Ask “The Viper”

Melissa Little

Melissa “The Viper” Little has been a WPBA Touring Professional for over 10-years, she has represented the USA in Four WPA World Championships, is the current USA Bar Table Champion for 8-Ball and 9-Ball and has over 20 top-10 WPBA career finishes. Melissa is the house-pro at the Wynkoop Brewing Company located in Downtown Denver and is sponsored by The Wynkoop, Jacoby Custom Cues and The Colorado Cue Times. She teaches monthly clinics, gives private lessons, and has created a juniors program that promotes billiards education to the local youth. For more information about Melissa please visit:


“What are some differences between playing on a “bar-box” and a 9 ft. (regulation) table? And which do you prefer?”


There are numerous sizes/shapes to pool tables. Here is a list of table sizes

  • 3.5 ft by 7 ft tables (bar-tables are usually in taverns and some poolrooms)
  • 4 ft by 8 ft tables (“home table” generally what you might put in your home)
  • 4.5 ft by 9 ft table (a regulation size table, which is what the WPBA uses and most professional players are used to)
  • 5 ft x 10 ft table (associated with snooker & 3-cushion tables)
  • 6 ft x 12 ft table (an old English snooker table)

What do I prefer?

I prefer playing pool on a regulation size table but that is what I am used to playing on. I grew up in Boulder, Colorado and there was a poolroom close to where I worked that only had 9-foot tables. It was not until I stepped out of that particular room and ventured into local bars where they supplied bar-boxes.

Earlier this year, I traveled to Reno, NV to play in the US Bar Table Championships. Since I was not used to playing on bar boxes I had to spend a few extra days practicing beforehand. At the beginning of practice I thought how easy these little tables are. But in reality I realized it was harder then I originally thought because of the size differences plus I felt like the balls were congested. At the beginning of the tournament I had to actually get a few pointers from Shane & Oscar on strategies. Surprisingly, I won both the 8-ball & 9-ball events

I suggest playing on all sizes of tables, because in the long run you will become more of a “solid player”

Best of luck to you, Viper

If you have a question for “The Viper” please e-mail them to Melissa Little at