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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 ĎLí

• 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

• 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

• 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

Adapt to the Equipment
May 2014

Iíve talked in the past about getting acquainted with equipment away from your home, or your ďhomeĒ billiard club. When I was 15 and playing all the time, I remember reading an article in Billiards Digest which said that in order to become a true master of the table, you had to learn how to adapt to different equipment. I took that advice literally. For the next few years I made it my business to go to four different pool halls every week. I went to one where the tables played long, one where they played short, one where the tables were lightning fast, and one that played normally. I learned a lot doing that, and within a year I understood the difference between long and short, fast and slow.

Now it takes me only a few racks to make the proper adjustments on any table. Thatís a huge advantage. A lot of pros know how to adjust, but there are still pros out there who, given certain types of equipment, just canít adjust.

I always based my adjustments off the standard kick shot where you put the cue ball in one corner and an object ball in the other, and you use running English to send the cue ball between the two diamonds on the long rail and three rails to pocket the object ball. On a normal table, if you hit it between the diamonds it will go right in. At one of the other rooms, the table ran so long that I had to hit just before the side pocket in order to adjust to how much the angle was lengthened off the third rail. At another room, the table ran so short that I had to hit just before the corner pocket at the top of the table. Additionally, if the table runs fast or slow, you have to adjust the speed of your stroke.

To make the proper adjustments, I developed a system for myself. If Iím playing on a table that runs long, I use a half-tip to three-quarters-tip less spin and the ball will run normally. For tables running short, I use additional spin. I keep shooting the shot, and move my aim point a half-inch at a time until I get the results I want. Now I know that on any shot using that spin, I have to aim one inch or two inches further or shorter than normal to get the proper result. I try to use the same spin as my gauge so that I get consistent information. Remember, the key is to get the table to your normal. This information is critical not only for rail-first shots, but also for playing position off a rail with spin.