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I know I don't publicize it, but I occasionally like to play pool. Only once in awhile mind you.


Big Boy. Closed. Period. No plans for opening. Damage to extensive.

Brunswick. Best maintained tables. Period. Two nine-footers which are basically booked all day long more or less. four shorter greens to play. Think the nine-footers are simones felt. I can confirm that if needed. All very leveled and a good selection of well maintained cues. The only solely pool oriented place. Note, they have good food too!!! Least the stuff I tried.

New Wave Bar. Don't know about the one table off by itself, but the four table clustered together sometimes develop leaning tendencies. I don't know how. Okay maintained. Problem with several of the greens being lumpy and very slow. Competition varies from mediocre to very good. In the short time span I've been here I've seen a remarkeable improvement in general quality of the players. Oh, cues suck. Did I mention the cues generally suck. The cues can suck at this place! This place can be a bit snotty and/or standoffish as the expat pop. seems to be high in this bar, but I find it friendly enough.

Paradise Club. Actually, after Brunswick, I would rate these as the next best maintained tables in terms of good leveling and green. Unfortunately these are the very short coin-op variety tables. UGHHHHHHHH

Flyers. Only played this course a few times. Tables seemed to be well maintained and greens smooth. No big tables. It's like the Swan place but a lot more upscale. Quality of cues seemed to be very good as well.

Swan Snooker. Next to Brunswick. Rather large place with a whole bunch of pool and snooker places. Open air. Mosquitoes enjoy quite a number of meals at this place. Staff very attentive. Tables okay. Have not played these greens much (I'm mossie fodder) so can't comment to much. Not many girls working this bar. Cues ok.

Bamboo Bar. On Soi 3. Opposed to the comments here, I find better competition at the New Wave Bar. I always seem to have a problem with people at this place. Not getting into fights per se, but people not being friendly. Maybe it's because they don't like getting beat, I don't know. I've had good experiences here, but the high percentage of guys who get a bit to serious and upset when they lose and I tend to stay away. Funny enough, the staff have excellent memories and I keep getting asked why I don't return more often. Umm. LOTS of girls working this bar. Like New Wave. Tables are OK, pretty decently maintained. Think the felt is better than New Wave, but then, I haven't played at Bamboo for some time.

Woodstock has the one beautiful 9 footer that is usually levelled pretty well. Still new so the felt is sweet. Problem is the table is to big for woodstock and several angles have your stick hitting the wall making only downward draw shots possible. Gahhhhh. Did I mention that otherwise this is a beautiful table? This is a beautiful table.

The living room. Coin op tables again. GAAAHHHHHH. Also, this place, as opposed to the other places, you pay when you get on to the table. I find this incredibly annoying. You usually pay only if you lose. I can understand the policy though as cheap skates can easily skip after losing. Coin op tables just SUCK!!!! Oh well. There always seems to be a levelling problem. Even with the one in the back, although that one is usually only a very slight problem. The table in the front gets moved a lot (and it's one heavy piece, as I can attest from moving it more than several times) cause it sits where the live band sits when they play. This table has a bit more of a levelling problem. Not a place to play serious pool, but a very enjoyable place to just have fun which includes pool.

Course there is Q-Ball on Rama IV, but don't think anyone ever ventures that far!!! Introduced to a snooker place on Asok, but no one asked fer dat either.

A really comprehensive report is on the nanapong board. Search it out there. Very good report by the notorious bangkok butterfly.


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Thanks for the post, very appreciated. Whilst I would go to the NANAPONG board and have a look, they have closed it and only "members" of the forum have access. Unfortunately, I am not a member so cannot get access to it.

If someone who is a member can search it out and post it here then that would be great.


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Originally posted by Pablo666:

Im not a great player but since I don't really hang out at the go-go's I like to play pool all night - I seem to remember some good places in the various times I've been to BKK - what are some peoples recommendations?

My BKK. GF took me to Bamboo Bar directly across from Grace Hotel. Serious pool played with a least one money table going.Congenial atmosephere and reasonable drink prices.The night i was there, a local puying was running the table with abandon. Watch out for her.--the Pale Rider

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The two best places I've found have already been mentioned, but I'll plug them again.

Brunswick - 6 high quality and well maintained tables, great house cues. On my last trip it was quite crowded even during the day and I had to wait for a table several times. There were a few girls who would rack the balls, but didn't seem to be any that could play (I'm sure this is different at night).

