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Hottest threads from the Cue Chalk Board
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 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

• 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

Hanging Out, Part II
December 2009
THIS MONTH, I want to continue the discussion on the topic of playing position on balls hanging in the jaws of a pocket.

In last month’s column, I talked about getting familiar with the different angles that the cue ball can take after hitting a hanging object ball. It’s important to have an exact contact point on the object ball, so you can have a precise plan for the cue ball after contact.

This month, I want to focus on shots where you will need (or want) the cue ball to go off the rail before hitting the object ball into the nearby pocket.

To start working with rail-first shots, set up the shot shown in Diagram 1. But before you try to pocket the 1 ball, put another object ball where the ghost ball would be (the dotted-line ball in the diagram). By placing a ball exactly where the cue ball needs to be when it hits the object ball, you making it easier to visualize the shot. Work on finding the right contact point on the rail that will allow you to successfully pocket the 1 ball.

The next thing you want to focus on is playing position for your next shot. It is imperative that you ask yourself how you want to hit the object ball. A thick hit (shown in Diagram 1) will slow down the cue ball. But a thin hit, like in Diagram 2, will leave the cue ball with plenty of speed after contact with the 1. Comparing the two shots, there is only a small difference in the location of the object ball at impact with the 1. But even the slightest change can spell big differences in the cue ball’s speed and angle after contact.

When you are able to control the type of hit on the 1 ball, you will have many more options for cue-ball position on your next shot. Keep working with different rail-first shots. You should be able to build up your confidence to the point you feel comfortable sending the cue ball off the rail and into a hanging object ball.

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