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!

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