Pool Hall – Big John’s, Omaha, NE

I stopped by this place in between errand running. It was quiet in the middle of the day. It’s located in southwest Omaha south of the 275 between 96th Street and 108th Street on a squirrely little street called M Street. Tables are beautiful and plentiful and only a few other folks were in the place. I noticed a sign advertising in-house BCA league play on Wednesday nights. I called the number, briefly explained that I play BCA league in California and offered my services as a substitute for that evening’s matches.

I played a gangly red-headed guy who requested I call him Sparky. At that point the league operator texted me back to let me know they did need a substitute. Fantastic! For the first time since March of 2019, I might actually get to play an official league match!

I arrived back about 7:30pm. League play was already in swing and the person I was supposed to sub for showed up so they didn’t need me. I beat the league director at a couple of games, who then passed me off to another shooter. Shooter is parlance for someone with some skill at the game rather than a random person knocking balls around. He and I shot for a while and when it was clear I was above his game level he told me about a place in town to go if I wanted to wager on the games I was playing. It was a place I had driven by earlier in the day and some online searching had indicated had multiple pool tables. It was nice to get a firsthand reference, though!

Big John’s is huge. Lots of tables, both bar boxes and 8-foot tables, probably some 9-footers as well. Lots of pinball machines as well. There is plenty of additional seating near the bar and the bar is well-stocked. The pinball games offer a nice diversion if you get tired of watching or playing, and everyone I talked to here was friendly. Definitely the place to go in Omaha, unless you’re looking to play for money. In that case, you need to go to the Musette Bar, apparently.

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