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This Billiards Newsletter is a little late going out this month. After spending 12 days in Las Vegas I had to catch up on much work. It has taken until now to catch up a little.

As you probably recall, I was in Vegas for the BCA National 8 Ball Tournament. Vegas got the better of me the first few days and I didn’t play well in the singles, probably due to lack of sleep. (It’s been a long time since I didn’t win money in the singles.)

My game was pretty good in the team competition. Our team didn’t cash this year either. We advanced a couple rounds but lost to two pretty tough teams.

Vegas was good to me as far as gambling was concerned. I hit over $700 in Video Keno a few times during my 12 day stay.

I hope you enjoy this issue of “Billiards Planet”.

If you like this billiards newsletter, pass it on to a friend.
If a friend DID forward this Billiards Newsletter to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting this link.

Billiards Planet #009 June-04-2008

Table of Contents:

  • Billiard Drills, Pool Training Videos, Coming Soon.
  • Bar room pool players who never play out of their home town.
  • Check out the cool Video from the 2008 Dr. Cue Pool Tournament.
  • Billiards Planet Subscriber Feed Back
  • Tip of the Month

Bar room pool players who never play out of their home town.

Have you ever been out of town and decided to head down to the bar, tavern, night club or what ever you call it and play some pool?

If you are in a large pool room, you will probably find people who have been around good pool players before.

IF You’re in a small town with only one or two bars and a couple of pool tables, you could run into a true bar pool player.

These guys play the no slop rules. Call every bank and every kiss. They don’t believe in safeties and they call safe play dirty pool.

9 out of 10 times, these guys are the true pool hustlers dream come true. They have never played or experienced run out pool and maybe have run one or two racks in their life if they’re lucky.

These bar rules are really messed up when you get to understanding safety play and the ball in hand rules which are used in almost all tournament play.

Reply to this email and let’s have your opinions and stories. If you are a bar rule player drop us a line. If you have played these rules before let us know. Do you like Bar Rules or Not?

I’ll publish replies in the June Issue of Billiards Planet which will come out around the end of June. (Remember this is the May Issue, written on June 4th. LOL)

Billiard Drills, Pool Training Videos, Coming Soon.

We (A couple friends and myself) have been shooting some video on Billiard Drills and Practice Routines.

We started with the basics fundamentals such as balance point, how to hold your cue and how to stand. We then moved into the stroke and the 3 fundamental kind of shots. (Draw, Stop and Follow)

This is the beginning of many videos which will guarantee anyone improvement on their game. (The shots must be practiced for improvement to occur) You Think?

I have never put video online beyond some You Tube videos that I uploaded there. These videos will be on my server and on a private access page. I have a friend getting the files in the correct format for this.

I’ll keep you posted to as when the videos are live and online.

F.r.e.e Billiard Drills from This Billiards Newsletter, Here.


Billiards Planet Subscriber Feed Back

John Wrote:

Hi Ted: I will be getting my 8 ft pool table this week. Then I can really practice. I have practiced very little because I don’t have a quite place to play. I’ll have more questions as soon as I get the table. One thing I do a lot is over cut the ball. What practice tips do you have for stopping it. My eyes are not so good 20:40. I can wear glasses but they don’t really help. I am 63 in good health but with lousy eye sight. John G

My Answer:

Hello Jon,

All I can say is to shoot those shots that give you trouble in one after the other. Shoot them so much that they become second nature. Learn to make 10 in a row one handed. This should over come the eyesight problem. Learn how to cut them in and control your cue ball to a specific location. Learn the cuts with low and high English, Right and Left English. Work on speeds that will take you half the distance of the table, The full length of the table and even all around the pool table coming off of the rails.

I think I have a video with a short example. I will work on getting it on line.

I’m Happy to hear you picked up a table.

To Your Cut Shot Success,


Felix writes:

I’ve noticed on several occasions that some players tend to take practice strokes over and below the cue ball and on the last stroke they seemingly hit the ball center I noticed Francisco Bustamonte doing this.

He looks like he’s going to put some kind of extreme draw on the shot or possibly miss cue the ball but you see the hit after and it had some follow. Have you seen people do this? and why do you suppose they stroke this way?

Thanks Ted,

I hope you do good in Vegas

My Reply:

Hello Felix,

I am not sure why so many players do this crazy stuff with their warm up strokes. I have noticed and some pretty good players do it.

