the next week or so in case you place an order or need to get hold of us.
23rd December - Close 2pm
24th December - Closed
25th December - Closed
26th December - Closed
27th December - Closed
28th December - Open, 9am - 1pm
29th December - Open, 9am - 1pm
30th December - Open, 9am - 1pm
31st December - Closed
1st January - Closed
2nd January - Closed
3rd January - Back to normal, 8:30am to 4:30pm
When we are open the phone will be available, when we are closed you can contact us via email or Facebook messenger and we will respond when we can, depending on how much we have had to drink!
Live chat will not be available again until January 3rd.
Which Cue Should I Buy? December 08, 2016 15:48A handy little guide to picking the right kind of cue for a loved one this Christmas.
5 Top Snooker Gifts Under £100.00 November 16, 2016 13:44In this snooker gift guide I am taking a brief look at 5 top snooker products under £100. Ideal as a main present for your loved one these vary from cue and case packages, cue cases and ball sets to give some great gift ideas.
5 Top Snooker Gifts Under £50.00 November 11, 2016 14:33Christmas snooker gift ideas for a budget up to £50.00, use as a main or secondary present.
Make an Offer Monday - The Terms November 09, 2016 10:45Terms and Conditions for our make an offer Monday events.
5 Top Snooker Gifts Under £25.00 November 09, 2016 10:29
Gift Guide: 5 Top Snooker Gifts Under £25.00, my personal opinion and our customers orders help determine this buyers guide.
5 Top Snooker Gifts Under £10.00 November 07, 2016 13:00This first guide is for snooker gifts under £10, I am picking these personally based on what I think is a great product and also what customers like you are purchasing regularly at Billiards Boutique.
What's Coming Up in November and December November 02, 2016 10:16
t's a busy time of year, not just for us of course but for pretty much everyone.
Everywhere you look there will be offers and deals to be had on all sorts of items. We are not really any different so you will find detailed below a few events and sales that we have coming up over the next two months.
Buying a Pool Table for Christmas October 13, 2016 16:06
Christmas is one of the most popular times of year for customers to be looking into a buying a pool table.
There are however a few tips and snippets of information that you need to know though before you head off and blow your own (or someone else's) pay packet on a pool table.