Flyers - 3 tables during the day, 5 at night. The 3 daytime tables on the ground floor are all very good. The 2 upstairs (nighttime only) are acceptable, but not good. There are only a few decent cues at this place (i.e. straight with a decent tip) and the best cues are not as good as the average Brunswick cue. During the day there was at least one girl working who could play very well. They didn't have too many customers during the day, but there would usually be someone willing to give you a game.

I preferred the music and atmosphere at Flyers more than Brunswick. I only wish I had my own cue when playing there. The food at Brunswick is probably slightly better and they have Guinness in cans, which is nice for an occasional treat.

I think at both these places the pockets are cut pretty wide. If you're really good it may not be very challenging, but you can always make the pockets smaller by consuming more beer.

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Haven't asked PEESOOAHBKK, but I don't think he'd mind. Remember, some of this stuff is kind of dated. Also would like to second that Larry's Dive is a nice place to just eat and hangout and play pool as an aside.

Here's Peesooahbkk's comments:

**** Begin Forward ****

In the spirit of making some fresh contribution to the communal body of knowledge, I'm furnishing below a brief summary of various pool hall venues with which I am familiar.

I started playing pool here last August, more or less by accident, after hanging out at New Wave pool bar on Soi 7 as a mere spectator. Having done the go-go scene, the massage-parlor scene, the beer-bar scene, the beer garden scene, and even stuck my head into Thermae and Angels Disco a few times, I've pretty well settled down to the conclusion that (for me, at least), the very best venue for meeting good looking and squared-away ladies is the billiard scene.

Places like the Soi 7 Beer Garden and the Thermae seem like open cattle calls to me, and depress me. Well, the New Wave is directly accross Soi 7 from the Beer Garden, and about 18 months ago, some of the more restless "cattle" gravitated across the street out of boredom, and took up playing pool. It has made the New Wave a very fertile hunting ground. I use this story as the lead-in, simply to point out that if you have not given it a try, stopping into one of the more popular pool halls may give you a fresh perspective - a well-dressed stunner lining up her billiard shot, with hips (trigger) cocked is truly a magnificent view!!!!!

OK, here goes: (Outside Patpong, all venues charge loser 20 baht per game, Patpong loser pays 30 baht)

New Wave - Sukhumvit Soi 7 - Look for a water curtain flowing down the front window panes. Run by Tomas and Mimi (who owned Paradisio at NEP, and now own Bluebird/Bacara at Soi Cowboy, as well as new Big Boy on Sukhumvit sidewalk in front of Ambassador Hotel, as well as Big Boy on Soi 11, and I believe are at lewast part owners of the Living Room at Clinton Plaza). Four pool tables. This place plays two shots from behind the headstring for a foul. One table is sometimes used for 9-ball, with loser paying 100 baht to winner, plus 20 baht for game. No formal barfine system here - but staff will go with customers after work if so inclined. Staff not particularly dazzling, but very personable. Shift change around 7:30 pm. This place opens around 10:00 am, closes at 2:00 am. Night manager (Payak) is a Lumpini police sergeant. Pool tables and cues are in terrible shape. What makes this place succeed is an impressive collection of the finest freelance talent from the beer garden accross the street. A few of the nice lookers start passing through in early afternoon. By about 7:30 pm most nights, there are some real trophies shooting pool here. I only regret that this place is now off limits to me, as part of an agreement I made with an ex-girlfriend who bases her freelance activities out of here. One interesting quirk - this is a fairly compact place, but it has five customer entrances/exits. Nice oudoor foodcourt next door, accessible via one entrance. No problem ordering food outside - they will serve it to you inside. Currency exchange kiosk a few steps down the Soi. Escalator up to Nana BTS station 100 meters up the Soi, where it joins Sukhumvit. Parking behind the food court. Park Hotel a few steps past the food court

Bamboo Bar - Sukhumvit Soi 3 - This is where I now hang out. Six pool tables in main building, another two in back building (almost always just Thai men playing in back building). Tables and equipment in very good shape. Run by husband/wife from Malta/Austrailia. Opens late morning, closes 2:00 am. This place also plays two shots for a foul, but shots don't have to cross the headstring. Again, two shifts - shift change around 7:30 pm. They serve a pretty diverse menu of food here, although portions are fairly small. This place does have a bar fine system for its employees - 500 baht (girl gets none of this). 40% of cost of lady drink goes to girl. Some very nice looking (and personable) employees. To see the full selection, show up around 7:30 pm on a Friday night. Friday night, the girls are fined 700 baht if they fail to show up, so the place is overflowing with workers of both shifts at shift change. Some of these are very attractive. Many freelancers also base out of this bar. There are also some very good pool players who hang out here at night. Often, there is a game of "killer pool" going on at the table to the left of the entrance as you come in off Soi 3. Everyone antes up 100 baht, and their name goes on a board with three "x" marks (your three lives). The entire player list then rotates shots - all you have to do when its your turn is to legally pocket any ball on the table. If you miss your shot, they erase one of your three "lives". Last man (or woman) standing wins the pot (2000 baht, when the maximum of 20 players participates). Live band here Wed. Fri, Sat nights, starting around 9:00 pm - plays mostly 70's & 80's rock. All in all, a really nice place to spend some time at night.