Thanks for the Vegas Good Luck Wish.


Erona Wrote:

Just wanted to thank you for your installments and the way you have personalized everything in such a way that you seem like talking to a very good friend. I am looking into getting a pool table for the home…. giving me more practice time than a couple of hours after work in the bars. I was going to go with a regulation size table… but don’t have the space for it in the room I wanted it in… so have begun to look at the smaller ones. Found a nice Brunswick with a wool cloth yesterday (average barroom size). I may go with that since I am “only” playing league right now anyway and am not in with the “big boys” yet.

What do you suggest?

Thanks for your time…. and Blessings to You. -Erona C La.

I must have lost my reply because when I couldn’t find it, I wrote:

Hello Erona,

I came across this email while working on the Billiards Planet News Letter. I am pretty sure I sent reply. I usually file replies but can’t find it.

Did I answer your question?

Would you mind if I use your question in the May Newsletter?

Send a pic and testimonial and I’ll put it on the website.

Please reply,



Erona then replied:

Hi Ted….. Yes…. You did answer my question and so we looked at more pool tables until I fell “in love” with one. It’s called ‘The Kelly’ from Legacy Billiards. I said, “This is IT. This is the one!!” The cloth was perfect…. and I loved the wood style. We did end up having to go with a different, bigger room than the one we were going to use… and will be renovating that room (new tile, new paint, new drapes) as our game room. Otherwise we would have had to have dropped down to an even smaller sized table… which I didn’t want to do. I have also gotten two new pool cues. A 21 ounce and a 20 ounce. When I began to play with the new 20 ounce…. my game improved immensely. I am a light-weight female…. so I felt a heavier stick would give me more ooomph. Whether it was the stick… or an improvement on my shooting skills…. or a combo of both…. I went from slump…. to kicking butt. Pool is fun…. and even more so when you’re winning. My breaks have improved…. my rail shots are getting better… and even my banks are leaving some people going “huh?!” I can’t wait to get the pool table in for more practice, practice, practice!!!! The more and more and more I can play…. I think the better and better and better I will be. A lot of my problem has been in relaxing. I tend to tense up as I shoot… and have a friend of mine alerted to watch me and let me know when I start “pulling up” my stick. It has also helped very much to watch others… and see that some do the same…. and watch for what not to do…. as well as what I could use that could be worked into my own style.

Thank you for your instruction and your inquiries on my personal progress. That is a good friend.

You may, of course, use anything I write for your Newsletters but as of this time I do not have a picture on the computer to send along with it. As soon as I do though…. I will be happy to send that along with any following correspondence.

Very Much Thanks and Be Blessed…. Erona C, La.

My Reply:

Hello Erona,

Thanks for a second nice letter.

Congrats. on the new pool table and pool room.

Happy to hear that you are aware of the fundamentals and are noticing how others play.

Please do send a pic when you get it. All I have on the Site so far are mens pics. We need some female representation.


John C Wrote:

Good morning Ted, Thanks for the update, being an advanced novice (at 66) I wanted to say that the updates that you furnished in the training notes was helpful in that it reminded me to go back to basics from time to time. We always hear it in just about any sport, but seldom take our own advice… Here is a little trick that I have incorporated after reading and practicing (allot)…I have a mantra that I try to remember to say on almost every shot…probably should be on every shot, that way nothing is taken for granted… Before addressing any shot…I say in my head mostly…. SHOT——Think of what shot / shots I want to take. SIGHT—–look at where I want to hit and what I want to do with the ball. SPEED—-Take my practice swings and decide speed STOP——STOP on the back stroke before addressing the ball. STROKE—-make a deliberate acceleration FOLLOW—-head down, stay down, follow through (when possible) I have just recently purchased a new CUTEK THUNDERBOLT (was cheaper to buy the whole cue than just the shaft, considering), And at first didn’t think that I was going to like it..because it had a thick shaft. I preferred more of a taper. But now I think have gotten used to it and think that it has improved my game…It seems to hit straighter and has a much firmer grip then my other cues…2 of them are Cutek as well…. Have a good day and looking forward to more of your postings….For now and till then. JOHN

I replied:

Hello John,

Thanks for the cool note.

