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THE INSTRUCTORS: The8knights are proud to have the representation of some of pocket billiards finest instructors. As you will see below, they are all professionals and have been in the field for quite some time. Some of them are currently competing as high level pros and others have retired and dedicated themselves to passing on the knowledge.

LESSONS: Lessons are available one on one or in groups and may vary in price depending on the instructor or location. However, if you heard about our pool school via this website and would like to receive a discount on a pool lesson from one our top instructors, simply mention that you saw the ad on the8knights.com.

INSTRUCTIONAL LEVEL: Ranges are from beginning and intermediate to advance and professional. Whatever needs you require in terms of learning and becoming better at the sport of pocket billiards, our instructors are qualified to do the task.

SCHEDULING AN APPOINTMENT: The following instructors are available by appointments only. Due to the volume of requests, we recommend contacting them directly.

Tony Robles: Before he was much taller than a cue stick, Tony Robles knew that he wanted to play pool, and play it well. Accompanying his dad to the local pool hall in Brooklyn's Bushwick section, Tony was 13 years old when he was first introduced to the world of tight racks and even tighter pockets. Though not yet familiar with the game, Tony was immediately taken with crisp sound of balls draining into the pockets. An older gentleman who was at the pool hall that day approached the 13 year old and asked if he wanted to learn more. Tony replied eagerly to the man who handed the youngster a book on learning to play pool. Tony took the book home that night and read it from cover to cover before going to sleep. The next day, he showed up at the pool hall to practice his newfound knowledge. And he hasn't left yet.

After graduating from High School, Tony dedicated himself to perfecting his game, practicing 12 hours a day, 6 days a week for over two years. At age twenty-one, he turned pro. His nickname, the "Silent Assassin," was bestowed upon him during the 1995 World Championships held in Winston-Salem, N.C. After soundly defeating one of the top pros by an 11-2 score, a fan approached Robles to congratulate him. Commenting on the accomplishment, the fan noted that it was "just another day at the office" for the fast rising Robles. Tony's ability to unexpectedly and resoundingly knock off top pros, the fan concluded, was like that of a "silent assassin."

The moniker stuck, and has accompanied him over the past nine years as he, not quite so silently, ascends the ranks of the world's elite pool players. He is currently ranked #6 by Pool and Billiards Magazine, and #9 by Billiard's Digest, as he sets his sights on a lifelong goal of winning the world's championship.

Among the career highlights considered most important to Tony is a run of 113 balls he accomplished during the 1992 Straight Ball Championship held at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. The feat wowed the tournament crowd, which rose to give the Silent Assassin a standing ovation. Most rewarding of all was the presence of one of his biggest fans that reveled in the moment his father. Other highlights of Tony's career include high runs of eight straight racks in 9-ball and five straight racks in 8-ball. He also boasts a high run in straight pool of 267 balls.

Tony loves movies, video games as well as baseball, basketball and boxing. But most of all, he enjoys spending quality time with his son, Jonathan. He has been the subject of feature stories by NBC News, Newsday and Billiard's Digest, among other media outlets, and has served as technical advisor on numerous television commercials including ads for Macy's and Acuvue Contact Lenses.

Tel. 212.995.1314 e-mail robles9@aol.com Official Website. http://www.tonyrobles.net

Billie Billing:
The 1993 Player of the Year on the Tri-State Tour, has presented her beginners' pool course to the clientele of Brownstone Billiards since 1991. The number two ranked player in the world from 1978 - 1981, Billie had consistently maintained her status among the top ten women for twenty years. She has over 65 titles, including five grand slam events, and a 1980 National title. She boasts a high run of 80 balls in straight pool. Her 14.1 expertise led her to win the New York State qualifying event for the year 2000, BCA US Open Championship.

She is renowned in the New York area as the foremost instructor to the game, and is currently a House Pro at Brownstone Billiards. Her "Pool Pointers" class consist of a unique combination of instruction, trick shots, and Billie's own brand of humor.