Brunswick - Sukhumvit Soi 4 - Maybe one kilometer back from Sukhumvit, on the left side of the road, just before you reach the Omni Tower high-rise. Nice ground floor venue with about 270 degrees of floor to ceiling windows. All Brunswick equipment, all in top shape. This place sells pool cues, with a nice display collection. Five pool tables. This place plays ball-in-hand one shot for fouls. They serve food here - this place makes my favorite cheeseburger in BKK, cooked outside on a Weber barbecue grill. Owned by an American. I'm not sure if the girls working here are bar-fineable, but I doubt it. No stunners working here, but they can be a lot of fun. This is a small, upscale place. Clientele is well-dressed. At least one table seems to always be hosting a Japanese group. It appears to me that this place is a favorite hang-out of well-off ex-pats who pick a girl up somewhere else, and then come here to relax with her. This place never has a capacity crowd, but always seems to have a few free-lancers hanging around - usually very nice looking ones. Free popcorn here (I'm a sucker for fresh "khao-poat"). No excitement here, but a nice place to bring a girl.

Swan - Sukhumvit Soi 4 - This place is about 100 meters from Brunswick and on same side of road, but closer to Sukhumvit. Located on the corner of the "T" intersection where the connecting road runs between Soi 4 and Soi 6. Swan is Thai-owned, by "Dan". Open-front beer bar, with five pool tables. Back behind the pool area is an enclosed section of the building, housing four snooker tables - everything brand new, and top quality. There's also a small Karaoke lounge off the snooker hall, but its always 100% Thai folks in there. The girls working here are bar fineable - I think its 300 baht. No stunners, but again some fun ladies to play around with. Rules here are two shots across the headstring for a foul. They do serve food here. Fairly easy to get a private table here. Somehow, Dan keeps this place open until 4:00 am - so it is a place to shoot pool and drink beer after 2:00 am. In addition, Dan just opened a very cozy little restaurant farther back on Soi 4. Traveling away from Sukhumvit, on the same side of street as Swan and Brunswick, but maybe 150 meters farther down than Omni Tower is his little restaurant. The name is in Thai, but you can't miss the large neon wagon wheel sign out front. This nightspot opened May 4th. It is open until 6:00 am !!!! It has a live band several nights a week - but it comes on around midnight, and stops around dawn. Menu is in Thai only, but they have a photo menu as well. I think Dan planned this place to be Thai only, but he seems to be drawing more of a farang crowd than he expected (from the neighboring condos), so I suspect he may anglicize his literature soon. I really like this little place - as have thre three Thai girls that I've brought here. (How this for a digression away from pool).

Hillary Bar - Sukhumvit Soi 4 - Attached to the Soi 4 end of the Rajah Hotel. This one's hard to miss - it has a big Muay Thai boxing ring outside. Thai owned, these folks put on good entertainment. Most nights there is muay thai boxing outside, with headline fights on Friday or Saturday nights. Other times, there are young muay thai fighters (as in 10 years old), or random farang fighters, or occaisionally lady muay thai fighters. Also some snake shows, and even some slapstick cabaret acts. Inside the air conditioned part of the bar are now three pool tables (one brand new). This place plays two shots across the headstring for a foul. They serve food here, although the quality is mediocre. Daytimes are pretty quiet here - just a few regular retired ex-pats shooting pool. The serious bar girl staff arrives around 5 pm. Some nice looking ladies here, although most have weak English skills. I'm not sure what the barfine is here, but I know it goes up on Friday/Saturday nights. Easy parking in adjacent Rajah Hotel parking lot. Hillary Bar on a Friday night is an interesting change of pace - pool inside, muay thai fighting outside.