Nice mental routine. Hope your new cue treats you well. It sounds like you are pretty dedicated to the game. I am posting this string of conversation on the blog. Feel free to reply and post comments through the blog.

Let’s get some good billiards talk going there. Blog is link below.



Hollie Wrote:

Just finished the last lesson, and will start doing the three balls than four and so on, I think that it is wonderful, that you care enough about this game to help others the way that you do, I never picked up a cue stick until December of this year, I am seventy and have found a new love, pool, we live in the Villages in Florida, a very large retirement community, we have access to multiple recreation areas with pool tables, some have four, some six and some eight, we have leagues and I am joining a beginning league as we speak, I get a lot of shots, but need to learn defense and getting the cue ball to go where I want it for the next shot, I also need to understand banking, angles mean nothing to me, I need a very simple uncomplicated way to learn to bank, I understand the diamonds on the table, but if they are not right on or very close to one, I am lost, trying to understand this half stuff and the tangent line leaves me baffled, all men and some women see angles, but many of us do not, I talk with many other women who feel just as I do, and I guess we are looking for an easy solution, is there any????? Thanks for your time and the lessons. Hollie N

I replied:

Hello Hollie,

Thanks for the reply. I am working on some bank shot training.

The best way to learn is practice bank shots.

If you hit the rail coming in at a 45degree angle the ball will deflect of in a 45 degree angle, making a perfect isosceles triangle. Speed of the hit and the spin (English) on the ball are big factors.

Hitting the ball slow will make it drift down table and widen the triangle while hitting it hard will shorten the angle and narrow the triangle.

Practice is what will get you there.

I hope this helps.

Nice to hear you are getting into pool in your 7th decade.


Dom Wrote:

Mr Mauro, thanks, your 7part course is very good. I’m still having trouble hitting what I’m aiming at. Help. thanks, Dom.

I replied:

Hello Dom,

Sorry about delayed reply. I need to know a few things so I can help you out.

How is your eyesight?

How much do you practice?

How many hours have you invested in the game?

Please reply.



Dom Replied:

Thanks Ted, Eyesight good, practice around 6 hrs week, 40years invested, making the same mistakes, think mostly need a better stroke. thank you,


I replied:

Hello Dom,

Sorry about delay. I have been buried with work.

Are you keeping your head down and your eye on the ball?

The only movement in your body should be your arm that you are using to deliver the stroke.

Line up on the shot before you ever bend over the table. Walk into the line of aim. (Address the ball)

Let me know if this helps.


Ken Wrote:

Hi Ted, Enjoy your newsletter a great deal thank you for letting us hear your thoughts and other information you provide. As an Instructor for this fine game for the last 18 years I always look forward to other players opinions about the game. www.billiardinstructor.org My school is doing fine as I’m the highest rated instructor in the northeast region.I do not teach all the normal things other instructors teach I teach real experiences at the table and have many challenging courses for advanced level players. I teach the diamond systems, and many other things that most do not bother with as they teach the general stance, stroke, etc…I get them from all over the world and the USA. Been to Vegas a few times in the past. Now at 68 not interested in the traveling hassles. Well Sir, I wish you the best out in Vegas and hope to hear from you when you get back home. Shoot straight and true my friend…Regards, Ken Tewksbury…Master Instructor……

Jim W Writes:

Hi Ted: Practice has become my middle name. It is as much a part of my daily routine as eating and sleeping. I am fortunate to have the two tables where I work so practice is not a problem. As I mentioned once before, when my game goes south, with a little effort and diagnostics I can, most times, correct the problem. It is usually in my grip (too snug) or I’m letting my right elbow fly out, which is causing my grip to become firmer than I want. Last Sunday I played on a reg table in a pool hall. My friend is a good pool shooter and we played two 50 point frames of straight pool. He beat me the first (50 -23) because I had problems with my grip. Once I realized that and corrected it I beat him the 2nd frame 50-25. Last night I beat two APA 5 rated four times in 8 ball. So, yes, my practice is beginning to pay off. I am right now concentrating on ball control and position. I guess by now you are in Vegas. Good luck down there. And have fun. Jim…aka..quickshot….poolman78……shooter…(different forums).

