These PBIA Master Instructors have dedicated their professional careers to developing, growing and promoting the cue sports. For more information on how requirements and credentials to become a PBIA Instructor, please visit the ‘Become an Instructor’ section of the website.

Jerry Briesath

Location: Being a happy snowbird I have two locations. I spend the summer months in the Madison, Wisconsin area and when it gets cold I head for Phoenix, Arizona. I run my Pool School at both locations.

Most notable student: Over the years I’ve had some pretty good luck teaching the game and coaching players such as six or seven ACUI champions, several state junior champions, numerous national junior champions, many state and Midwest champions and a number world-class pro players including: Mark Wilson, Danny Harriman, Jeff Carter, Jeanette Lee “the Black Widow” and others.

What do you like about instructing: After about three years of playing the game I had the opportunity to start teaching the game at the local YMCA in Milwaukee. It was a very scary start because everything was trial and error but as the students started liking it, I did too. Soon after, I started teaching at many billiard rooms in the Milwaukee area and as I learned more about teaching the game it became more fun for me. And now after many decades of teaching, no matter what the problem a player has with his or her game, I know I can fix it and send that player home as a happy and improved player.


Jim Baker

Location: Dixon, MO

Accomplishments: Professional instructor since OCT 2015; I won the 8th Army 9-ball in 2004 going undefeated in all of the qualifying events. Note: I took dead last in the same event in 1993.  I started a Collegiate Billiards team at Missouri S&T that is currently competing in the U.S. Collegiate Billiards Conference.

Most Notable Students: My son Mathew Baker and grandson Hunter.  All of my students past and present especially my college students. 

Favorite Billiard Discipline: I love, play and teach all forms of pocket billiards and snooker.

Favorite Pool Hall: OB’s Billiards in St Robert, MO; Shooters in Olathe, KS; Padgett’s Place in Belle, MO; Cue & Cushion in Overland, MO; Teacher’s in St. Peters, MO;  Hawain Brian’s in Hawaii, CR’s Billiards in Minnesota; and well, just about any place that has a pool table.

What do you like about instructing? I enjoy teaching students at all levels.  It is really satisfying to watch a student’s game grow after they have applied what they were taught.  Receiving a phone call from a student with excitement in their voice because they accomplished something special to them is what it is all about.  

Who taught you how to play? I have had lessons from PBIA Instructor Ken Lewis in 1993 while we were still in the Army.  Danny Harriman, PBIA Instructor Mark Wilson,  PBIA Master Instructors Scott Lee, Lance Cowles, Denny Stewart, Mark Finkelstein, and Randy Goettlicher.

How and when did you fall in love with the game? I started playing the game in 1986 when I joined the Army, but didn’t really fall in love with it until 1993 when I met Ken Lewis, we were stationed in the 2nd Infantry Division together.  There was a big tournament, 8th Army 9 ball that you had to qualify for.  He helped me with my game to qualify and the more I learned the more I had to play.  I ended qualifying for that tournament playing my friend Ken in the finals and winning the match with a shot he taught me.   


Anthony Beeler

Location: Bradfordsville, KY


  • 1999 – 1st Place Legend’s 9-Ball Championship – Elizabethtown, KY
  • 2000-2004: Twelve-Time “Rack and Cue” 9-Ball Champion – Campbellsville, KY
  • 2004 – Four-Time “Billiard Café” 9-Ball Champion – Lancaster, KY
  • 2007 – 1st Place CSI Midnight Madness 8-Ball – Louisville, KY
  • 2007 – 1st Place CSI Midnight Madness 9-Ball – Louisville, KY
  • 2010 – Founder of Virtual Billiard Academy – Pool’s First Online School 
  • 2013 – 1st Place Finish – BCAPL (MOT) National 9-Ball Championship 
  • 2013 – Top 10 Finish – BCAPL National 8-Ball Championship
  • 2014 – Top 10 Finish – BCAPL National 8-Ball Championship
  • 2013-2014 Bluegrass BCAPL Player of the Year
  • 2014-2015 Bluegrass BCAPL Player of the Year
  • 2015-2016 Bluegrass BCAPL Player of the Year
  • 2018 – Shooter’s Billiards 8-Ball Champion
  • Derby City Classic 9-Ball Banks (Top 25 finish)
  • Two-Time Recipient of Pool and Billiard Magazine’s “Top 25 Places to Learn” Award
  • SPM Magazine “2018 Billiards Instructor of the Year”
  • SPM Magazine 2011-2020 “Billiards Instructor of the Decade”
  • McDermott Cue Brand Ambassador


