Beginner Pool Player Needs Advice

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brett Hancock, Mar 11, 2003.

  1. Brett Hancock

    Brett Hancock Supporting Actor

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    I have been playing pool non stop for the past 2 months and want to purchase my own cue as I am tired of the crappy free for everybody ones. I feel that I am decent for somebody who has only been playing for 2 months. I was wondering what is a good cue for a beginner who isn't looking for the absolute best. I am looking to spend less then 60 bucks and hope to find something in that price range. Also I was wondering what I should buy with a cue in terms of accessories. I have seen tip shapers, replacement cues and I am confused on what each one of these accessories do, so any help in that subject is appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Jeff Rosz

    Jeff Rosz Second Unit

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    brett,
    do a google search on "billiards". you'll find tons of cues to fit your budget. go for a middle of the road weight for now 19 or 20, unless you already have a preference. look for a nice thread grip, screw in replacement tips if you can, and get a deal with a free case. for accessories, all you really need for now is a scuffer, only a couple of bucks. i have one on my keychain, never lose it and noone borrows it. it just scuffs up the tip to hold the chaulk to get a good grip on the cueball.
     
  3. Brett Hancock

    Brett Hancock Supporting Actor

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    Thanks, I found this site and the combos that are featured are within my price range but I was wondering a few things about them.

    If it doesn't have screw in replacement tips what kind of tips do I order and how much do they run?

    Should I look for a better cue or should this be fine for a beginner?

    Thanks

    P.S. how about these
     
  4. Jeff Rosz

    Jeff Rosz Second Unit

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    i cant find the combos you talk about. the others look ok. but buying a cue unseen and unheld (off the net) is tough. UNLESS you go for a good name brand like viking or mcdermott or KNOW what you want. i wouldnt have any problem buying a cue off the net sight-unseen from these two makers. they are good well-known brands to start out with and the pros use em too. if you can suffer through the warped sticks the poolhalls have for a while and double your budget, you can get a good entry level stick from either of these two brands and rest easy knowing you have a quality stick.
    after thinking about the screw-in tips feature, i remembered they cost more. so dont worry bout it, if you can find one in your budget , go for it, otherwise dont sweat it. when you break a tip, get yer pocket knife and shave off any remaining leather from the wood and glue on a replacement, scuff, chaulk, shoot. your stick will have a tip diameter, just get the tips that match.
    look in your yellow pages and go shoot some pool at a local dealer to see what you like. ask them questions. if they have what you like, buy it. if later you find you want a heavier or lighter, different color, etc, they may even trade you for what you want. buying a cue is like buying a baseball glove, you have to try it out.
     
  5. Brett Hancock

    Brett Hancock Supporting Actor

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    Cool, thanks for the advice. The place that I play pool at is apperantly an authorized McDermott dealer so once I scrape together a few bucks and get a little better I will have to check them out.
     
  6. Scott Van Dyke

    Scott Van Dyke Supporting Actor

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    STOP!

    Brett,

    I got my first cue at 12. It was an entry level Viking with no inlays or points, and went for about $60. I shot with it for 15 years and loved it. I was even rather abusive with it at times, and it stood up. Then my Dad took me to the McDermott factory and let me pick a cue out for my Birthday. (McDermott is about 5 mi. away, and he had a friend that worked there)(Employees get two sticks a year at 50% off)

    I now shoot with a custom "Legacy" M9-3. I love the stick, and prefer the wood to metal joint. However, there are no more McDermott's associated with the company, and the place has had a for sale sign out front for quite some time. Long story short, McDermott is an over priced stick for being mass-produced. The company was almost run into the ground.

    If you are serious about staying with the game, spend a little more than you would like. I know the feeling of "gotta have it now!". For an entry-level cue, you should be looking for a good name that's been around for a while. Viking has stood the test of time in this respect.

    I don't know much about screw-in tips, but I wouldn't go that route. (No offense Jeff) Seems to me, the feel of the hit may be compromised.

    In conclusion, go out and get yourself a cheap stick if you want to just go out and poke around once in a while. If you are as serious as I was, and have read books from the pro's, watch videos on techniques, and practice different drills, get a stick with a name behind it. This will make it much easier to pick-up on such intricasies in the game such as English, Throw, Masse, Push, and Leave. Please reference "Pocket Billiards" by, Willie Masconi. This book is the pool player's bible. The prerequisite to all other literature.

    P.S: 70% percent of the game can be mastered in three fundamentals:
    1. Stance (How you stand and address the table with a cue in your hands)
    2. Bridge (How you hold the small end of the stick)
    3. Stroke (Your rear hand, and how it grasps the butt, and pushes the stick through the Cue ball)

    I hope some of this helps.
     
  7. ken thompson

    ken thompson Second Unit

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    Make sure you're good before you go strutting into places with your own cue. Nothing worse that a poser. Just kidding...sort of.
     
  8. ken thompson

    ken thompson Second Unit

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    A think those crappy free for everbody ones at any decent pool hall probably cost if not more than at least close to the $60 your looking to spend. I'd think about upping the ante a little. $200 will get you a decent stick.
     
  9. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Screenwriter

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    Ken, the guy has only been playing for 2 months so him getting a $200 stick is just wrong imo. If he has played consistantly for a couple of years than I think he should get a nice stick.

    Brett, I would just stick with the free Que sticks at the bars or pool halls because with only 2 months of experience, they should be good enough. Honestly, how good can a person be with only two months experience at any sport/hobby? I still only use the free sticks when I go.

