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
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 4 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.
Wu & Yu Triumph at China Open 9 Ball August 31, 2016 09:569 Ball Pool: The China Open, which ran from August 21st - 28th sees two new champions.
The 7 Fundamentals of a Good Cue Action August 18, 2016 14:00At the professional level cue actions do vary immensely but they all follow the 7 fundamental principles that I have laid out below.
Latest Mosconi Cup Rankings: August 2016 August 16, 2016 15:55The most recent Mosconi Cup rankings have now been updated for both team Europe and Team USA.
Marsh and McAllister Win in Warwick August 12, 2016 12:10The IPA Tour continued last weekend with it’s fourth event of five, the European Open at the Chesford Grange Hotel, Warwick.
Austrian Albin Ouschan Wins World 9 Ball Championships in Qatar August 05, 2016 10:5225-year-old Austrian Albin Ouschan lifted the WPA World 9-Ball Pool Championships yesterday in Doha, Qatar.
Snooker World Open: Captain Carter Victorious in Yushan August 03, 2016 15:37Ali Carter lifted his fourth ranking title of a professional career that dates back to 1996 last weekend.
Jayson Shaw in Pole Position For European Mosconi Cup Spot July 28, 2016 12:36Jayson Shaw maintained his lead at the top of the European Mosconi Cup rankings after last weekends UK Open 9 Ball event in Telford.
In Depth: Peradon Prince Snooker Cue Review July 26, 2016 14:05The Peradon Prince snooker cue is one of the classic cues of the Peradon range so is the perfect place to pick up with my second installment of my In Depth series.
Shane Van Boening Wins US Open 10 Ball Championships July 25, 2016 12:40Shane Van Boening lifted the 2016 US Open 10-Ball Championships at weekend, his second career US Open 10-Ball title.
Rasson Announced as new Mosconi Cup Table Supplier July 20, 2016 10:32 1 CommentMatchroom Sport recently announced that Rasson Billiards would be the new table supplier for Matchroom events, including the prestigious Mosconi Cup
Chinese 8 Ball Tables Now Available for Order July 19, 2016 15:49Exciting range of five new Chinese 8 Ball Tables now available for purchase from £2995.00
Mosconi Cup 2016 - Team USA Ranking Update July 18, 2016 16:2146-year-old US pool legend, Rodney Morris, leads the way as the latest ranking list for the Mosconi Cup were released last week.
Cyclop Billiard Balls Available Soon July 11, 2016 11:50Cyclop Pool and Snooker balls will be available from stock later on this week, buy them first at Billiards Boutique.
Jayson Shaw Beats Ralf Souquet to Lift 2016 Bergen Open Title June 27, 2016 12:19Jayson Shaw picked up the Bergen Open 9-ball on the weekend to improve his Mosconi Cup chances.
What Tip Should I Use on my Break Cue? June 24, 2016 20:06When you play pool, how often you win can be determined by the break shot. Use the correct cue tip to improve your break.
An English Pool Practice Drill for Your Weekend June 10, 2016 16:24The 14 ball english pool practice drill, can you do it first time?
North Cyprus Eurotour Underway in Kyrenia June 02, 2016 11:36Mark Gray will be looking to continue his excellent form in Europe and retain his number one ranking spot.
Arena Billiards 1st UK Club to Provide Chinese 8 Ball May 27, 2016 10:32This week Arena Billiards in Loughborough became the first UK pool club to provide a Chinese 8 Ball table to its members
Snooker Q School: 2 Year Tour Cards for 12 May 25, 2016 15:42There was something quite major taking place last week in Burton-on-Trent though, the not so small matter of the World Snooker Q School.
How to add some weight to your Peradon snooker cue May 18, 2016 10:07Peradon came up with two ingenious ways to add some weight to their full range of cues at a fraction of the cost and none of the hassle...
Introducing the revamped BB Points May 12, 2016 14:32BB Points revamped into new loyalty rewards program at Billiards Boutique. Collect points with every purchase and use them to buy stuff.
Ding Through to Semi Finals at the Crucible April 27, 2016 10:18China's Ding Junhui dealt a crushing blow to twice former world snooker champion Mark Williams yesterday when he destroyed the Welshman 13-3 with an entire session to spare.
Round Two Underway at the Crucible Theatre April 21, 2016 16:24The second round games have started this afternoon with an interesting match between Anthony McGill and Marco Fu.
Mark Gray Wins Dynamic Austria Open April 18, 2016 12:25Britain's Mark Gray lifted the Dynamic Austria Open at the weekend to propel him to number 2 on the Eurotour rankings.
Seeds Fall at World Snooker Championships April 18, 2016 12:10Seeded players tumble at the 2016 World Snooker Championships
2016 World Snooker Championships gets Underway this Week April 05, 2016 11:41Ponds Forge in Sheffield is the host venue for this years World Snooker Championship Qualifiers that start tomorrow at 11am.
The Deep Screw Shot [VIDEO] March 04, 2016 09:13In this video, Shaun Murphy, gives a great explanation about the reasons for using the shot and the elements you need to recreate in order to effectively carry out the shot.
World Book Day 2016: My Recommendations March 03, 2016 19:36So, it's World Book Day today, and whilst many primary aged children across the UK (and no doubt further afield) dress up as Harry Potter or Where's Wally I thought it would be interesting to share some of my own book recommendations.
Fortunski Wins First Eurotour Title March 01, 2016 11:01
Poland's Mieszko Fortunski lifted his first Eurotour 9-ball title on Saturday after coming through a strong field of over 180 players in Treviso Italy.