Ah college. Since I’m poised to get my son to the dorms at his college in California and then help my older daughter move into her apartment so she can continue her college journey here in Colorado, campus life has definitely been on my mind lately. When I did my undergrad at UC San Diego, I can remember having down time between classes and always utilizing it to go to the student center and play pool. Sometimes with others but often just by myself as a way to relax.
Turns out that if you play every day, day after day, you get pretty good and by the time I graduated I was actually a halfway competent pool player. I never played for money [little known fact about me: I hate gambling for money] but have spent plenty of hours at a pool table breaking racks and calculating shots.
Then years later when we had our lovely place in the mountains above Los Gatos in California (right between Silicon Valley and Santa Cruz) we had a custom pool table with thick burgundy felt. The room wasn’t really ideal for a pool table, but I still really enjoyed it and played as often as I could as someone who simultaneously was nurturing a startup and helping raise a new baby. The table couldn’t fit in our Colorado home when we moved so I’ve been sans billiards for over 15 years.
Until EastPoint Sports asked me what I thought of the Masterton 7′ pool table. My reaction? “oh hell yeah!” (well, I didn’t quite word it that way, but that’s what I was thinking). A week or two later, a freight truck pulls up and two guys deliver The Box. A really large, really heavy box:
Turns out that the entire top of the table is a single piece in the box, but it’s the legs and the “skirting” that you have to assemble. Good, clear instructions, but oh, it was some serious work and took a team of four of us a few hours to complete. Here’s the table partway assembled:
Look closely and you can see the secret of the legs: They’re made out of composite wood and the fancy old fashioned carved wood legs are actually a beautifully painted plastic that “snaps” over the leg. It’s amazing what they can do nowadays in the manufacturing process!
Behind the base you can see the surface of the billiards table, face down, on the floor. As I said, it’s one piece and basically ready to go other than, well, all the lower bits.
I will warn you that the assembly isn’t without some frustration. We found that not every single hole lined up perfectly for the screws and bolts we needed to use. Almost all of them were solved by simply screwing the bolt in and letting the wood align itself as needed. There were one or two, however, that just didn’t fit so we left ’em. If you’re an OCD type of person, this might well drive you a bit bonkers but once it’s all put together, it’s strong, solid and feels like it’s ready to last through years of parties.
Once the legs and skirting are done, the biggest and perhaps most satisfying step is to flip the top over and gently place it on the table. Then it’s time to slip underneath and bolt it all together:
Look for the stray foot: there are two gals working away, not just one. Also, the black bolts on the table ultimately went underneath and affix the table to the base. There are a lot. We bought a Ryobi electric screwdriver to help with the assembly and it was unquestionably $25 well spent.
And, finally, hours later, we had it all assembled, squared in the room, unpacked the (included) billiard balls, cue sticks, chalk, triangle and felt brush and I could play a game!
The very next day was my birthday and I hosted a party for 20 or so of my best friends (you know who you are!). Needless to say, the pool table was in constant use for hours and hours and everyone thought it was terrific. Me too. In fact, the EastPoint Sports Masterton table is a really great addition to my house, even if it’s a bit “bachelor pad” to have it not tucked away in the basement.
Price out a brand new high end pool table and you’ll then be shocked that the EastPoint Sports table cost just a bit over $500 on Amazon, including free freight delivery. Yes, it’s an assembly job that requires patience and two people, and it’s going to eat up an afternoon or evening, but the end result is a very nice table and hours upon hours of fun and enjoyment for the entire family.
Disclosure: EastPoint Sports sent us the pool table in return for this writeup. Which was ridiculously nice of them.