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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:
• 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

• 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

Straighten Up
September 2012
CONSIDERING THE amount of time and space dedicated to straight pool in this issue, let’s take another look at the discipline. While most amateurs play 8-ball and 9-ball, straight pool can be a new and interesting way to practice skills needed in every game. Here are two of the most basic and important characteristics of top-level straight pool — and a quick introduction into practicing 14.1.

Short position play: Unlike 9-ball and 10-ball, you won’t be faced with too many shots where you have to go four rails from one side of the table to the other for your next shot. That being said, unlike those rotation games, you will quickly discover that a matter of an inch or two can turn a perfect shot into a perfect disaster.

Similar to 8-ball, planning a proper route through a rack is absolutely essential. With 15 balls able to go in all six pockets, you have options. But it’s always surprising to realize how things can become limited very quickly. You have to deal with obstacles, clusters and problem balls, so keeping complete control of your cue ball is a must.

Also, when you work your way to the break ball, one misplaced cue ball can lead to big problems.

Planning a pattern: And just like 8-ball, formulating a feasible strategy is the only way to succeed. The best players in the world can overcome a lack of planning with expert shot-making and cue-ball control. But you’re only going to bail yourself out so many times. Identify possible break balls and work backward, as if it was a game of 8-ball.

In Diagram 1, the 7 is a natural ball to use for your break shot. Knowing this, you can start looking for a key ball, one that’ll let you get perfect shape on the 7. The 2, an ultra-easy shot in the side, is one option. So if you can clear the other three with decent shape on the 2, you are on your way to 14.1 success.