What a great forum! As a previous poster indicated, most establishments, including the one I would frequent, always reek of smoke and there are plenty of idiots around, especially on Friday nights. I have had too numerous of encounters with drunk, wasted wannabe pool players coming up to me wanting to play for money, beers, or just try to take over my table. I would normally take $10 worth of quarters and we'd guard our table the entire night, and whenever the quarters got low, we'd be sure to replace them with another $10 stacked on the table to make sure all onlookers realized our table is for us. Occasionally when some person would wander up and put their quarters on our table, I'd go put their quarters on another table and watch and make sure no one stole their quarters. Then, by the time the people came back and wanted to know where their quarters were, I'd point at the other table (an open table, mind you), as sort of an indirect way of saying "use that table and get away from us" in a nice way. Side note: Why is it people come up to YOUR table and want to but into your affairs when there are two other tables that are completely open? Unless they're trying to hustle you, there aren't too many other reasons.
I have always wanted my own table. I recently bought one, too. I moved into a home that could easily afford an 8-foot table although my dream was to own a 9-foot regulation Brunswick Gold Crown, but I do not have that kind of money hanging around. However, I got my 8-foot table installed about two weeks ago and have not been back to the local pub since. No longer am I wasting $0.75 a game and drinking watered-down beer, and no longer am I surrounded by drunk idiots with no etiquette.
Another issue is playing next to people who have absolutely no idea how to play pool that just get in the way and stand around/linger around trying to figure out why they missed their shot while you're politely waiting for them to move so you can make your shot.
Glad I don't have to deal with that stuff anymore! I am like a kid in a candy store with my new table. I absolutely love it. I will be posting pictures soon because I'd like to have some advice on how to do my room properly.