Over the next couple of weeks we are going to be interviewing some of the key members of the Liberty Games team here on the blog. To get things started we thought we’d talk to one of our pool tables sales team, Chris Cheverall, who we think knows pretty much everything there is to know about a pool table! Let’s put him to the test…
LG: How long have you been selling pool tables?
Chris: I’ve been working with Liberty Games for around two and a half years now, and working specifically with pool tables for the last 18 months. Here at Liberty each of us on the sales team really try and specialize in one area of what we sell, and for me it had to be pool tables! I’m a super-keen pool player, I play in the pool league at my local pub, and of course have my own table at home (a 6ft Slimline slate bed table).
LG: What have you learnt in that time?
Chris: Well I’ve learnt that there is more to a pool table that meets the eye! Although I’ve always had a good feel for what makes a good table and what doesn’t, I honestly didn’t know there were so many different models out there! There are also differences in cloth, ball size, American vs British and much more!
Still in the pool table department we’ve tried to offer the most popular tables at a great price, meaning that if you just want a slate bed table same as you would find in the pub, then yep we’ve got that, and if you want a massive eight foot pool American style table then we’ve got you covered as well!
We’ve tried to distill as much of our knowledge onto the website as possible to help people make decisions in the middle of the night should the need take them. I was heavily involved in creating our pool table FAQs, and we’re constantly updating this when we are asked a question by a customer that we haven’t covered online. But of course we are always here to answer any questions customers might have, or simply have a chat about what table might suit them best.
LG: What do you find are the most common questions people have when they speak to you about pool tables?
Chris: Generally people just want to double check that the table will fit in their room of choice, and discuss more about the cueing options, in terms of junior cues, mid-sized and so forth. Of course we have all the dimensions online, and our pool table room size video does a pretty good job of explaining what’s going on, but there are some people who like to hear a human say “yes that will fit”, and that’s what we’re there for!
I also deal a lot with people who have some more weird and wonderful requests for where their pool table needs to get to. We’ve made it easy on the website to buy online if your table is going to a ground floor location, or even up or down stairs where access is clear. But when the table has to get somewhere special that’s where I come in!
We have specialist delivery teams here at Liberty Games who can get a pool table pretty much anywhere. Just the other day I had a customer who was undertaking a loft conversion, nothing abnormal there, except the only access was up an extremely tight spiral staircase through a very small door! The customer was able to send me some photos of the area which I was able to share with our experienced installers, and we decided that, yes, we could go for what is known as a ‘dry build’ where the table is assembled from its very smallest parts in the room where it’s going to live. This works great for tight access situations, as normally pool tables are delivered in more assembled parts to minimize installation time.
So yes, any pool table questions, be it about the tables themselves or delivery and installation, or anything in between, you just have to ask!
LG: What would your advice be to someone whose home is a bit tight on space?
Chris: You’d be surprised just how many of our customers don’t have the kind of room size that you’d normally associate as being the ‘correct’ size for a pool table. Let’s face it a lot of us are crammed into flats in cities these days, but that’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to have that pool table we’ve always wanted is it?
Generally if you can’t fit a 7 foot table in then we’d suggest going for a 6 foot model. Although if you play in a pool league then you’ll be playing on a 7 foot table, we find that most people are actually very familiar with playing on 6 foot tables – mostly because many pubs are also a bit short on space so they also go for 6 foot models. The difference in size isn’t that great, and the game is pretty much identical, certainly in terms of the skills it’s no different, so in my opinion 6 foot tables are a great option.
If you haven’t got any room at all, then I’d always advise people to consider a pool dining table. Although it might mean a lucky relative receives your current dining table, it’s a bit of a two-birds-with-one-shot solution. You get a great looking dining table, but whenever you aren’t eating you whip the top off and there you go – a pool table! There’s never a situation where you’d be eating dinner and playing pool at the same time so it works perfectly! These tables don’t even cost that much more than a standard slate bed table either.
If that’s not an option then we also do a great range of folding pool tables from our MDF range, as well as smaller non-folding MDF tables, which work very well for families and pretty much anywhere where the table needs to be moved or a slate bed simply won’t fit.
LG: What tables are proving popular at the moment and why?
Chris: On the slate bed front, the Slimline is always a very popular table – it’s a good looking table (works very well in modern looking homes), it’s easy to install in terms of its slim-line body (hence the name), and it’s also our cheapest slate bed table, which helps I guess!
The Supreme Winner is also a very popular table. The styling you see on this table is very much pub style, well exactly pub style actually as these tables are also very popular with pubs and bars. The only difference with the model we sell the most of is that it’s free to play, so you don’t pay for a coin mechanism you don’t need if you are having it at home (although of course we also sell the coin operated model as well !).
In terms of the MDF tables the Strikeworth models are really blowing everything out of the water at the moment. As I mentioned before I’m a proper pool addict, and I know a good slate bed table when I see one, and these tables are even impressing me – so like I said if slate isn’t an option for you then definitely go check one of these out. We’ve got a couple of their models in the office and they do honestly play really well.
LG: What is the most common accessory that people like to buy with their pool table?
Well all our tables come with everything you need to get playing straight away, so cues, chalk, triangle and of course pool balls. Actually instead of one accessory being the most popular, it’s actually our starter pool table accessory kit which is the most popular ‘accessory’ we sell, although that’s probably because we don’t actually sell it, we give it away for free!
We always encourage people to have their tables professionally installed by our expert fitters, not because we make any more money on it really, but more because generally it leads to happier customers. Of course if you want to install your own table then that’s totally not a problem, and unlike other suppliers we use the same team as the installers for our delivery only service, so they will still take it into your room of choice, they just won’t put it together. Pro tip here – many of our competitors send their delivery only tables by a very crude delivery, normally to the curb-side so check first!
Back to what I was talking about, yes if you decide to go for installation then we give you a free pool table accessory kit, with a brush, cover, cue rack, a junior and mid-sized cues. This is just out way of suggesting that pool table installation really is a good idea, as they deal with the whole situation for you, and it’s so much easier.
With that we had better let Chris get back to work… Keep your eyes out for our next
Written by: Stuart Kerr