Introducing my very own brand new Brunswick Gold Crown III! Wahooo! Ok, so the table is not new, but it’s new to me. Last week Ernesto Dominguez and Oscar Dominguez stopped by my house on their way home from the annual Chuck Markulas Memorial tournament in Sacramento to set up the table in my garage. Talk about two amazing guys! It took them almost four hours of hard labor and an unbelievable amount of patience to get the table leveled correctly, but they did a fantastic job. Below I’ve included some photos from this historic event. Can you tell I’m excited?
A few weeks ago I told Ernesto that I wanted tight pockets, but I didn’t really specify exactly what I meant when I said tight. No worries, he had a solution in mind. He took the rails from my recently purchased table to his shop in L.A., reworked the wood and cut new cushions, then came back with a product that was much better than I had dared to ask for. When he first put the rails on, I looked and almost choked! Take a look at this tight pocket! He laughed and told me that wasn’t the final resting spot for the rails, and I sighed in relief, wheewww!
He adjusted the rails to the correct spot, and they were still pretty tight! How tight are they? Well, let’s first consider what it means to have normal pockets. The standard pocket for home recreation is about 5 inches wide, which is good for the casual player. In most pool halls, the serious players like to play on tables with “tight” pockets. In general, any table with pockets that are 4.5 inches or less are considered “tight.” When you get any tighter, let’s say around 4.25 inches, this is considered “super tight.” The pockets on my table? 3.81 inches! What is THAT? Super-duper extra tight?!! I must admit I was somewhat intimidated at first, but deep down I was excited… excited about the challenge the super duper tight pockets would present, and the possibilities for improvement that they represented. Now I’ve got to really focus on every single shot. I’ve got to eliminate that crazy English I tend to over use because tight pockets are very unforgiving, demand extreme accuracy, and also require you to slow the cue ball down (which incidentally is a good thing). So I’ll need to ditch most of the extreme English and use speed and angles of approach to get proper position. With a great table at home, I can now hit California Billiards between 5:00pm and 2:00 am, then train at home from 2:00am to 8:00am. Who needs sleep anyway? Oh, yeah! I can feel my game getting better already! The next step will be to actually clean up the garage so that it’s presentable. Nah, that can wait!