How the Pool Table King Came to Be

In 1989, I saved enough money to buy a used pool table from a church in Anaheim, California. The table had a non-slate particle wood playing field, and no matter what, the table would not play “true”. I even tried taking the table apart and replacing the half inch particle board with a one inch thick one. I only found that it played worse! Frustrated, I sold my Meucci cue for a 4X8 slate pool table. The Delta one piece slate table needed much repair. My friend Mark helped me get the materials to repair the table. I set it up in my backyard and played pool all the time, even joining tournaments at bars and pool halls to practice my game.

I was 20, unemployed and still living at home. My dad gave me an ultimatum – be gainfully employed by the following week or move out and end up with no pool table. I went to Mark’s dad, Dick Johnson, owner of Golden West Billiards in Orange, CA and talked him into letting me work at the shop. I kept my pool table and started with tasks like cleaning the shop, polishing balls and repairing cues. I soon started helping co-worker John Campbell on deliveries and repair jobs, soaking up his 25 year experience. I started to see a great opportunity for my own business.

In 1992, using the knowledge I gained from John Campbell and Mark Johnson, I started out on my own. I had a set of not yet paid for tools in the back of my Peugeot 504 and one roll of green billiard cloth. I solicited every bar and cocktail lounge in the area until they let me service their pool tables. After building up a small base of commercial clients, I decided to expand into the residential market by posting and handing out flyers in the neighborhood. I registered for a business license, placed a small in column ad in the yellow pages and officially became DK Billiard Service in 1993. Customers began inquiring about pool table moving and I began to realize the 504 would not lend itself to this task. I borrowed $1500 from my dad and purchased a 1978 Chevy Van for moving services. I was off and running. In 1998, my Chevy Van, now twenty years old, began to show its years. I purchased a brand new Chevy to take its place. A local artist, Keith Guenther, custom painted the new van (and the two after that) and created the DK logo as it is today.