My buddy recently installed a Mizerak pool table in his basement. He was wicked excited about getting it, and called me right up to tell me about it, begging me to come over to shoot some games with him. I was a little bit leery, considering he told me he chose an 8-foot table (being in love with 9-foot tables, anything less sometimes feels like blasphemy!), but I’ll admit that my curiosity got the better of me.
I’m of a generation of guys who grew up studying how to play pool for beginners, who learned to play better pool as we went through college, who got older, got jobs and still went out every night to play in a pool hall and argue companionably about how to play pool… you know, guys who just really loved to shoot pool!
But we were guys who still never got around to having our own homes, let alone able to find space elsewhere to put in our own pool tables. So it was always a dream of ours that “one day” we’d have our very own tables in our very own homes, and have awesome pool nights all the time without having to worry about racking up the tremendous tabs we were capable of at a pool hall on a good night.
This buddy of mine was not one of my normal “pool buddies”, though. He was a friend via being a co-worker with my wife, so he did not have the 9-foot table-only stigma branded into his mentality the way myself and my other pool-hall friends have. This 8-foot Donvan II Mizerak pool table that he found fit perfectly in his man-town basement and that was good enough for him, by Jove. I have to hand it to him, it is definitely a nice table for its size and price (about $1800). I was wrong to be wary, yet still ecstatic that he didn’t go for the cheaper 7-foot pool table!
I showed up with a chunk of skepticism hefted up on my shoulder, ready to snub my nose at my buddy and his “inferior table”, but I wasn’t really able to pull it off. I was too busy being pleasantly surprised. His was a sleek black Mizerak pool table, with a slate bed, pedestal-style legs, black laminate top rails, and firm rubber cushions that performed much better than I expected. It came standard with a deep-red wool cloth, and it showed off shiny chrome pocket caps. The action on the cloth was slower than I preferred, but I adapted quickly, and was very happy both that the installers got the table leveled perfectly and that the basement space was practically designed with an 8-foot pool table in mind: There were no interfering support pillars, and the walls were well enough away from the table that there was no interference with the cue sticks. I realized that a 9-foot table would have definitely had cue stick interference, and I was so happy with the layout of the basement space, and the comfort and ease of play that I couldn’t find the heart to complain about the smaller table-size.
All in all, it was quite the afternoon we had christening my buddy’s new pool table. I forgot all about the chip on my shoulder, and got caught up in the friendly competition, in playing on a nice and shiny new table in a friend’s home. We were absolutely thrilled that staying in would be so much fun, and save us so much money, not only on table-time, but on food and booze as well, hee-hee!
When the time comes that my wife and I finally get our own home, I may need to settle for an 8-footer instead of the 9-footer of my dreams. And if that’s true, well, I at least know that I can still be reasonably happy with something smaller, and I’m sure I’ll be scoping out all the MIZERAK POOL TABLES I can find, praying one of them really catches my fancy....
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