    I just think you should save your money at this time.
     
  10. ken thompson

    ken thompson Second Unit

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    I agree.
     
  11. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

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    As I understand it, the secret to billiards is "English".

    After reading your posts here on the HTF, I am confident that Fast Eddie has nothing on you!
     
  12. Win Joy Jr

    Win Joy Jr Stunt Coordinator

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    Been playing for only 2 months...

    Take some more time to develop your game and sock away some money... Then ask around for a custom builder to make you a cue. If you go with a craftsman, it will be the last cue you will ever need to buy...

    So, wait until you have six months of steady playing under your belt, then buy a $200 cue from one of the mass producers.
     
  13. Mike Hutman

    Mike Hutman Supporting Actor

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    Brett, my first stick was a J&J. I never heard of it before neither. It cost about 45 to 50 dollars, and lasted for a couple of years. In fact I still have it and let my friends use it when we go out.
    Last year I ordered a McDermott from Mueller, and love it. It is the best stick that I have ever played with. It cost around 175 dollars but worth every penny.
    I would listen to what every one else has said and buy a cheap stick or use the free ones, Learn the game, Then pick up a better stick.
     
  14. DavidMich

    DavidMich Stunt Coordinator

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    I love my Meucci.....only cost about $675. What a bargain.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Carl Miller

    Carl Miller Screenwriter

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    Brett, if you're serious about playing pool in the future, I think buying an inexpensive entry level cue would be a good idea. Playing with the same cue every time has its benefits even for beginners. Hitting with the same, well conditioned and well shaped tip every time you play will help you learn and be consistant. House cue tips are too round, too flat or too worn. They're also often warped and with missing or broken weights.

    As someone already said, start with a 19 or 20 oz cue. Find a 19 and 20oz cue at your pool hall and see which weight feels more comfortable to you before you buy.

    My first cue was a Palmer cue bought about 15 years ago and I still have it. Back then it was $40. I bought a McDermott on Ebay 8 months or so ago to replace the Palmer cue, but I was unhappy with it only because I had become accustomed to playing with a cue which had a metal to metal joint, which gives a harder hit.

    I just replaced that with a Viking VM-30 for $225 (joint, color and wrap all made to order) and I love it. I wouldn't recommend you spending anywhere near that much at this point, but Viking does make a good cue in a broad range of prices.

    Accessories, you don't need much. Have your tip shaped by someone at the pool hall, get a tip tapper to help hold the chalk and you're set...Oh, and I second the tip on the Mosconi book.
     
  16. Marshall Alsup

    Marshall Alsup Second Unit

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    I picked up my cue at a shop for just over $100. Its an entry level McDermott. I recomend getting your own cue because they are SOOOOOO much nicer than house cues. Even if you suck (which I do [​IMG] ) they are more fun to play with.

    -Marshall
     
  17. Scott Van Dyke

    Scott Van Dyke Supporting Actor

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    As Marshall has noted, The Alpha, or Shamrock series by McDermott is probably the best way to go for you at this time. And as Carl said, playing with the same good tip, and solid, well-crafted stick everytime you approach the table will ensure consistancy and add to your skill-level. You should be able to find one of these two sticks for just over $100. http://www.mcdermottcue.com
     
  18. Jonathan DA

    Jonathan DA Screenwriter

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    Brett, pay heed to the responses here, they have some good advice. Stay away from screw on tips at all cost, they are horrible, you're better off playing with the house cues. Shopping for a cue can be as complicated as shopping for audio gear, what's best for you might not be best for the next guy.

    Some good production brands to consider:
    Joss
    McDermott
    Meucci
    Viking
    J. Pechauer
    All of these will exceed your budget, so save up for a while till you can spend $150 or so on a cue. There's a big quality difference from $60 to $150.

    While you're waiting try to play with as many different kinds of cues as possible to get a feel for the different types. For instance Meucci cues have what are described as whippy shafts, some people like them, some hate em. Joss cues tend to have thicker shafts (13.5mm) than others which affects the feel of the hit. Shaft taper also affects the hit and feel of the cue, as do the joint type, tip type, and the where the balance point is on the cue. I played for years on an entry level Meucci before having a custom cue made for me by Shurtz Custom Cues in Wichita, KS.

    Some sites to check out:
    http://www.cuestore.com
    http://www.billiardwarehouse.com
    http://www.hawleys.com

    Another thing to consider is a Sneaky Pete cue from a custom maker. These are usually house cues that have been cut in two and turned on a lathe by a custom cue maker. Or you can get a basic sneaky pete from Dufferin for about $50-90.

    The biggest source of info online about pool is still Usenet, check out rec.sport.billiard for a slightly more upscale discussion of billiards, or alt.sport.pool for the rowdy variety. You can also try a web portal like http://www.playpool.com

    And don't forget to learn the rules! Most people play by bar rules, which may vary from bar to bar. The sanctioned tournament rules for the BCA and APA can be found at http://www.poolplayers.com and http://www.bca-pool.com Personally I prefer the BCA rules.

    Good luck! Pool is as addictive as home theater!
     
  19. Greg_L_C

    Greg_L_C Stunt Coordinator

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    A little billiard humor I heard today:

    What does a Al-Qaida prisoner and a cue ball have in common?



    The harder you hit them the more English you get.
     
  20. Shayne Judge

    Shayne Judge Stunt Coordinator

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    My apologies for going off topic a bit, but I am interested in buying a pool table. However, I want the table to function as a dining room table as well. Do these even exist, and if so, how good are they, and any recommedations?
     

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