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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

• 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

One To Watch
February 2011
WHENEVER I'm at a major tournament, I can't help but study all the best players. I watch Efren Reyes and Johnny Archer and Francisco Bustamante, because I can learn just from seeing how they do certain things.

When students of mine gets an opportunity to see a professional up close, I notice they always focus on the stroke, the movement of the arm, the fluidity of the motions. What's interesting is that pros do a lot of things a lot of different ways. Earl Strickland twists his wrist a bit. When Bustamante takes his warm up strokes, it looks like he's barely using more than a pinkie for his grip.

While the unorthodox approach obviously works for these guys, developing players will improve much, much quicker if they stick to rock-solid fundamentals. Professionals have drilled and drilled their strokes to the point that their idiosyncrasies are second nature. But for you, following the textbook stroke will lead to more favorable results faster.

And when it comes to the perfect example of near-perfect fundamentals, there's nobody better to study than Allison Fisher. Besides being one of the absolute all-time greats, Allison is the closest thing there is to the perfect pool player. Her approach, her stroke, her demeanor, she does everything just as it should be done.

So, if you get a chance to watch Allison (in person or on TV), key for the following three things:

1. Balance: When players, even the best players, get rolling, they have a tendency to slide into position from one shot to the next. But Allison is a master of keeping herself in line. After every shot, she will step back and restart her pre-shot routine. You never see her off balance because she steps straight into every shot.

2. Rhythm: I've been watching her for a solid decade, and I've never seen Allison rush her last stroke. I've never seen her jump up on a shot. She's always in rhythm. After she takes her warm-up strokes, she pulls the cue back for her final stroke, pauses at the end of the backswing, and then strokes the cue ball. Always.

3. Arm Position: Once Allison is down and set, her back forearm is exactly perpendicular to the ground at the moment the cue tip strikes the cue ball.