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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:
• December 2018
Position, Everyone!


• November 2018
Be a Chairman


• October 2018
Never Stop Learning


• September 2018
Carom Corner II


• August 2018
Carom Corner


• July 2018
Slump Dog


• June 2018
Stopping Is Power


• May 2018
Professional Help


• April 2018
Break Dance


• March 2018
A Safe Path


• February 2018
Stunning Results


• January 2018
Know Your Rails


• November 2017
The Straight Dope


• October 2017
Confidence Boosters


• September 2017
The One-Armed Man


• August 2017
Making a Check List


• July 2017
Trust Issues


• 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 ‘L’


• 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


 
Weight Problems
January 2019

Because I run leagues, I am constantly involved with handicapped tournaments. And one thing I’ve noticed is that merely involving handicaps changes the way people prepare for matches, and it shouldn’t.

It’s funny, but at the first sign of trouble, what starts going through some players’ minds is, “Oh, this player definitely isn’t handicapped correctly,” or something along those lines. I see players that play a couple of levels below me and I know for a fact that they are the favorite when it comes to winning a match but they talk themselves out of a game or two because they are fixated on the handicaps. They fall into give-up mode because they have to give up, say, three games going to eight. Right off the bat they lose a game or two and instead of focusing on one game at a time, they are thinking, “I’m already behind 5-0.”

Meanwhile, the players I watch that take the match for what it is and don’t focus on the handicaps win with more consistency.

It all comes down to the mental approach. The mental approach for someone that is getting the games is that they go into the match feeling as though they have an advantage. Sometimes they put more pressure on themselves. What they should do is play as if the game is 0-0 and simply try to win the game. Players who are giving games give up as soon as they lose a game or two.

What you need is a good mental approach. You need to approach a match the same way, whether you are giving games or getting games. Your mindset should never change. You need to focus on the shot that is right in front of you. If you focus on how good a player is or how much weight you are having to give up, you’re wasting your mental energy on the wrong things.

There is also a physical aspect to playing handicap matches. I always tell players to prepare to the level of your opponent. Your strategy chances with the opponent. If you are playing someone who struggles to run three or four balls and you can do that easily, don’t risk shooting a difficult shot and leave it hanging. Play safe and wait for your opportunity, especially toward the end of a rack. Remember, there is a reason you are giving a player four games going to nine.

Conversely, if you are getting the handicap and you are playing a run-out player, it makes more sense to take a chance if there is any opportunity to run out. And always opt for a safe instead of a silly shot. Even a good player will occasionally leave you an open shot if he is forced to kick at ball.

I run a lot of handicap events and the number of wins by underdogs is about the same as the number of wins by the favorite. Personally, I love the challenge of having to give up a lot of weight to another player. That excites me.

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