My Reply:

Hello Jim,

Happy to hear that you’re practicing an that it’s paying off. Thanks for the good luck wish. I am going to watch my partner play in the Scotch Doubles with his wife today. The singles start for me tomorrow morning. Check the blog for updates. Ted

Brady B Wrote:

Dear Ted, Thank you for sending me the fundamentals of pool. Before I found your site I played pool to release my anger but now I am getting interested into pool. I’m only 15 years old but I still love to play the game. Our family has a snooker table instead of a regulation billiards table. It makes it a bit more challenging. The reason I am e-mailing you is because of the way I hold my cue. I tried holding it the way you recommended but I felt it affected my shot in a bad way. I am use to holding the cue the way you do not recommend. I feel I have a lot more control. Do I though? I will keep working on the skills you told me to work on. How did you do in Vegas. Thanks again Brady

I replied:

Hello Brady,

You will have to develop the game that works best for you.

I have always held every cue I ever played with a few inches behind the balance point.

This works for me and many other players.

You must do what works best for you.

The singles event was not good to me in Vegas.

Two of my friends did well.

We start teams tonight.



Dan Wrote:

Hello Ted. Hi i just received the 4Th lesson i teach this lesson also it is a very useful lesson it teaches the student a lot of information. There is another aspect that you have to be aware of when doing that type of shot with spin and that is the diameter of the stick there is a huge difference of where you aim at depending on what size diameter your stick is. Example I play with 9 – 10 – 11 mm tip depending on what cue ball they are playing with at the time and what cloth is on the table but most people play with a 13mm tip. My aiming point is much different compared to one who shoots with a 13mm tip. So in the lesson it’s just having them shot at the middle diamond on the short rail and it wants them to spin the ball to left and the right which is good practice. I know that after a while they would learn how to hit the ball to make it hit different spots on the long rails and the opposite short rail if they had to kick at a ball but are they learning where to aim most of the time they don’t. I found out that they are able to do it by memory, feel and a guess. To me that isn’t good enough it’s better to know where to aim at this way you will most likely hit the ball if you have to kick at it. So to get back to the aiming with the different size tips you can have them put a ball on the short rail frozen to it at any one of the diamonds and you want the cue ball to be in a straight line with the object ball and have them try to cut the ball in the nearest corner pocket except for the one in the middle although that one is the hardest you can cut it in either pocket. I know that all these shots are very hard but it teaches them where to aim to make the ball and that’s where the different size tips come into play. plus it takes away the guess work. One other note the lesson had a picture of a cue ball with high English center English and bottom English this is incorrect High, Center, and or Low is not English as long as it is on the vertical axis because it doesn’t affect the behavior of the object or the cue ball they will both stay on their natural path depending on how hard you hit the ball soft medium or hard. When you move your tip to right or left that imparts throw on the object ball and spin on the cue ball which will affect the natural angle when it comes off a rail. PS Hope you did well out in Vegas. Waiting for next lesson . Take care for now Dan.

I replied:

Hello Dan,

Thanks for the reply. Sorry about the delay. I have Vegas Lag.

I have a meucci with an 11 mm shaft. You can really get the ball spinning with that one. My other cues are 13mm.

I will put your note in the Billiards Planet News Letter.

I disagree with your statement about top and bottom spin not effecting the object ball. It absolutely does effect the object ball and I will be putting together some videos to prove it.

To Your Run Out Success.


Jim W Wrote:

Just a note to say thanks for the wikipedia link. I thought it was both cool and useful. It is a great resource for rules and variations on the game we all love so well. Love the tutorial and e-zine keep up the good work. Thanks

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

Tip Of the Month!

I am cutting this section short again due to the extreme length of the reader feed back. There are many tips in the questions and answers above. If you have a specific question or challenge, please send it in. You can reply to this email.

Tip of the month is speed and spin. You have to understand that when applying English to the Cue Ball, speed combined with spin is what it all boils down too.

If you put left English on the cue ball and shoot into the rail, the cue ball will deflect off the rail to the left. If you hit the shot hard, not as much English will take and not as much spin or wide angle can be delivered.

Stroking the ball soft and following through, will put the most spin on the cue ball. This is just like bowling. The softer the ball is spinning the more it can curve.

Practice banking balls in random pockets using English to get it there. I’m sure you will find value in this drill and the next time you are stitched you sill for sure make a hit and probably make the shot.

To Your Run Out Success!


OK One more repeat Tip.

Keep A Positive Attitude. Your Attitude determines your Altitude in pool and in life.

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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