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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:
• 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


• 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
ĎBuzzí 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


 
Hanging Out
November 2009
IT WOULD be great if playing position off a ball sitting in the jaws of the pocket was easy as it looks, but it isnít.

Iíve always said that I would rather have a ball a foot away from a pocket than right up next to it. When you have a little distance between the pocket and the object ball, you know exactly where you need to hit the object ball to make the shot. You are limited to one contact point, which allows you to focus on the path of the cue ball.

When you have a ball hanging in the pocket, however, you have to choose where on the object ball you want the cue ball to hit. Just about any contact with the object ball will send it into the pocket, so you have multiple options. When you are playing position off a ball hanging in the pocket, choose an exact point on the object ball. This will help you see the cue ballís path toward position for your next shot.

When I started really working on my position play, I practiced cutting the hanging object ball into pieces. I would practice hitting a certain fraction of the object ball (going from 1/8-ball to full). By doing this, I saw how different the cue ballís path was from each hit. Also, by hitting different portions of the object ball, I could see how a quarter-ball hit was different from a half-ball hit.

In Diagram 1, Iíve set up a basic drill to help you get a feel for playing position in these situations. Start with the cue ball at C-1. Hitting the cue ball in the center, try to pocket the 1 ball and leave the cue ball near the X. Vary your contact point on the 1 until you are consistently getting position on the 2 ball. Once you can do that, move the cue ball to another spot and start over. You should quickly learn how the contact point on the 1 ball is very, very important.

Another important point: When you are working on hitting different fractions of the object ball, it is important to use the same spin on the cue ball with every stroke. Keep it simple to start by hitting the center of the cue ball.

(Check out Tonyís latest endeavor, the National Amateur Pool League at www.napleague.com.)


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