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BD House Pro
Tony Robles
A longtime teaching pro at Amsterdam Billiard Club in New York City, Tony has dozens of regional and national titles to his name, including the 2004 BCA Open Championships.

Instruction Articles:
• June 2017
Rails Away!

• May 2017
Weight Watchers

• April 2017
Opposites Attract

• March 2017
Reach For It!

• February 2017
Adapting to New Rules

• January 2017
Systems vs Feel

• December 2016
It Happens to the Best

• November 2016
Maintaining Focus

• October 2016
Riding the ĎLí

• September 2016
Tips on Tips

• August 2016
The Art of Deflection

• July 2016
Note To Self

• June 2016
Object of Safety Play

• May 2016
Speed Zone

• April 2016
Frozen Ball Shots

• March 2016
Hide and Go Seek

• February 2016
Two-Rail Kicks

• January 2016
Staying Down

• December 2015
One-Rail Kicks

• November 2015
Breaking Bad

• October 2015
Call Shot, Call Safety

• September 2015
Own the Shot

• August 2015
Patterns - Part II

• July 2015
I Notice A Pattern

• June 2015
Two-Way Prt. 2

• May 2015
Two-Way Shots

• April 2015
The Fine Line

• March 2015
Straight Break

• February 2015
The 'Walkaway'

• January 2015
Pushing Your Luck

• October 2014
Walk This Way

• August 2014
Attitude Adjustments

• May 2014
Adapt to the Equipment

• Mar 2014
Turn The Beat Around

• Feb 2014
Straight Is Great

• Sept 2013
Cover the Basics

• June 2013
Getting It Right

• May 2013
Strength Training

• April 2013
Rust Proof?

• March 2013
Not So Fast

• February 2013
Two-Step Jump

• January 2013
Open Your Eyes

• December 2012
Feeling Good?

• November 2012
Hang In There

• October 2012
Back on Track

• September 2012
Straighten Up

• August 2012
On the Rail

• July 2012
Mental Checklists

• June 2012
Respect & Fear

• May 2012
Chin Music

• April 2012
On the Line

• March 2012
Balancing Act

• February 2012
Creative Drilling

• January 2012
Power Outage

• December 2011
Jumping In Line

• November 2011
Soft on Soft Breaking

• October 2011
Find Your Stroke

• September 2011
The Path Off the Rail

• August 2011
Short Position

• July 2011
Inch Along

• June 2011
Into the Unknown

• May 2011
Sharpened Focus

• April 2011
Never Flatline

• March 2011
Stop For A Review

• February 2011
One To Watch

• January 2011
The Straight Answer

• December 2010
Shoot The Lights Out

• November 2010
Never Overmatched

• October 2010
Drawing Conclusions

• September 2010
Through & Through

• August 2010
Along the Rail

• July 2010
The Small Stuff

• June 2010
Three in One

• May 2010
One Ball At a Time

• April 2010
Going Thin to Win

• March 2010
Know Your Game

• February 2010
14.1 For 8-Ballers

• January 2010
Setting It Straight

• December 2009
Hanging Out, Part II

• November 2009
Hanging Out

• October 2009
Control Your Speed

• September 2009
Busting Out of a Slump

• August 2009
Easy Errors, Part III

• July 2009
Easy Errors, Part II

• June 2009
Easy Errors, Part I

• May 2009
Body Language & Breaking

• April 2009
The Break: Body Language

• March 2009
Must-Reads from Robles

• February 2009
Position: Four Square

• January 2009
Romancing the Stance

• October 2008
Look Out for Boingy Rails

• September 2008
Build a Better Break

• August 2008
Q&A: Ask the Pro

• July 2008
'Buzz' Kill: Stay Down

• June 2008
Stop Shots Safeties III

• May 2008
Stop Shots Part II

• April 2008
STOP-SHOT Safeties

• March 2008
How to Keep Winning

• February 2008
The Dreaded Straight-In Shot

• January 2008
Trying the Soft Break

• December 2007
The Hard Way Makes It Easier

• November 2007
How to Sight the Cue

• October 2007
Win from Your Chair

Trust Issues
July 2017

I watched almost every single match of the World Cup of Pool, and over that many matches you see trends and subtle differences between the teams. One thing that I noticed, and this is something that will help players who participate in Scotch Doubles tournaments, like the BCA Pool League Scotch Doubles Championships this summer, is that the teams that played with the greatest amount of obvious mutual trust were the teams that went farther in the tournament.

Trust is a big issue when it comes to Scotch doubles. You have to trust the otherís ability and decision-making in playing position and playing shots. When I have played with my wife Gail, if she got a little out of line with the position she left me, it never phased me in the least. I just tried to make the best shot I could with the shot that I was faced with. And vice versa. You have to know that about your partner.

In the World Cup of Pool, I noticed that some players who may be considered slow when they play singles, had obviously practiced with the shot clock. Thatís important because as a team you want to play with a similar rhythm. You donít want one slow player and one fast player. Pace is important. I noticed with the Austrian team that Mario He and Albin Ouschan both took the shot clock to the end on most shots. But one player never told the other what to do. They played really well together, and you could tell theyíve spent a lot of time playing as teammates. Thatís one of the reasons Austria won. Conversely, I noticed a few other teams, like the Philippines, with which one player would disagree with the other or shake his head when the other player left him poor position or missed a shot. You never want to do things like point with your stick where your partner should have left the ball. That affects both of your play going forward. I thought Sky [Woodward] and Shane [Van Boening] played great together. But even in the final match, Sky missed a critical 1 ball, but both players trusted the decision.

Obviously, itís easy to say you have to trust your partner. But if you prepare properly, you can develop that trust. When Gail and I would practice, I would sometimes intentionally miss position, and we would talk about how to proceed. It is a way of sharing information and the thought process, and that helps you going forward. We both agreed ahead of the tournament that if the shot was anything less than 80 percent, we would play safe.

That said, it is also important that the team have a leader when certain situations come up. Itís not always easy for the partners to put their egos aside, but itís important. You have to go into the tournament knowing that you win as a team and lose as a team.