Cue Sticks

Written by Tadashi Moody
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The beauty of the game of pool lies in its concurrent simplicity and complexity. The equipment of the game calls to mind a sense of perfect geometry--the heavy, level slate covered in soft green felt, the flawlessly round, bright colored balls, the angle of shots. For beginners, the rules are simple. Line up your shot. Hit the ball in the pocket. Repeat.

Yet pool is a game that can take many years of play to master. Every break spreads the balls differently, and each game the player is faced with a new set of problems. And once you learn that you can control the cue ball after a shot, and that where the cue ball winds up is just as important as whether you make it, the game becomes infinitely more complex. This is why pool, in its many forms, has become popular all over the world.

The Importance of Equipment

It is because pool is both so simple and complex a game that it can be enjoyed at any skill level. For those who just play the occasional game for fun, the equipment is rarely important. The average player in a bar, for example, may not notice or even care that the table is smaller than regulation, isn't perfectly level, or that the cue sticks aren't straight. The game is still enjoyable. But for those who have developed a greater appreciation for the game and its nuances, equipment starts to become important. We want to know that the outcome of the game has more to do with skill, and less to do with quality of the equipment.

While the table and balls are common to all players in a game of pool, the cue stick is usually the one piece of equipment that a player does not share. Each player typically picks his or own cue with which to play. For many, any cue stick in the house will suffice. But even house cues vary in weight, straightness, or quality of the tip.

For the more frequent players, choosing a proper cue stick becomes more important. Having the same cue each game rules out the minor adjustments that the more advanced player must make for disparities in cues. They get used to the weight, the grip, the feel of the hit, and the performance of the tip. For many players, their pool cue can become like an extension of themselves.

Choosing a Cue Stick

Good cue sticks can range in price from under thirty dollars for a one-piece cue, to over five hundred for quality two-piece cue with inlays and grips, and even more for custom, handmade beauties. For the player choosing his own cue stick, a two-piece cue is a matter of necessity, as you must carry it around town. A good tip is the most crucial element for the advanced player. Good quality wood and craftsmanship are important as well. The rest is mostly a matter of preference.

Cue sticks will vary in weight from 18 to 21 or more ounces. Taper will also vary by cue. Grips can vary from bare wood to linen or leather wraps. These are matters of personal preference--try to play with the cue a bit before choosing. And the look of the cue can vary from plain wood, to printed graphics, to custom inlays of ebony, mother of pearl, and other items. You can go as simple or fancy as you like.

It is important to remember, though, that the most expensive cue stick will never make up for a lack of skill. Give a top professional a tree branch and they will probably beat any average Joe in the room. But a pool player and his cue stick can be likened to a baseball player and his glove. After many years of play, you will become old friends.

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What is it worth

l have two pool sticks including cases and not sure what they are worth! would really like your valued opinion.
#1 Is is black with a diamond outline in white with a solid red diamond inside. Grip is textured. Near the bottom where you attach cue is XXX

#2 I believe is cherry wood, has the red maple leaf imbedded at the side top of shaft. Believe weight is 17oz. again with leather case.
If you think these are of some value which l know they are l will get pictures and sent. Look forward to you response.
Susan Kempton
Truro Nova Scotia, Canada