Billiards is known by many as the "game of kings". In this case, it's known as the "game of a queen", Queen Victoria that is. The most expensive pool table ever made was carved out of black walnut and decorated with images of past Kings, Shakespearean prose and host of British flora and fauna. It's currently for sale for £1million at Harrod's in London. No longer consider an actual table, it now lists as "furniture". Really?!
Everything You Need for Under $3,000
The most expensive pool tables in the world are also the most beautiful and definitely the most unique. But is all that really necessary? Some have built-in stereo systems and lighting that tracks the movements of every ball or motion on the table. They are often made of glass, stone, and carved materials. That's great if you plan on using it as a showpiece. To be honest, you can be the best table on the market for actually playing the game for less than $3000. Shelties, Diamonds and Brunswicks are all competitive tables and are of the highest quality, WITHOUT the distractions. The fact is, if you need all that glitz to feel good about your pool game, you might as well hand your stick over to someone who knows how to use it. You can take your balls and go home.
Which Diamonds Make You Shoot Better?
One of the biggest expenses many people add to their tables are actual diamonds or inlays that make their table glitter and sparkle. You really need to ask yourself, which diamonds make you shoot better. Keep the traditional inlay diamond markings and let your date have the diamonds. You will shoot alot better and you won't have to station a security guard at your table when you have parties. While it's nice to show off, do so with a car or your jewelry. Most billiards players who are serious about their game wouldn't care if the diamonds were made of glitter as long as they were in the right position and could be used to effectively make their shots.
Luxury or Skill
Pool tables fall into one of three categories, luxury tables (to be looked at and not played on), tournament tables that have perfect rails and even better felt, and bar box tables that are ideal for both practice and play. The thing is, people look at the beauty of the tables without realizing the athleticism and grace that it takes to make many of the more difficult shots. Once you've started to learn the game and actually play, it takes on a whole new meaning. An article in the LA Times about Dave McCumber and Toni Annigoni sums it up pretty well:
My hope was to make people stop and think about more than the surface of the game, and look at the underlying beauty of it. I absolutely fell in love with it.
To put it simply, you fall in love with the game, not the table you play it on. Do you need the most luxurious table? Absolutely not. Buy a bar box and have a party!