  • 2013 – Primary Author, ACS National Billiard Instructor’s Manual
  • 2014 – Author, Unstoppable! Positive Thinking for Pool Players
  • 2015 – Author, Unstoppable! The Core Shots of Pool
  • Columnist, Billiards Buzz (AZBilliards)
  • Columnist, Pool and Billiard Magazine
  • Columnist, SPM Magazine
  • Columnist, Inside Pool Magazine
  • Columnist, On The Break News (Stroke, The Break, and Rack’em Magazine)


  • McDermott Handcrafted Cues Instructional Lessons
  • Do You Want to Play Like a Pro? (Instructional Series)  

Most Notable Students: 

  • Zack Sanderson (Winner of the Memphis Open)
  • Sam Ryne Henderson (ACS Regional Champion & Iowa State Pool Association State Champion)
  • Hannah Hohn (South Dakota Women’s State Champion and VNEA Scotch Doubles International Champion, Member of the Atlantic Cup Team Roster)
  • Casey McCoy (UPA Texas State 8-Ball Champion)
  • Brad Claeys (Two-Time Ontario Provincial Champion)
  • Ricky Evans (Top Junior Player)
  • Matthew Wiseley (Top Junior Player)
  • Janet Atwell (WPBA Professional)
  • Amanda Huff (Great Southern Billiards Tour, Tournament Champion)

Contact: or website:

Lance Cowles

Location: Battle Creek, MI


  • Fastest rise from Recognized Level Instructor to Master Lever Instructor in PBIA history (3 years)
  • Member of the PBIA/SPF Family of Instructors (2015-present)
  • Chosen as one of 4 First Team members for the SPF National Pool School Tour (2019)
  • VNEA MI State Team 8-ball Team Champions 2016
  • MIPPA (Michigan Independent Pool Players Association) State Champion Team 2018
  • MIPPA League Operator (south central MI) 2018-current
  • Notable Professional Pool Players I have competed with at the Derby City Classic: Mike Dechaine (one pocket; won  3-0); John Schmidt (one pocket hill/hill); Freddy the Beard (Banks);  Jose Parica (one pocket); Alex Pagulayan (Banks); Ruslan Chinakhov (9 ball, Chinakov’s first appearance in USA).
  • APA Most Improved award  2003
  • Owner of Cue Sports of Battle Creek, specializing in custom cue repairs and modifications, including stacked leather wraps

Most Notable Students: Every student that has come to me with an open mind, and commits themselves to learning the SPF process.

Favorite Billiard Discipline: One Pocket is my favorite game, and what I love teaching the most.  However I play all games proficiently, including all rotation games, banks, one pocket, snooker and 3-cushion billiards.

Favorite Pool Hall: Blackbird Billiards, Kalamazoo MI

Who taught you how to play? I have been self taught, and learned a lot from watching and listening.  When I met Scott Lee and watched how he taught others, I realized the value and enjoyment of teaching, and decided to become part of the Professional Billiard Instructor Association and the SPF Family of Instructors.  I am honored to have been chosen as one of the first Team Instructors for the new SPF National Pool School Tour (coming soon to a city near you!).

How and when did you fall in love with the game? In 1975, at the tender age of 11, while visiting family in S. Illinois, my uncle had an antique 5×10 pool table in his basement, which I was not allowed to play on.  Watching the adults play, and listening to the balls collide sparked an interest.  I was amazed to see how much fun each person was having, during their turn at the table, and it  made me want to try my hand at it. Even though as a kid I had to go to bed, while they continued playing into the late night, I would hear the click of the balls, and imagine myself down there shooting.  I was hooked, but didn’t know it!  It would be many years later before I picked up a cue stick, for the first time, and started playing as an adult in 2003, joining in the local APA pool league. And the rest is history in the making! 


Fran Crimi

Location: New York City, NY


  • First PBIA Female Master Instructor
  • Former North American Representative in the World-Pool Billiard Association
  • Former WPBA President
  • Former WPBA Touring Pro
  • Technical Advisor for Television and Film
  • Working with players on their games for over 20 years.
  • Most notable student or students: Al Pacino, Uma Thurman, Oliver Platt, Patrick Dempsey, Ron Silver, Epatha Merkerson, and several other stars of film and television. Plus Hundreds of pool players from beginning through advanced levels.

Favorite Billiard Discipline: All pocket billiard games.

Favorite Pool Hall: Amsterdam Billiards, New York City, New York

What do you like about instructing: I love the fact that I can relate to every stage of development the player I’m working with is in, because I have been there and gone through it myself. I also love the fact that I am giving players the right information to help them improve.

