Pool and Billiards Planet Billiards Planet 0012-A-howtoplaybilliards

How to Play Billiards from A Master Billiards Instructor.


Is learning how to play billiards to the best of your ability something you are working on?

It’s been a while since I’ve had time to write about the great game of pool (billiards). I plan to publish the newsletter a little more often in the future.

I hope you are ending 2009 with style and I wish you all the joy and happiness in the world for a Great 2010.

A few months back, I attended a 3 and a half day class with a master billiards instructor. This inspired me to make some major changes in my stroke. I set up a website explaining the changes along with a couple of videos. Follow the Link below and check it out. You can get the full story on my trip at the site.

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Billiards Planet #0012 December 29, 2009

Table of Contents:

  • 8 Ball Tournament, Great Falls Montanna.
  • Certified Advanced Level Billiards Instructor
  • Billiards Planet Subscriber Feed Back
  • Tip of the Month

8 Ball Tournament, Great Falls Montanna.

Back in late August or early September, I played in an 8 ball tournament out in Great Falls Montana. This was a great trip and I had a blast. We drove there in one day which took about 14 hours including a few pit stops.

I went with my friends, Roy and Debbie. We all 3 played in the tournament and it was a great experience.

There were some really tough players in the tourney and to give you an idea of the competition, I can say that Shane Van Boening took first place. (Shane is currently one of the highest ranked players in the world.) Shane and team USA just won the Mosconi cup back in November 2009. Now Shane knows how to play pool.

My friend Roy ended up taking 17th place in the mens tournament and Debbie ended up in second place in the womens. This was after a long hard battle through the 1 loss side. (Deb lost her first match and came back to take 2nd place.)

I was unfortunately out in 2 rounds. 🙁 I played good the first match. Had 4 runs and only missed 2 balls the entire match. My opponent played better and won the match 5 to 4.

I took advantage of the fact that I was out, and watched Shane and some of the other top players play numerous matches. I learned more than there is room for on this newsletter. Stay tuned for further info.

Follow this link for Free Billiards Fundamentals Course.

Certified Advanced Level Billiards Instructor

I had a trip planned to New Hampshire before I even decided to make the trip to Montana. This trip was so I could attend a billiards instructor course.

The instruction was given by a master Billiards Instructor. His name is Ken Tewksbury and his school is in Concord NH.

In studying with Ken, I discovered that there were some ways to drastically improve my stroke and over all game. I explain this completely on a web page.

You will find the link below this article.

These changes remind me of how both Allison Fisher and Shane Van Boening play.

It was cool to do this class right after watching Shane play several matches live and in person.

My goal was accomplished. I am now an advanced Billiards Instructor with Universal Billiards Instructor Association and a level 2 instructor with the (ACS American Cue Sports). You will find the certificates on the bottom of the page linked below.

This link is for the same page as the article in the beginning of this newsletter.

Follow this link and learn about the NH Trip and the Billiards Class.


Find Pool Cues, Pool Tables and all Billiards Supplies Here.


Billiards Planet Subscriber Feed Back

Tony Writes:

Hi Ted. You’re lessons have really helped. I have been shooting pool for only a few years. Mostly in bars and they can get a little aggressive when it comes to the rules. I have a few questions about lesson 3. I can follow and stop the cue ball but when it comes to drawing it back, it just does not work for me. When I’m trying a draw shot the cue ball will stop 95% of the time and kind of draw back a couple of inches to the left or right. What am I doing wrong? Should I shoot with my pool cue level? And when you say “follow through with your stroke”, how far past the point of contact with the cue ball should I follow through? Keep up the great work. Can’t wait for the next lesson.


Hello Tony,

Keeping the cue level is critical.

Stroke the ball with a quick crispy stroke and follow through as much as possible without getting in the way of the draw. I am working on some videos for this. If your stroke is long and drawn out, you won’t get the good draw action.

How far back are you holding the cue from the balance point?

To your success,


Tony Writes:

Hi Ted, I hold the cue about 2 1/2 inches from the balance point. I follow through with the stroke around 5 inches. I forgot to mention sometimes while trying the draw shot the cue ball jumps, usually of the table. when I raise the tip up on the cue ball it turns into a stop shot. I appreciate you returning my e-mail.

Thank you. Tony



If the cue ball is jumping, you must have the butt of the cue elevated a little or you are so low on the cue ball that you are hitting under it.

Huge amounts of practice will usually be the answer in developing a draw shot. Start with the cue ball and object ball real close together. Move back as you get good at it.

Good luck,


CB Writes:

I just wanted to thank you for this site. My parents always had a pool table and I played around with it growing up but never really took it very seriously. Now in my 30’s I bought a table this past winter and after only 2 of your lessons my game has really improved. I’m taking an hour every evening to apply the lessons and do the drills. I’m keeping a record of my progress and most importantly I’m having a great time. Thanks again!


Hello CB,

Thanks for the note.

Could I use it on the website?

Let me know.

Nice to hear that the course is helping you out.

To Your Success.


CB replies:

Hi Ted, You are welcome to post my comments on your site. initials and city are ok (C.B., Indianapolis). Yesterday evening I was able to pocket 68 balls in a row. I’m getting closer to the 100. I just got the 3rd lesson today and can’t wait to get started! Thanks again,

Matt Writes:

Hey Ted, My game is improving…very slow. I know practice is key, but I’m only able to actually play twice a week, and one of those nights is league. Last week I did a good job getting down to the 8 ball, but when I did, I choked EVERY time….and these were not very hard shots either. I get frustrated and throws the whole night off. When I’m practicing with my buddies it’s different, because my nerves are not a factor. Then when league night comes, it’s a totally different story. I’m the worst one on my team and if I could get my nerves in check, I know I can drastically improve. -Matt


Hello Matt,

This is a tough thing that you must over come. You must learn to control your thoughts and emotions when it’s your turn at the table.

You must think and focus only on the task at hand which is either running out or playing safe. You must concentrate on each shot and only on the shot and the positive outcome that you are shooting for.

Practice until your self confidence improves and it will get easier.

I hope this helps.

Ted Mauro

Mark Writes:

Is it legal in 8 ball, when a oppents ball is in front of the pocket and yours is against it, can you pocket the oppents ball frist then followed by yours if you call the opponents ball first?


Hello Mark,

Just so you hit your ball first, it is a legal shot in any of the rule versions that I know of. There are some rules that state you would have to call both balls. Most league and tournament rules would not require you to call both balls. Only the intended pocket for your ball.

I hope this helps.



F.R.E.E. Billiards Fundamental Training Here.

Tip Of the Month!

The tip for this month is to check out the Free fundamentals course if you have not done so already. This Free information will flat teach you how to play billiards.

The other take action tip for the day is to remember to stay level when you are attempting to draw the cue ball back down the table. Many players elevate the butt of the cue which takes spin off of the ball. Lifting the butt of the cue can also cause an unwanted mase shot.

Editors Note

Thank You for subscribing to “Billiards Planet”. Please feel Free to reply to this email or use contact us on the home page. We would love to read your stories and comments. If You send a story and it fits in to one of our publications, We would like to publish it along with your Sig.

We would love to use our subscribers questions, stories and comments as a major part of this Billiards Newsletter. Jump right in and put in your 2cents worth.

To Your Run Out Success!

Ted Mauro


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