As an aside here - The Rajah Hotel complex is evolving into another Nana Entertainment Plaza. Aside from the hotel itself, there is the venerable Annies Massage at the Soi 2 end of the complex. Hillary Bar anchors the far-end of the Soi 4 orientation. In the underpass that connects the route between Soi 2 and Soi 4 are now the very small "Meeting Point" bar (run by the family that owns Annies), aswell as the Sky Cruiser Pub, which is a nice up-scale bar, similar to a Soi 33 venue. Next door to that is the presently closed Rainbow 2000 disco, which is presently being rennovated, and will reopen by June (I'm told). Next to that is the Alchemy beer bar - I've not yet visited. Tuckewd into the perimter of the parking lot between Alchemy and Hillarys is the just-opened Club Camoflage, run by Gordon, a Canadian (whose birthday party this past Wednesday was fun - I bar fined a couple of the barmaids from Bamboo Bar to come down and party). Camoflage Club has a nice little dance floor, and a willing to please DJ. The place is virtually empty until midnight. It appears to me that some of thew girls at Nana Disco have learned that once they make a "connection" at Angels Disco, the best move is to peel away with her punter, and scoot over to Club Camoflage to have a little more room to play.

Back to pool summary -

Flyers - Corner of Sukhumvit and Soi 22 - This used to be the Out of Bounds pool bar. Three brand-new tables downstairs, two older tables upstairs. I'm not sure what the house rules are here - I've played both ways, depending on who I was up against. I'm also not sure of bar-fine situation here, but they have some nice looking gals working here. They hired as a pool hostess at least one free-lancer that I recognize from New Wave Soi 7, and I know she's a "player". Bar just opened May 4th. They serve food here, but they do not have a printed menu yet - you tell them what you want, and they make it if they can, at a market price. Live band downstairs some nights. Motif/theme here is aviation (replacing the golf theme from the Out of Bounds days). I understand the place is owned by a group of pilots/aviation enthusiasts. The downstairs area is a virtual "fishbowl", with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto Sukhumvit and Soi 22 (with the Angels Beer Bar accross the street). I like the upstairs better - a separate bar, two pool tables, a darts area, and a nice array of deep plush sofas to share with a ladyfriend. Thereare steps leading up to a tirdfloor, but when I asked I was told that that was not part of the public bar. This bar does nor appear to me to be a great place to meet someone new, but it is a nice place to bring someone.

Studio 22 - Washington Square, ground level, underneath Mambo Cabaret. This is a somewhat hidden place. Walk past the Mambo ticket kiosks, and you'll see the door on the right hand side of the back "wall". Inside, they have about five pool tables. Ball-in-hand one shot here for fouls. They also have about 10 dart boards on the back wall, and they sponsor a serious darts league. It is usually pretty easy to get a dedicated table here. A steady stream of cute pool hostesses here, but they seem to move on quicjkly. I'm not sure what the barfine situation is - but they gals have sure looked willing to have a go (but I generally go in with a lady friend already). From time to time, I've seen some serious parties thrown here - with dancing on a fairly large dance floor. There is also a dimly-lit section with futons - I've rarely been here late, and the one time I got fairly drunk I know I ended up cuddled back there with one cute (and also wobbly) barmaid - but nothing serious - until I sobered up. There is a wise-looking mamasan here (I forget her name), but she remembers every customer. They serve food here - OK, but not memorable. Bottom line - not a place to meet someone new, but a good place to get a private table, good service (they will assign a full-time waiter or waitress to you), and some semi-privacy, if your have a lady in tow.

Big Boy - <<Comments edited out as place is closed due to fire and won't reopen>>

That's long enough. The above places have a strong orientation toward pool as a primary activity. Other places I like to play include Larry's Dive on Soi 22, upstairs at Hollywood East in Clinton Plaza, at the Hard Rock (outside) Beer Bar at Clinton Plaza, upstairs at Vixen's in NEP, Woodstck at NEP, upstairs at AVA Pub on Soi 11 (but I'm persona non-grata there after breaking off from one of the ladies working there - she seemed to have stalker tendencies, so I vanished), various bars at Soi Zero (my personal favorite is Rooster Bar up front, followed by Sidetrack Bar way in back). A place that I have played but do not like the physical layout is the Bacara Lounge on Soi 22 (no relation to Bacara/Bluebird on Soi Cowboy). I also used to play at Piccolo Bar at the Asoke end of Soi Cowboy, but they recently removed the tables (for refurbishment???).

Bottom line : Best placesto meet good freelancers: New Wave, followed by Bamboo Bar, followed by Brunswick. To directly barfine employees, best places are Bamboo Bar (but they are very choosy), followed by Hillary Bar.

**** End of Forward ****


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