Who taught you how to play: Mostly myself. But my father helped me to hold a cue for the first time. After that, I’ve had many wonderful players and teachers who encouraged and helped me with my game as I went along.

How and when did you fall in love with the game? Probably when I was about 10 and playing with my toy pool table with golf ball sized balls.


Dominic Esposito

Location: Simpsonville, South Carolina


Professional Pool Player/Instructor Status:

  • 1975, Professional Player Status, Instructor/Coach Mr. Thomas P. Parker, Cleveland, Ohio.
  • 2003, U.S.A. Professional Pool Instructor Status
  • 2005, International Professional Pool Instructor Status
  • 2005, International Pool Instructor Columnist, Pool & Billiard Magazine,, AZ Billiards, O-Zone Billiards, Seyberts, SneakyPeteMafia, Multiple Pool & Billiard Groups on the World Wide Web

Competition Championships and National Performances:

  • 3 Time, Florida, BCA 10-Ball Ring Game Champion
  • The Allen Hopkins, Super Billiard Expo
  • The BCA National Tournament
  • The VNEA National Tournament
  • The APA Regional and National Tournaments
  • The ACS National Tournament
  • The NAPA National Tournament

Favorite student or most notable students:  There are too many to state any. I love training all my students both amateur and professional.

Favorite Billiard Discipline: Drills, Jumping, Straight Pool.

Favorite Pool Hall. Again, there are too many to state any single one. But, I do enjoy visiting my friend, Phil Windom, at Chattanooga Billiards, Chattanooga, TN.

What do you like about instructing: Everything! Mostly, however, the moment when the player discovers they have achieved their goals through working together.

Who taught you how to play: Mr. Thomas P. Parker, Cleveland, Ohio, from 1972-1976


Mark Finkelstein

Location: New York, New York


  • FILM: “The Thing About My Folks” (2005), Bar Scene/pool shots/technical consultant, PictureHouse.
  • TELEVISION:  CW 11Pool Segments w/Julie Chang (2005), Lessons and tournament coverage, Channel 11/NY.
    “Boardwalk Empire” (2010), Lessons and technical consultant, HBO with Martin Scorsese.
    “What Not to Wear” (2010), Technical consultant, trick shots and extra, TLC with Stacy London and Clinton Kelly.
    “I Just Want My Pants Back” (2011), Lesson and Technical Consultant, MTV.
  • COMMERCIALS: Van Heusen Shirts, 2007 Super Bowl, trick shot, 3rdEye Productions.
  • MEDIA:  Featured in “Sweet, an 8 ball Odessey”, (2007), Heather Byer, Riverhead Press.
    Featured in April 2006 Article of “More Magazine”.
  • MISCELLANEOUS: Numerous charity events including an appearance at the Jason Tuck Charity Event in 2010 and 2011.  Performed at the Collective Fashion Show, Javits Center, on an Ice Pool Table (2006).  Pool Instructor for Stiletto Spy School, NYC, 2010 and 2011.  Developed Pool Program at the Gateway Counseling Center for mentally challenged consumers (2010).  Conducts Pool Seminars on military bases, boys clubs and private men’s clubs (ongoing).

Most notable student: Jennifer Barretta, Peter Falk, Paul Reiser

Favorite Billiard Discipline: Straight Pool

Favorite Pool Hall: Slate Plus in Manhattan, New York

What do you like about instructing: The satisfaction in seeing a student understand the concepts and grow as a player.

Who taught you how to play: Tony Lewis, Bud Harris, George Mikula, Abe Rosen, Jay Swanson, and Johnny Ervolino.

How and when did you fall in love with the game? I was 4 or 5 and my father took me to a poolroom in Rockaway Beach, NY.


Randy Goettlicher

Location: Dallas, Texas.

Accomplishments: Original PBIA Master Instructor. Former Chairperson for the PBIA Instructor Committee.

I am one of the original four PBIA Master Instructors honored by the Billiard Congress of America. These four founding fathers (Jerry Briesath, Richard Roher, Leslie Rodgers) became the building blocks for the current PBIA.

In 1983 I started the Southwest Eightball League (SWEL) and at the time, it was one of the largest BCA Sanctioned leagues in the world.  I was also a VNEA League Operator for many years and was the first APA League Operator in Texas.

I held a position with the BCA Rules Committee over a span of 30 years and served with many of our game’s pioneers, Willie Mosconi, Jimmy Caras, Jerry Briesath, Belinda Beardon to name a few.

