People Staff
April 03, 1989 12:00 PM

How big is Steve Karpa’s pool table? It’s s-o-o-o-o big that if Minnesota Fats played on it, they’d have to call him the Minnesota Midget. Karpa’s table, which he claims is the world’s largest, measures no less than 195 square feet, almost four times the size of a standard table. It is 18½ feet long, 10½ feet wide and four feet high. The oversize table has the traditional six pockets—but they’re all one foot in diameter. The balls and sticks are regulation size, but there is nothing regulation about the incredibly long shots that players often face.

Karpa, a 35-year-old crane operator and pool shooter from Pittsburgh, got the cue for his table three years ago, when he was organizing an offbeat charity scheme—a choreographed women’s boxing exhibition at a Pittsburgh restaurant. While he was building the ring for the show, it occurred to him that the floor he was constructing would make “one hell of a pool table.” From that moment on, he devoted his energies to building the giant pool table. Karpa takes the table around to car shows. He charges players $1 a shot—and gives the proceeds to charity.

Karpa’s table is built of six interlocking plywood pieces for easy assembly and breakdown. As a result of this, it is really never quite level. Because of the table’s height, players have to stand on a platform to get even close to being in position.

Still, would-be Willie Mosconis love to try Karpa’s table—at least, he says, “until they try the 18-foot corner shot.”

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