poolSynergy, volume sechzehn

this is volume sixteen of poolSynergy.  welcome back, and thanks for reading this post.

the topic for volume XVI is “your favorite pool hall”.

for the main page of volume XVI, visit the link below.  it contains a list of all the posts on this month’s topic.

main page for poolSynergy volume XVI

also, visit the link below for a complete list of poolSynergy’s monthly topics.


below is my post for this month.  enjoy.

this month, smassy asked us to write about our favorite pool halls.  so for this month’s poolsynergy, i’ll give a picture tour of my fawowite pool hoil of de whole wide woild—hard times billiards in bellflower, california.  hard times has a reputation of being one of the toughest action rooms in the states, and the equipments definitely live up to that reputation.  follow me as we look around this vaunted hall of the green felt.

this is the entrance to hard times.  i believe max eberle painted the little poles that look like shafts sticking out of the ground.

when you walk in, you’re greeted with the comedy/tragedy masks, the logo for hard times billiards.

immediately to the left of the entrance is the famed snooker table, with its own playing area.  hard times actually has two snooker tables; for some reason, most of the regulars play on the second table instead of this one at the front.  no idea why.

right next to the front snooker table area is the entrance to romero custom cues, hand-crafted by little al romero himself.  he’ll make you a mean stick then beat you silly with a house cue.  😛  if you’re interested in a purchase, call up hard times and ask for lil’ al.  love his sneakys!!  (i’ll get a current number for al’s shop the next time i’m there; the one i have is not current.)

[just a quick note: i found lil’ al’s number.  (562)867-3580.  order a sneaky from him.]

also next to the front snooker area is a small arcade.  that’s all the games they have, but you didn’t come here to play video games, did you?

let’s return to the entrance.  to the right of the entrance is the counter.  you can get the usual hard times apparel from the nice clerks.

another picture of the counter area.  you can see some vhs tapes in the back; those are pool matches you can rent.  they may have some dvds also, but i’ve never rented anything here.

right above the counter you can see a display case with a bunch of cues for sale.

hard times also has a pool accessory case.  you wanna moori tip you said?  that’ll be $20 please.

cases for sale, and more cues.

the tournament area, complete with bleachers.  sweaters can sit comfortably as they bite their fingernails off.  bandages not included.

a quick reminder of how tight the pockets on table six are; don’t believe me, ask john morra.  the rest of the tables aren’t much looser.

the regular side where kids and casual players play.  this is the area i jokingly refer to as the purgatory side.

another picture of the regular side.  that big table is the second snooker table.  hard times also has a few billiards tables and three bar tables.  the league players use the bar tables for their matches.

that’s hard times.  a no-nonsense, get-down-to-business pool hall.  you come here for pool, and only pool.  next time you’re in socal, visit hard times to experience what it’s like up close.  you may see parica or santos wandering around, or any number of visiting pros.  try not to hurt yourself.  😛

hard times billiards
17450 bellflower boulevard
bellflower, california 90706
(562) 867-7733

romero custom cues

8 comments on “poolSynergy, volume sechzehn

  1. Wow! I feel like I know the place inside and out! Thanks for providing such a fantastic breakdown of all Hard Times Billiards has to offer!
    BTW, that is a WICKED tight pocket table. YIKES!

    Thank you so much for contributing Hairloop! 🙂

  2. Awesome. Almost in my own back yard! I’m going to make it to Hard Times within the next year. I’ll look you up when I do! Great review!

  3. Superb as always Mr. Riah. As you know, I hate their logo because of the LA cholo gang stuff it glorifies, but it is one of the last great throwback pool halls.

    • thanks snarky! i like comfortable rooms to play in, the kind of places where you can stretch your legs out, relax, and enjoy the game. hard times fits the bill for me. there are many other fine pool halls in the los angeles area, but hard times is my pick.

  4. I love it. All the non-pool stuff takes away IMHO from a great hall. Many like that stuff, and I don’t mind it, but purity has a certain beauty all its own.

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