Reader Question: How to deal with new cloth on the snooker table

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A reader asked me the question:

What would I notice as different if I were to play on a good Simonis cloth? They are putting a Simonis cloth on the snooker table where I play this week. I live in Michigan. It is very difficult to even find a Billiard Parlor with a snooker table.

Thank you,
Bob Q

Bob, thanks for getting in touch!  Here is my response:

Generally, pool rooms will try to find a balance between durability and playability. Simonis isn’t the recommended cloth to use on a snooker table – pros play on the 6811 Strachan. The 6811, although the best cloth, doesn’t have the durability compared to other cloth and is also more expensive, so it’s rarely used in public billiard rooms. Some rooms swear by the Hainsworth Smart cloth as the one to use. Hopefully, the fitters re-cover the cushions as well (it’s standard practice). Initially, when a new cloth is placed on a table, there is a period of break in time whereby the balls don’t respond as they are meant to.

The type of balls you play and condition also bear a significant role in overall play condition as well. I highly recommend that you own and carry around a good set of snooker balls as well in the off chance that the pool room doesn’t provide a clean and properly weighted set. The cue ball also should be weighed at least once a year to ensure <1g tolerance between all balls. Pros use Snooker Aramith Tournament champion balls 2 1/16th. A light cue ball can be hard to control and you will find that the angles you know don’t seem to work out. You never reach good cueing when the cue ball is out of weight compared to the other balls. Even when the cue ball is correctly weighted, some cue balls still don’t respond because the resin density is off as well. My friend, at his house, swears by the heavier “feeling” Steve Davis balls.

As a courtesy, if your pool room doesn’t regularly do it, you should brush the table before you play. This provides a longer life to the table cloth – the chalk has chemicals that wear the cloth out. Brush the table from the balk down to the black spot. You should also find out if they block or iron the table and volunteer that service if they don’t. It will help your enjoyment of the game in the end.

I hope that helps Bob! As always, please comment and suggest the next article!

Request for Next Article

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Hello Loyal Subscribers! I’m getting read to spend some time writing a bunch more articles over the next few months. I really have enjoyed your comments and feedback and I’m getting excited about doing some great articles this year to provide more information and education on the game we all love!  I don’t spend enough time writing because I try to spend every spare moment on the snooker table :) Can you blame me?

I have combed through the comments and here are some indications for topics that I need to pursue further:

  1. Commentor Thiagan asked me about the shape of a tip. I’m thinking about doing a video of a tip change as well as talking a bit about tips.
  2. Commentor Spike has asked about the next article in the series “Snooker Success Principles and Shot Selection”. I got as far as Part 3, but I think Part 4 and Part 5 are very much overdue.
  3. A LOT of comments and live web chats are asking questions like “I’m doing this and this and this with my cue action and it’s broken cause I can’t make balls. How do I fix it?”. This is the most difficult question to answer because it’s so open ended. That’s what coaching is all about – figuring out the particular broken bits, and sorting them out. It would be in appropriate to prescribe any one solution through an article, but I may be able to provide general guidelines.

Do you have some ideas and suggestions for a topic you would like to see written next? Let me know!  After all, I write for you, my subscribers!

Happy Potting!