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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:
• November 2021
Ready or Not


• October 2021
A Most Important Time


• July 2021
Stay the Course


• June 2021
Not As Easy As It Looks


• May 2021
Watch Your Speed


• April 2021
Speed Kills


• March 2021
Uncomfortable? Good


• February 2021
Watch and Learn


• January 2021
Angles Off The Rail


• December 2020
When You Slip


• November 2020
The Inside Track


• October 2020
The Inside Dope


• September 2020
Experimentation


• August 2020
Challenge Yourself


• July 2020
Drill Sergeants


• June 2020
No Table Required


• May 2020
Opening Eyes


• April 2020
Three birds, one stone


• March 2020
Red Alert


• February 2020
Endless Possibilities


• January 2020
Starting position


• December 2019
Advanced Safeties


• November 2019
Frozen Solid


• October 2019
Itís A Thin Line


• September 2019
Joy in Repetition


• August 2019
Soft Touch


• June 2019
Thin To Win


• May 2019
Perfection Not Required


• April 2019
Shake íní Break


• March 2019
Hangers


• February 2019
Correct Easy Errors


• January 2019
Weight Problems


• 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 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


 
Never Stop Learning
September 2021

Since relocating to Florida and having more time on my hands, Iíve started to play seriously again. And with the rise in real pro tour events in the U.S., Iím preparing like I havenít in many years. And I told myself, if I say Iím going to go and play on the Predator Pro Tour, Iím either going all out or not at all.

I will admit that bank shots and kick shots have always been weak spots in my game. I know I have to learn how to bank better and kick better. So, recently, for the first time in 42 years of playing pool, I went to the local poolroom and practiced bank shots for four hours. I have to say, the changes have been stunning and Iím embarrassed that itís taken this long to improve in these areas.

One of the things I realized is that for years I was too busy trying to use reference systems for banks shots instead of just shooting the shot over and over, and experimenting with left English, right English, center balls, etc., to watch the ballís trajectory off the rail. I simply shoot the shot straight into the rail and manipulate its exit angle with spin.

For starters, the table I practice on plays short. So, if you draw a line from one of the corner pockets to the middle diamond and then to the opposite side rail, a ball hit along that line will come up short. I was actually coming in a ball or ball and a half short, and the ball would double bank into the opposite pocket. When I use the same line, however, and add left English, the ball goes right into the pocket. There is no aiming adjustment. Iím still aiming for the same spot on the rail.

Then I started experimenting with the speed of the shot. When I hit the shot really hard, it came in short by a good distance. I adjusted the aim to a spot just beyond the diamond and made it 10 times in a row. I also started using draw and follow to make the shot.

The best way to practice when learning banks is to draw the line to the diamond and mark where the cue ball and object ball position. (Note: Make sure to keep the object ball a few ball widths off the rail. Balls that are too close to the rail wonít give you the proper feedback. They need time to pick up forward roll.) Then start experimenting. Use moderate speed at the start to find where the natural angle takes the object ball.

Now you can start experimenting with speed and spin and noting what impact those have on the object ballís path off the rail.

Change the aiming point slightly when you want to overcut the ball and hit it harder. This trial and error will be a great help. Itís so important to make sure that you understand the equipment youíre playing on.

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