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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


• 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


 
Q&A: Ask the Pro
August 2008
“Practice Strokes: At least three.”
The House Pro mailbox has been filling up, and we’ve noticed some common questions among beginning and intermediate players. Here’s my take on some of these fundamental issues.

Should my tip shape be like the arc of a dime or nickel?

I feel more comfortable with the dime shape. My tip has a tendency to mushroom quickly, so I figure that it will last a lot longer going from a dime to a nickel before it goes flat. Also, if you have a flat tip, you’re more likely to miscue by hitting the cue ball with the edge of the tip. With the curvature of a dime, you get the meat of the tip on the cue ball, and I feel that gives you better action.

How many practice strokes should I take?

I like to take at least three to five. When the object ball is farther away, I’ll take seven or eight to give myself extra time to really focus on a specific target on the object ball. But you should always take at least three, to give yourself enough time to focus on the specific target point.

I feel like I’ve hit a plateau. How do I even know what skills I should work on?

Start practicing banks, kicks, safeties and position shots, and chart your progress. Shoot particular shots 10 times each and note how often you’re successful. You’ll get a good idea from your results which skill needs the most work. And continue to chart your results as you practice — at least once a week — to quantify and better understand your improvement.

If I play someone who I know is better than I am, how should I adjust my game?

No matter what you do, you should always play your game, no matter what anyone says, whether they say you’re shooting too slow, or you’re not shooting the right shot, or what have you. Take the shot you are comfortable with, while making sure you take notes on your mistakes so you can go back later and practice those situations. Plus, you get a better sense of what your strengths really are if you play within yourself. It’s OK to respect your opponent, but once you respect your opponent more than you respect yourself as a player, you have already beaten yourself.


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