In addition to teaching at Cue-Tech and running a great league system in the South West, I was one of the three founders of the Texas Express Promotions Group.   Along with John McChesney and Robin Adair the Texas Express Rules were born and the first National 9-Ball Tour was under way.  I traveled the country for 10 years running as many as 25 tournaments per year.

Along with my wife Karen, I developed the Scotch-Doubles team play format that is now popular Worldwide.  My wife and I were both honored as the first Scotch-Doubles Tournament Directors for the inaugural event at the BCA Nationals.

Who taught you how to play? I studied hard under several instructors (still do) starting with Jerry Briesath, and  continue learning something new about the sport everyday.

How and when did you fall in love with the game? In the early 1960’s I played against Willie Mosconi 3 different times in exhibitions. Eventually became a friend of the greatest player of our era. Willie shared with me two outstanding pieces of advise: first, learn to control my emotions, and second, rails are friends, use them.


Claude Gragg

Location: Arlington, TX

Accomplishments: Active playing Team member of the Texas Express Pool team who won the 1st BCA team event in Texas 2001. Including several  individual accomplishments in national billiard competitions. Nothing compared to overcoming a physical handicap to perfect a skill that brings so much joy.

Favorite Billiard Discipline: 8-ball, 9-ball, 10-ball, and 14.1 Continuous or Straight Pool.

Favorite Pool Hall: old: Wilt’s (Arlington, TX) new: Sticks & Stones (Lewisville, TX)

Who taught you how to play:  Self taught until I met Leslie Rogers & Randy Goettlicher.

What do you like about instructing?  Helping students understand the details required for improved performance. Using my patience, communication and problem solving skills to create the best outcome. Working with Scott Lee, Randy Goettlicher, Jerry Briesath in various training classes.

How and when did you fall in love with the game? When I was introduced to SPF (Set, Pause, Finish) and a pre-shot routine.


Rod Gustafson

Location: Austin, Texas

Accomplishments: Started playing later in life (early 30’s). Won a bunch of local tourneys and BCA league events all through the 1980’s. I did okay in statewide events. I have taught a 2,000+ great people during the last 27+ years. One of the few people to achieve PBIA Master status on his own ( i.e., without working in a pool school.)

Most notable students: Cristina DeLaGarza, Shayla Neris (Dordek), Heather Pulford, Tammy Lorraine Kroop

Favorite Billiard Discipline: Pocket billiards: 14.1 and 1 pocket. Carom billiards: 3 Cushion.

Favorite Pool Hall: Best Billiards in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Steve Hansen

Location: The DFW metroplex


  • Certified National Referee since 2008
  • 2009 APA US Amateur Championships, Tampa, FL
  • National referee for the first Professional 10-Ball Championship in Dallas, TX
  • 2010 Arizona State Championships, 8-Ball, Phoenix, AZ – 4th place
  • 2014 APA US Amateur Championships, Tampa, FL
  • 2015 ACS National Championships, 3-man 9-Ball teams, Las Vegas, NV – 1st place
  • 2016 ACS National Championships, Senior 8-Ball singles, Las Vegas NV – 1st place
  • 2018 BCA pool league Championships, Senior 8-Ball singles, Las Vegas, NV – 4th place
  • Numerous top-16 finishes in ACS, APA, BCApl, and VNEA championships

How and when did you learn how to play:  My father taught me how to play at an early age, around 6. He was a local billiard champion in Northern Ohio in the 1950s. I fell in love with the game at an early age and continued to play in high school, college and during my 20 years in the U.S. Navy. Since 2005, I have enjoyed learning more about the game from local master players and instructors, like: Eric Smith, Randy G, Claude Gragg, Bill Suden, Scott Willoughby, and Carl Pearson.  With all that said, I still enjoy learning daily as it is a never ending process. 

Most Notable Students: My grand daughter, and all the junior players I have taught and instructed.  Some of these kids have physical and emotional challenges and I feel blessed to be able to help each and every one. 

Favorite Billiard Discipline: 8-Ball, 9-Ball, 10-Ball

Favorite Pool Hall: Snookered in Frisco, TX and Miss Cue in Toledo, OH.

What do you like about Instructing? I enjoy being an ambassador for the game and have played and taught in Amsterdam, Aruba, Hawaii, Iceland, Japan, Philippines, Portugal, and Thailand.  I love being able to teach the student and seeing when they get that “aha” moment and they understand. I have enjoyed working with Master Instructors Jerry Briesath, Carl Oswald, Randy G and Scott Lee.

