Professional pool players have many personal preferences that they feel influence their game, for example, pool cue brand or ball brand. But do pool players have a preference when it comes to the pool table they play on? What pool tables do pros play on?
Pros play on nine-foot pool tables. The brand of the pool table used in a tournament is generally related to the country that the event is being held in. As an example, you might see Diamond pool tables in America, or Gabriels Sentinel in Belgium, or The Netherlands.
Just like sportsmen and women in any other sport, professional pool players can also have their own preference for any part of the sport, including the pool table they play on. That said, there is no specific table that all professional players prefer, just what is provided at an event.
What Do Professionals Look for In a Pool Table?
There are two main factors when deciding what type of pool table to buy. The size of the pool table and the bed type.
The first thing that every professional pool player looks for in a pool table is size.
A pool table should always be twice as long as it is wide to be considered a regulation-size table. There is no regulation size for a professional pool table so long as it meets this size ratio.
The most common pool table size used in professional pool tournaments is the nine-foot table. Professional pool players are more likely to buy a nine-foot table to replicate the tables used in pool tournaments as this creates a similar environment when practicing for tournaments.
The material used to construct the bed of a pool table is another important consideration for a professional pool player. The bed of a pool table can be either slate or MDF. A professional player will always prefer a pool table bed made from slate.
A slate bed pool table has a large piece (or multiple pieces in some cases) of slate with the cloth of the table directly over it. Professionals prefer slate because it has a more even surface and gives better consistency.
Another benefit of buying a slate bed pool table is that they are longer-lasting tables. Since the slate does not deteriorate the way that wood does, when the table gets worn, it is only the cloth that needs replacing.
Compared to slate bed tables, MDF bed tables are more affordable, but they have a much lesser quality of play, and they aren’t as durable. In addition to wearing over time, MDF bed tables can become warped by humidity.
Another factor to take into consideration is that a slate pool table is much heavier than an MDF pool table. If you are planning on putting your pool table upstairs, you may have to do a bit of research to see if your second floor will be able to handle the weight of a heavy-slate pool table.
Should You Buy a Nine-Foot Pool Table?
Are you looking for the full pool playing experience as to what you see on television or at a sanctioned event? Then a 9-foot pool table is a route to go. A professional 9-foot pool table is difficult to find and could set you back thousands of dollars.
If you are the average person shopping for a pool table, though, a nine-foot table is probably not going to be the best choice for you. To comfortably fit a four-and-a-half foot by a nine-foot pool table in a room, you need to have a space that is a minimum of fourteen feet by eighteen feet.
You will also find that it is much harder to sell a nine-foot pool table if you ever want to get rid of yours because most people do not have that space to spare, and would rather settle with something smaller like a 7 or 8-foot table.
What Size Pool Table Should You Buy?
You can choose any size pool table you like, but you should consider how much space you have available. You should also consider the future resale potential of the table you do decide to purchase.
The average residential pool table measures four feet by eight feet – only slightly smaller than the professional-sized table. A 7-foot pool table is also very common.
This 8 foot pool table by Olhausen Billiards is top quality and comes with everything to play right out of the box, including shipping and installation.
What Is the Best Brand of Pool Table?
Personal preference is the biggest factor for professionals and amateurs alike when choosing a pool table brand. Certain brands of tables are better known for quality and these are preferred.
Some of the most popular pool table brands include:
Brunswick Pool Tables
Brunswick is one of the biggest names in pool tables but be prepared to pay for that recognition! A Brunswick table will set you back between $8,000 to $9,000!
Another recognizable name in pool tables, Presidential Billiards produce pool tables that fit the more classic tastes. The average Presidential Billiard table is cheaper than a Brunswick table, but it will still set you back between $2,500 and $3,000!
Olhausen Billiards, like Brunswick pool tables, are not for the faint of heart or limited of budget. Olhausen tables retail for between $8,000 and $10,000. Even at this price point, though, Olhausen sells some 30,000 tables every year!
Plank and Hide Co.
Plank and Hide Co. combine luxury and quality and their tables span every taste from modern to classical. The average Plank and Hide Co. table will cost you between $5,000 and $6,000.
Professional pool players play on whatever is provided to them at tournaments. These pool tables will vary by brand depending on the country they are playing in. The one thing that is consistent with these pool tables is that they are 9′.
A 9-foot pool table can both be hard to find as well as very expensive. The most common size pool table for a home is a 7 or 8-foot pool table which would also yield a much better resell value if you were ever to get rid of it as these are more sought after than a 9-foot pool table.
Lastly, a pool table is nothing if it isn’t built to last. Brunswick is known by many professionals for having some of the best pool tables in the world. They are by far the leading industry brand when it comes to a pool table.