Billie has developed and industry-wide reputation in her 20 years in the sport, as a leader, innovator and as a creative influence. She was the activator and first President to the Women's Professional Billiard Association (WPBA), as well as the first woman columnist for "Billiard Digest" magazine which featured her playing advice, along with many noted photographs she has photographed of top (male and female) pool players of our time. These photos have had national as well as local coverage, appearing in a myriad of publications, while a portion of her extensive collection is on loan to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC

Approached by Avon Publishers to write the first instructional book authored by a female player, over 50,000 copies of "Pool Pointers" has already been sold. It is so popular that it has been translated into German for the European market. A follow up book has also been written and released in 2001. "Murder on the 9-Ball Express" is a stimulating mystery about a professional woman player who uses her technical pool thinking and know-how to solve a murder of another person on tour. Her second instructional undertaking, "8-Ball Rag". is a 'How to play 8-ball tavern pool' tutorial. The majority of pool players can relate to the obstacles of tavern play, such as the inadequate equipment, absurd rules, loud music, inebriated persons and smoke filled environment, as this is the most prevalent form of the game.

Glib and quotable Billie is a favorite with journalists. She is considered to be a spokesperson for her sport, her topics ranging from the history and future of pocket billiards, to women in the game, fighting the old "image" through the of media, and the new look and breed of billiard parlors now in America and abroad.

Tel. 917.407.1958 e-mail billiebilliards@yahoo.com

Rolando Aravena:
Is an advance level instructor and has been working at The Amsterdam Billiard Club in NYC for 16 years. Of the many hats he wears, his main capacity is of House Pro, League Director of the straight pool league and room manager. He also runs his extensive cue repair business out of that location. In addition to all of the above he also re-covers their tables as needed.

He teaches groups and private lessons and with his experience he has seen and heard it all from pool players of all levels. Questions like, What do I do here? How do I get better? How and what should I practice? are not new to him. His main philosophy is that everyone should receive good fundamentals, period. They should go and seek out the knowledge via all options, including but not limited to instructors, the Internet, videos and tournaments. He confidently can teach you how to teach yourself and how to get better.

From Rolando: I want to thank those individuals who have awaken the kernel in me and sent me on the course to seek out and learn this wonderful game. At the core we have these special individuals: Harvey Mason, Abe Rosen, Gene Nagy, Monty Hecht and Herbert Lehman and Sixto. They have given themselves to the game and in turn pass over to me some incredible wealth of knowledge. It was through their devotion to this game and their intense desire to be great that led them on in the face of difficulty. I, from a different era, but no less the same mental attitude, have been very fortunate. This is what I bring to the student.

Tel. 212.995.1314 e-mail r.aravena@verizon.net

From Todd Wilson:   My name is Todd and I have been instructing in Queens, New York for over five years now. I used to work at the Spin City billiards in Sunnyside Queens which is currently under new ownership. I am presently instructing out of BQE billiards in Woodside and Cue Bar billiards in Bayside. I have been a APA member for the last seven years, also a division representative and tournament director and was a BCA member for two years. Before educating pool players, I was a teacher in various retail chains teaching managers, staff and executives. 

As long as there is love of the game and a will to learn, I will always be available to teach. Give me a call at your convenience and I look forward to hearing from you.

From Vincent Morris: A lot of individuals join the APA for the soul reason of having fun and meeting new people. Most of them would never admit to the fact that the game is intriguing and that their aim is to actually get better so that they can compete in some form or fashion. So like most new member to the APA, the idea is usually to pretend that it's all about fun while secretly trying to learn more as fast as possible. The bottom line is, human beings are competitive in nature and playing pool against a friend or stranger is no exception. We all on some level would like to win.
One of the quickest ways to advance your technique in pool is to receive instructions from someone who knows more than you do about the game. Keeping in mind that this does not mean that a better player will necessarily make a good teacher. Teaching is a technique which is not easily mastered. It requires knowledge, patience, creativity, the willingness to lead but also the humility, if necessary, to follow.

Finding a person who incorporated all of these qualities when I first became a member was almost impossible. Today however, one name stands out among many in the APA. Arguably one of the best intermediate instructors to the game, Todd Wilson, an APA member himself, has some how mastered the teaching techniques needed to enhance a beginner's game to that of a well rounded intermediate player. His attention to detail is unmatched and his ethics are well rounded. It is for this reason why the8knights recognizes Todd as one of the few true talents to ever comprehend the sport. If you are a beginner or intermediate player and have the desire to take your game to the next level, we strongly recommend you give Todd Wilson a call.

Tel. 646.302.1175 e-mail todd@cueballbasics.com Official Website. http://cueballbasics.com

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