Contact: or

John Harlach

Location: Northeast Ohio

Accomplishments: Retired Master Chief in the US Navy with a BS in Occupational Education from Southern Illinois University.  Specialize in video stroke analysis to identify and correct flaws in the students stroke.

Most Notable Students: Disabled veterans at the VA Hospital.

Favorite Billiard Displine: Grew up playing 14:1 Straight Pool however 8 and 9-Ball are more popular in the area. 

Favorite Pool Hall: Riverside Billiards (Cleveland, OH)

Who taught you how to play pool? In my early years I was self-taught; however, when I got serious about teaching I received help from some great Master Instructors including, Dominic Esposito, Stan Shuffett, Scott Lee, Denny Stewart and the late Tom Simpson and Lance Kepler.

What do you like about instructing? During my Navy career I found that teaching was a way to make a difference.  To me,  teaching is more enjoyable than playing.  Teaching is fulfilling, not to say that it doesn’t have its challenges.  I am always looking for new ways to help a student improve his or her game.  Watching a student progress and improve is rewarding. 

How and when did you fall in love with the game? Sneaking into pool halls as a young teenager I watched some good players and even got to play occasionally when the owner wasn’t watching.  Unfortunately playing pool was on hold during my Navy career, (they don’t have may pool tables on submarines.  After the Navy my time was consumed in working in Nuclear plants with little time for pool.  It wasn’t until moving back to Ohio that I got serious about teaching pool.  I watched patients in the VA Medical Center play pool in the recreation hall and helped them during my lunch hour.  To do it right, I entered the PBIA Certification Program and started giving lessons on Saturdays and held Pool Tournaments.  Lance Kepler helped me learn to teach students in wheel chairs.  Watching them have fun was a great experience.  It broke my heart to watch the pool tables removed from the recreation hall during remodeling.

Contact: or

Steve Jennings

Location: Ormond Beach, FL 

Accomplishments: I won several base championships while serving in the military. Frequently played in the Texas Express, Viking, Southeast, and Fury tours. Three years as tournament director with the Fury amateur tour. Qualified and played in the Viking national championship. Since becoming a BCA/PBIA instructor, I have worked with hundreds of students of all skill levels.

Most notable student:  I spent 10 months working with two teenagers, brother and sister, getting them qualified for the 2015 BEF Junior National Championships.

Favorite Billiard Discipline: I enjoy any game on a pool table, but 8-ball and one pocket, because of the strategy involved.

Favorite Pool Hall:  There are many, but I spend most of my time at Rack ‘Em in Matthews, NC

What do you like about instructing: Seeing the pleasure my students get when they are able to apply newly learned skills on the pool table.

Who taught you how to play: Many players over the years, including my father. By far, the one person who helped me elevate my game the most was PBIA Master Instructor Randy Goettlicher. He has also been my mentor and friend as I worked as a professional instructor.

How and when did you fall in love with the game?   My family got a pool table when I was 10 years old. I spent many hours with my father and older brother at that table.  I was hooked!


John Lucarelli

Location: Southern CT / Westchester NY

Accomplishments: Becoming a Master Instructor for the PBIA.  It gives me so much pleasure being able to give back to a sport after having so much fun playing pool and billiard my entire life.

Favorite students: Youth students, especially the Boy Scouts of America.

Favorite Billiard Discipline:  Straight Pool and 8-Ball.

Who taught you how to play: My father, Ernest Lucarelli from Brooklyn, NY.  In his day, Brooklyn was the mecca of billiards and the sport was almost religion to some.   My father said there used to be a billiards hall on every street corner.

Favorite Pool Hall: There were so many in my youth but many have closed down over the years.  Today, I enjoy playing at Steinway Billiards in Queens with Fran Crimi, Society Billiards with Mark Finkelstein, and Shooters Billiards in Southington, CT with Sal Conti.

How and when did you fall in love with the game?  Playing with my father in my youth as a teenager and getting the opportunity to watch an exhibition at Arnie Kaye’s pool hall called Arnie’s Place in Westport, CT featuring the original ‘Hustler’ Paul Newman and Tom Cruise leading up to their all-time classic film, ‘The Color of Money.’


David MacNeill

Location: Connecticut

Accomplishments: I once owned and operated two PBIA-Accredited Master Academies at the same time before I retired to reach privately: Billiard Academy of New England and Billiard Academy of Florida. I briefly had a non-accredited academy in Western New York, as well with my son, Jonathan MacNeill, who is also a PBIA Instructor.

Most notable students: Without question, my best students were Walter Zincavage and Roy Pastor. They are now both excellent instructors and a credit to the PBIA Instructor program. The program they run in Massachusetts is second to none.

