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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:
• 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

• 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

Position: Four Square
February 2009
Let's Check the mailbag ...

Dear Tony: I have tapes of great matches from Accu-Stats, but what is it that I'm supposed to be watching in order to improve? - J. Russano; Akron, Ohio

Watch the best (like Mike Sigel) to see how you'd play the same shots.
The one thing you should always do when you're watching tapes or DVDs is whenever the balls are broken and a player is about to take the first shot, pause the video and ask yourself, "What would I do here?" And try to see if the player will do what you decided to do. You'll be surprised how many times you are right, and how many times you'll see a shot you didn't think of and you'll be excited to go to the table to practice it. That is how I learned pattern play in straight pool. I used to watch the 150-ball run that Mike Sigel had against Mike Zuglan (at the 1992 U.S. Open 14.1 Championship), and I would pause it to see if I could figure out what he was going to do and what I would do, and what the difference was. And even though he ran 150, I actually disagree with a few decisions that Sigel made. But it's because everybody has a different style of play. There were a couple of runs there that could have been a lot easier. He made them a little tough on himself, but he got away with it.

Dear Tony: How long should someone practice every day? - E. Hudson; Queens, N.Y.

It all depends what level that person wants to achieve. If that person wants to get to the top level, and he has the time, then he should practice as much as he possibly can. If it's someone who plays for fun and wants to improve a little bit, at least an hour a day would do. But either way you go, whether it's practicing eight hours a day or one or two hours a day, the quickest way to shave years off the learning process is to focus on your weaknesses - the shots you struggle with the most. When you do that, you get to the point where you start improving at a more rapid pace. You're getting all the weak shots out of the way and turning them into strengths that you can add to your game. But if you have a guy who never practices a weakness, every time that shot comes up at hill-hill, he'll be scared to death to shoot it. And 99.9 percent of the time, he'll miss the shot.