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The game of billiards was well established by the 17th century. The most definitive description for billiards came from a famous book called The Complete Gamester by the English poet Charles Cotton in 1674, which says, I quote ”….the excellency of the recreation is much approved of and plaid (played) by most nations in europe, especially in England, there being few towns of note therein which have not a publick billiard table; neither are they wanting in many noble and private families in the country for the recreation of the mind and the exercise of the body”.
During this period two further devolopements had taken place. The introduction of pockets to some tables and cloth started to be used to cover the wooden board which eventually became slate.
Initially pockets were regarded as hazards looked on in the same way as bunkers on a golf course and were something to be avoided. Over time the Port and King method of the game was phased out and the pocketing of balls became part of the game.
As billiards became popular so did the game of snooker develop in the British military messes of India where the British Army were garrisoned.
Snooker Tables became a common sight in the UK and snooker table halls and working men’s clubs started to play the game. When I am snooker table recovering on these premises the most popular table has become the Riley snooker table. Up until recently the riley aristocrat tournament champion was the table seen on TV for all World Snooker ranking events.
Written by Max Spicer