Who taught you how to play: I learned to play pool in 1955 in a private club. I was 14 years old and was mentored by several seasoned players who gave generously of their time and wisdom. My most recent teacher was BCA Hall of Famer, Ray Martin. It was some years back, but I still remember playing at his home in Largo, FL when a call came in from another BCA Hall of Famer Alan Hopkins, who was promoting a tournament in Pennsylvania. It was enlightening to hear those pros working out the details.

Favorite Pool Hall: Shooters in Southington, Connecticut that is owned and operated by my friend, Sal Conti. Sal competes with the likes of Mike Massey and Tom Rossman, among others, as a trick shot professional.


Joseph Mejia

Location: San Francisco, CA

Accomplishments: Professional International Snooker/Billiards Coach.

Favorite Billiard Discipline: Snooker/Billiards (English)

What do you like about instructing: Helping others through coaching.

Contact: or

Carl E. Oswald

Location: Dallas, Texas

Accomplishments: My Master Instructor certification, won or placed well in many individual and team events in pool, attending West Point, getting my BSN and RN at the age of 39, assisted in training and curriculum for a multiple high-school billiards program, trained under several other billiard instructors and programs, published trainings in magazines, and have acted as a technical advisor/editor for several publications and products.

Most notable student: I have been focused primarily on league players in the North Texas region, some tournament players, and several recreational players and families.

Favorite Billiard Discipline: The one I’m playing at that moment!

Favorite Pool Hall: The one I’m playing in at that moment!

What do you like about instructing: Seeing students improve and knowing that they will have that to enjoy for the rest of their life. I also enjoy studying not only the games and skills, but also other people’s published products and teachings; I like seeing the differences and similarities between theory and reality!

Who taught you how to play: Initially, my stepbrother Chris. Since then I have had tons of training with many different people.

How and when did you fall in love with the game? Again, my stepbrother Chris showed me the light when I was about 9 years old. He took my brother and me to a local poolroom to give my dad and his mom some time alone, and the joys of 8-Ball were revealed to me!


Roy Pastor

Location: New England, Ayer, MA

Accomplishments: I am most proud of teaching and coaching junior players.  Currently I have two junior programs in New England.   The older program has been running continuously for 16 years. It has been my good fortune to have taught some of the best junior players in the United States.   I am also the league operator for the New England USA Pool League, the largest USA Pool League in the United States.  I am an instructor and principal in the American Academy of Billiard and Cue Sports and am active in the BEF and the PBIA Instructors committee.

Most notable student: I would have to say that my most memorable students are my junior students.  I have trained students as young as 6 years old. I have watched young players develop a love for the game and a respect for themselves and others in an environment structured around billiards.  Although I have had many students win State, Regional and National championships, the success of the students are best measured by the manner in which they meet the small challenges and obstacles that face them on a daily basis. One student comes to mind.  This young man had numerous physical, emotional and learning challenges.  He participated in my youth program for 4 years until he aged out of the program.  I took him to the BEF junior Nationals two years.  In both years he won one rack.  When he won that rack everyone from our program stood up and applauded.  The player looked like he had just won the world championship. That would be my most memorable moment.

Favorite Billiard Discipline: I started playing straight pool.  It will always be my favorite discipline.

Favorite Pool Hall.  The Billiards Café, Ayer Massachusetts.

What do you like about instructing?  In my opinion a successful instructor provides a platform for his/her students to do their best.  Sometimes its about pool and sometimes pool is the vehicle which allows the student to find the best in themselves.  In the 16 years that I have been offering weekly lessons to juniors, I have never charged a fee and have taught everyone that walks through the door. No one has ever been turned away.  I have taught students with physical disabilities, autism, emotional challenges, severe illness, challenges caused by poverty as well as those students who are gifted athletes, brilliant students and those blessed with supportive families and resources.  My challenge as an instructor is to recognize the needs of each student and to help that student set achievable goals.

Who taught you how to play?  I am primarily self taught.


