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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

• 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

• 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

Open Your Eyes
January 2013
Every player has a weakness, even Efren. (Photo by Ashi Fachler)

BEING BOTH an instructor and student of the game, I am fully aware there are plenty of ways to learn the game. Sometimes, you just need to get to the table to work things out by yourself. Other times, it’s a great help to have a friend or coach work with you — to offer outside perspective and/or advice from someone who has plenty of experience with the game.

There’s also a nearly infinite amount of knowledge you can glean from reading books or magazines. And when it comes to watching others play, you can pick up useful information from being a spectator, whether the match is between two Joe Schmoes or Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante.

It’s important to be actively watching any match. If it’s a game of 8-ball in your weekly league, after every break shot, ask yourself, “What would I do here?” Try to guess what your teammates will do — and try to follow up with them afterward. If there’s one player who seems especially knowledgeable, try to pick his brain after matches. Try to remember specifics so you can improve your game, even when you’re not playing.

Along those same lines, identify a player’s strengths and weaknesses. If you can see what someone else does well (or not so well), you will be a little more self-aware when you’re at the table. You may also see how to include a certain approach into your own game.

No matter what you see in others, though, you should always be comfortable with your own game. If you perform better when you shoot slowly, shoot slowly. If two position plays are relatively similar in difficulty and outcome, go with what makes you feel more confidently. It’s important to play within yourself, no matter what skill level you are at.