1. Sports
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Pool Tables 101 - A Book Review

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Pool Tables 101 - A Book Review

Pick a table better with Walters

Photo courtesy of Medioimages/Photodisc/Getty Images

The Bottom Line

Douglas E. Walters' Pool Tables 101 is a simple tome you can read in an hour to better arm yourself for pool table shopping and repairs. Without doubt, this book could save a player thousands of dollars and much frustration with a home or pool hall table.

The questions posed by Walters' Tables 101 pose clear and present danger to much of the pool table industry--unless manufacturers work to build a better class of table then they have in present years.


  • Best details available on finding and maintaining pool tables
  • Peppered with interesting pool history tidbits
  • Simply written and easily comprehended


  • Wanted more details on self-improvements such as tacking felt
  • Conversational style of narrative sometimes wanders a bit


  • Knowledge of pool tables not found elsewhere--fabulous details on pool table values
  • A quick and fully entertaining read
  • Worth 100 times its cover price to anyone interested in purchasing or maintaining pool tables

Guide Review - Pool Tables 101 - A Book Review

Now retired from fulltime work in pool table installation and repair, Walters, who managed several pool facilities over many years including new and treasured antique pool tables, has felt more comfortable releasing his book, whose general precepts represent a whistleblower's look at an industry cutting corners and passing shady deals to consumers.

I felt reading Walters' book to be an eye-opening experience indeed, and learned many fascinating details about pool table manufacturing. I laughed a few times aloud along the way, too, as Walters pads the book with interesting anecdotes throughout.

A theme of the book emphasizes value over price. It may seem trite to underscore durable value as no reflection on initial price, but since a quality pool table can last for 80 - 100 years or more in fine playing condition, and a poor table a dozen, the difference is distinct. Walters explains exactly what qualities will keep your table honed and lustrous for many years to come, leaving a fine table as an inheritance for retirement or the kids as well.

Some of the many fine tidbits in Pool Tables 101 include choosing the best rail materials; the history and geology of pool slate, asking the right questions of manufacturers and installers, home care for a table's wood surfaces and finish, felts that will last nearly twenty years without replacement and poorer cloths needing to be discarded in a quarter of that time, etc.

A boon for the pool player overall, only slight errors of style and my desire for more detail about learning to tack felt kept it from earning five stars. Available as a download from the author's website, the book comes with a guarantee but no one interested in owning a quality pool table would return this invaluable volume.

I hope thousands of copies are sold soon, urging the pool manufacturing industry to refine its practices.

  1. About.com
  2. Sports
  3. Billiards
  4. Equipment
  5. Buying Your Pool Table
  6. Pool & Billiards - Pool Tables 101 - Pool & Billiards Table Book

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.