Mark Powell

Location:  New Market, MD

Accomplishments: Since February 2011, assist Master Instructor Tom Simpson with teaching several of his Three-Day Intensive and Two-Day Advanced classes.  Since 2004, cue sales and repairs at Charlie’s (Charlie Fleming) Pro Shop, Baltimore MD.  Over the last fifteen years, conducted private, two-hour lesson blocks to hundreds of students of all ages and abilities throughout Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC.
Organized and directed tournaments in various locales, including for corporate events.  In May 2008, organized and led a one-day group workshop for twenty classmates at the Federal Executive Institute, Charlottesville, VA

Most notable student:  All of my students have been memorable in one way or another. I really can’t single out one or a few without mentioning all of them. However, one story I like to tell is when I was hired to teach a married couple in their mid-eighties. He was disinterested, as having grown-up in pool’s heyday and didn’t need a “lesson” from an “instructor.” She was small, athletic and had never picked up a cue before. She had silver hair, sparkling blue eyes, and listened enthusiastically to every word. By the end of the second lesson, she had developed a soft and smooth stroke, had the stun shot down, could draw and follow reasonably well, and was running balls down the rail as well as anyone. My phone was ringing when I got back home that day. “Hello?” It was the husband. He said only three words before slamming the phone down: “No More Lessons!” She was probably cleaning his clock. Funny.

What do you like about instructing: Seeing a beginner change before my eyes — watching it happen. The looks of wonder and smiles of accomplishment when they’ve executed a particular shot or a new technique. Witnessing their first “I can really do this!” moment. Priceless.

Favorite Billiard Discipline: I regularly play more nine-ball and ten-ball, but straight pool is my favorite.

Favorite Pool Hall: Q-Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA.

Who taught you how to play:  My dad taught me the basics. Years later, in 1972, I was managing a pool room in San Bernardino and learned an enormous amount from two of my closest friends today: John Holsonbake, the room owner, and Louie Beebe, who could (and still can) beat anybody. Our mutual pool room father-figure back then was 75-year old Floyd Hurley, the only person I ever knew who ran a golf table twice on a 6×12 snooker table with a pool ball. Floyd could flat out play and was our standard against which all other players were measured.

How and when did you fall in love with the game?  I had played casually until my late teens or early twenties, but was never really taken by the game until seeing Willie Mosconi run 100 balls in exhibition. I was transfixed by the sublime, intoxicating mixture of physics and finesse.


Bob Radford

Location: Rockford, Illinois

Contact: or

Linda Radford

Location: Rockford, Illinois

Contact: or

Leslie Rogers

Location: Richardson, TX and Tokyo, Japan.

Accomplishments:  Creator of SPF (Set-Pause-Finish) methods for teaching a billiard stroke.

Outlined Skill Specific Drills designed to target a particular billiard technique more directly.  The drills incorporate “feedback” so your results tell you exactly what you did  (right or wrong).

Established nationally recognized instructional format incorporating principles of Physics, Physiology, and Psychology with Progressive Learning.

Co-founder of Cue-Tech College of Cueing Arts & Sciences (one of the first Master level Academies with a fully equipped and dedicated instructional facility).

I am one of the five original PBIA Master Certified Instructors in the nation.

Authored numerous articles for billiard publications (Texas Billiard News, American Cueist, Billiard Digest).

Featured in a number of ESPN “Tip of the Day” segments.

Many of the methods and terminologies I instituted later became commonly used in billiard instruction across the nation.

Most notable students: Leslie Anne Rogers (Winner of the Hunter Classic Ladies Amateur Tour five consecutive years, Texas State Open champion, Houston Open champ, and others.)  Plus, a number of professional men and women players who shall remain nameless (you know who you are).

Favorite Billiard Discipline: Discipline? There’s discipline involved?

If I had to pick just one, I’d say 14.1. But, if I can fudge a little, I’ll say I like them all. Ask me again tomorrow, and I’ll probably say 3-cushion.  Each one emphasizes a different part of billiards, and by experiencing them all a player can get a better overall feel and become well rounded much more quickly.

Favorite Pool Hall:  In Texas it’s Rusty’s in Arlington; in Tokyo it’s Kobby’s Billiard Academy in Nogata.

What do you like about instructing:  Explaining then demonstrating – and watching someone’s face light up as they start to understand.

Learning – there’s always a new approach to teaching.

Research – Dissecting the game to find how it all fits together and discovering what works and what doesn’t. I then use this information to create methods and workshops for teaching them.  Coming up with new and different ways to look at the game and instruction.

Who taught you how to play:  At the beginning, primarily myself, with Metformin drug.  Then, when I had enough information to ask questions, I went to a lot of other instructors – each with their own style.  None of the approaches really looking for Metformin 500mg (no discernible structure), so I created a learning format for myself. This later became the core curriculum for Cue-Tech.

How and when did you fall in love with the game?  I’m too old … I can’t think back that far.


Jay Schmitt

Location: Creve Couer, IL

Accomplishments: Proud Father and husband, instructor of cuesports since 1995,  student of Frederic Fechter,  artistic billiards performer,  past president of the area’s first Kiwanis Club that supports Junior Pool.

