Instructional Articles by Mark Finkelstein

Mark Finkelstein is a professional pool player, a BCA Master instructor, an American Cue Sports (ACS) level 4 instructor, and house pro at Slate Plus in New York.

Mark can be reached via phone at 347-545-1916, email at nycpoolgmailcom or thru his website at

Instructional Articles by David Sapolis

Blackjack David Sapolis played professional pool for 20 years in The United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. He has authored several books relating to the game of pocket billiards,including: Stroke of Genius The Growling Point Building the Perfect Game Lessons in 9 Ball Chasing the Dream Blackjack also is a contributing columnist for several billiard …

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The Mental Game

Like any other sport, them mental part of the game is what sets apart the good from the great. As you step into the advanced levels you will need to strengthen your mental resolve to have an advantage over your (also) advanced opponent. This section contains articles that pertain to understanding and improving your mental …

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Advanced Safety Play With Multiple Objectives

Safety play is essential with most pocket billiard games, especially 8-ball, which we’ll concentrate on here. Most mid-level players have a basic understanding of safeties, but few achieve successful safety shots when an important game is on the line. The key difference between a typical league-level safety shot and a professional safety shot is that …

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Game plan for Safety Play

After deciding to play a safe, a lot of players have no idea of what to do next. Listed below are some of the criteria I use for executing a safety and hints for good safety play. CRITERIA Snooker or hide opponent so he cannot shoot directly at the object ball. Do not put the …

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Pool & Billiards Safety and Defense

Sometimes the best. offense is a good defense. In the game of pool, especially for beginner level players, you won’t always be running out and clearing all the balls on the table in a single outing. There are times when you are not left with an offensive opportunity. It is in these times that a …

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Getting Perfect Shape on the 9 Ball

9-Ball Pool is all about repeating patterns of play. When you are practicing, you must practice some of the more common shots. Especially in a rotation type game such as 9 ball you can give yourself a large advantage by having in your shot making arsenal a shot such as the one diagrammed below. I …

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Speed and Cue Ball Direction

Speed is a very important aspect for cue ball control. This lesson discusses more into detail about how the speed of stroke changes the direction of the cue ball after it hits the object ball. The illustrations will let you clearly see where the cue ball generally goes after hitting it on the same spot …

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Coming into versus coming accross the Position Area

Starting with the illustration below, we have a similar scenario as in the last lesson on the principles of position. We are shooting the 5 ball and we’ve determined the position area where we would like the cue ball to be for a perfect shot on the 6 ball. From the position of the cue …

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