A friend in Singapore sent me this video and asked my impression of this glass top pool table:
Here's what I told him:
As for the pool table, it is a clever thing, of course, but I think that, as a piece of furniture,
it would only fit in with a very modern/contemporary home. And, as far as how well it plays, I would have some serious reservations with it. First of all, since there is no cloth, I think that the small pieces of chalk, which are always present because of chalking the cue tip, would create havoc with slow rolling balls. On a cloth covered table, small pieces of chalk work their way into the cloth, leaving the playing surface smooth, but the glass has nowhere for the chalk to hide. It would get dirty very quickly with hand oils, smudges, etc. Very impractical. And I think it would reflect a lot more noise.
Finally, I am thinking that some shots, such as draw, jump, masse, etc, might be difficult without cloth, which creates the friction that is needed for these shots. I would think that if such advanced shots were possible, the demo video would show it. Also, if it played as well as a pro table, then they should have some pro testimonials, but I have not found any.
The price appears to be about 3 times what a professional grade tournament Brunswick sells for in the USA (list price), which is what I use here at The Fun House, and is the standard in the industry, the Gold Crown.
All of a sudden you notice that your tip needs replacing, or that it's going to need replacing soon, and every time you shoot pool after that you get to thinking about that tip... Sooner or later you just know that if you don't get the damn tip replaced like *right now* you're going to be using it as an excuse, and that is just not acceptable.
That's what happened today. I could just not bear the thought of hitting any more balls with that old Moori medium, and I was Jones-ing to try a Kamui soft for way too long (have you *seen* the videos on the Kamui site?). So I dragged my lazy butt out of my easy chair and headed out into the god-awful heat of Santee, which is a 50-mile round trip from the cool breezes of Del Mar. There's only one reason for such a sub-optimal way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and that's Trust.
Dave at Quality Billiards in Santee, CA has been doing my cue work for years, and, as the name implies, he has always done a quality job. I'm not going to change now! I even endure the cigar smoke just to get the best work in SoCal.
I was thinking that I wanted a Kamui soft, but Dave says the Kamui soft is like the Moori medium, and that if I wanted something softer I should get the Kamui super-soft. That's what Mika uses, he says. Yes, Dave, whatever you say. You are the tip-god and I am just a wannabe. I go have a fast lunch and it's done when I get back. Forty bucks. He grinds the tip down to my preferred nickel shape and cuts it back to my preferred size, and I'm good to go... I hit a few balls on his table, and I just know this tip is going to be a good friend.
Two rails to the pocket is only possible with right english. Impossible with center ball hit.
Right English creates the angle off the first rail, an un-natural angle, which will then contact the second rail so that ball is given to the target. The fun here is in finding the touch. It's geometry AND physics. The angles are exaggerated because of the spin and speed.
Good pre-match warmup to settle down and get to know the table.Second shot rattled and dropped.Last shot dropped clean.Requires smooth follow through.Challenge to dial in consistently.
(iPhone 4 video experiment with clarity, sound and upload procedure, link with facebook, etc.)
Update 7/11/2010: All of the following still applies, except that it is not good for straight pool because so much play is in the area of the rack. It definitely can make a ball roll off-line when slow rolling. Now, here's the review I wrote two months ago:
In the history of pool, it seems that more creative energy has been given to ways to rack the balls consistently tight than any other aspect of the game. Remember the Sardo rack? Now there was a Rube Goldberg contraption if ever there was one. And what about the Laser Rack? That attempted to solve the problem with getting the rack straight, but didn't do anything about getting a tight rack. And of course the Delta-13 aluminum rack is a great product; it produces a more consistently tight rack than anything else I've used so far.
But I've just seen the future, this weekend at the Mezz 10-ball tournament at Hard Times Bellflower, CA. That rack was used exclusively for the entire weekend, and while there might have been some justifiable anguish with the tight pockets (sub 4"), there seemed to be general agreement that the Magic Rack was a good thing.
I just love it when someone comes along and invents something which is so simple, so obvious, that you wonder how come it wasn't invented a long time ago. When you compare the Magic Rack with the Sardo rack, you would think that the Sardo rack is some sort of weird joke. It's just a super thin slip of plastic, triangle shaped, with cutouts for the balls on the perimeter. You place the balls by hand on the triangle and the balls nestle in for a perfectly tight rack. And it's perfectly silent, unlike the very noisy Delta-13. And it does such a great job that tournaments move along much more quickly because it's so easy. Spectators are spared the boredom of watching players go through all the contortions of trying to get the balls to behave.