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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:
• 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

• 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

Stop Shots Safeties III
June 2008
Building on the lesson from last month, let’s take a more advanced look at stop-shot safeties — this time allowing the cue ball to scoot to a new position after object-ball contact.

The central principle for the shots outlined below is the “90-degree rule,” which states that when a sliding cue ball (i.e., a stop shot or stun shot, with no forward roll or backspin) strikes an object ball at an angle, the angle between their paths after the collision will be 90 degrees. To say it another way, we know that the cue ball in a stop shot will move perpendicular to the object ball after collision. This is a very handy rule for safeties, obviously, because it helps us place the cue ball in tough positions for our opponents with a good amount of accuracy.

In our two previous lessons, we hit the object ball dead-on, resulting in a complete stop. In Diagrams 1 and 2, we’re hitting the 1 ball at a slight angle, allowing it to come off at a 90-degree angle and drift into the 2 ball. If I were approaching these shots at the table, I’d use the 90-degree rule to determine the contact point that would allow the cue ball to float over to the 2 ball, chart the 1 ball’s path, and adjust the speed a bit to guarantee that the 1 ball ends up in a completely inaccessible position.

The really crafty thing about these safeties is that the cue ball drifts close enough to the 2 ball to make a one-rail kick nearly impossible for my opponent. To even think about making contact with the 1 ball, he’ll probably have to try going two rails, or something equally difficult.