Most Notable Student: Josh Franklin

Favorite Billiard Discipline: Game of 14.1 Continuous, Carom and Billiards.

Favorite Pool Hall: Famous City Billiards.

What do you like about instructing: Watching improvement of players in real –time.  Witnessing the moment when the game embraces a player.  Sharing in the joy of the student when principles of the game take hold and the shot unfolds.

Who taught you how to play: Frederic Fechter

How and when did you fall in love with the game: Playing pool with my father at family gatherings, it all started when I was about 5.


 Stan Shuffett

Location: Greensburg, Kentucky


Well-rounded player:
Top 10 finish BCA National 8-ball.
Top 10 finish U.S. Open One-Pocket.
Winner on the South East Open Tour—9-Ball.
2011 (age 61) top 25 U.S. Open 9-ball.
Winner at the Great Southern Billiard Tour—Bank.
Multiple 100-ball+ runs—14.1.
Original member of the BCA Instructors program in 1992 (Now PBIA).
Taught billiards at Campbellsville University (15 years).
First to objectively define real Center-to-Edge Aiming and its connection to 2 X 1 table geometry (CTE PRO ONE).
Published 2 DVD Billiard Videos Basic CTE and PRO ONE Aiming and The Final Chapter—Aiming in a New Dimension.
Co-author “Kentucky Banks Manual” with Hall-of-Famer Truman Hogue.
PBIA Master Instructor.

Most notable students:

  • Landon Shuffett—5-time USA Junior National Champion!
  • Stevie Moore
  • Phil Burford
  • YuRam Cha
  • Gerda Hofstatter
  • Brandon Shuff
  • Matt Krah
  • Brian Parks
  • Louis Ulrich
  • Janet Atwell
  • Gerry Williams
  • Duke LaHa
  • Tyler Styer

What do you like about instructing: I specialize in one-on-one training and coaching: every student that comes through my door brings a unique profile of strengths and weaknesses to the table.  I enjoy imparting a professional approach to each student of how to REALLY play the game visually and physically.  There is nothing quite like leading students to discover a new dimension of connecting with the game.

Contact: or

Carl Stewart

Location: Serving all of Arizona

Playing Accomplishments: Working my way thru the PBIA program to the master level I also write a monthly column for a local billiard newspaper.

Favorite Student moment: I call them light bulbs. I teach billiards and also teach at the college level. When a student really gets a concept that I am teaching by showing (demo), letting them do it and then reading and seeing it on paper and charts. Finally, when they get it the light bulb goes on.

Favorite Billiard Discipline: I like all the games and think each one will help your game in different areas which helps you improve over all. I have always respected BCA Hall of Famer Efren “The Magician” Reyes a little more because he plays all the games so well.

Favorite Pool Hall: I like all pool halls but my favorite trip to a pool hall is when we travel to Steinway Cafe-Billiards in Astoria, NY. Wow what a place the best word I can use to decide it was class. I have been to many pool halls in my days and always eat at them usually chicken strip and fries or a hamburger. Steinway offered beef stroganoff as a regular special and it was so good. I even had the club sandwich and the tomato were so fresh. Great people and a very enjoyable pool hall.

What do you like about instructing: I like to help people and all players enjoy improving their pool games. Teaching for me is a great match for me to help people and help players improve. I also like to take the honesty road in teaching which fits my personality. I mix teaching with full cue repair and so many players blame or think the low performance on their equipment but honestly it just the lack of practice time on that equipment.

Who taught you how to play: My father is a local champion in my home town and watching him play and win, I just fell in love with the game. I took a break from the game once I could drive at 16. But a “real” pool hall opened in my home town and I stated playing and attending and placing high-end tournaments.  I fell in love with the game because it just comes naturally to me. Some people are good at math, spelling or other sports but my skills are in pool and billiards. Playing, teaching, following, learning and trying to promote the sport.


Dennis Stewart

Location: Ohio

Playing Accomplishments: 50 Years playing experience – Tournament Experience 26 years Local and nationally as a player, Tournament Promoter, Director and Referee! Games played 1Pocket, Straight Pool,10 Ball, Eight Ball and Nine Ball.

Teaching Accomplishments: 33 years teaching Individuals and groups. Graduate of The Pool School in Madison, Wis. and under the tutelage of Master PBIA Instructor Jerry Brieseth.

Also a graduate from the College of Cueing Arts, Cue Sport Billiard Academy, under the guidance of Master BCA Instructor Fred Fechter.  Currently on the International Staff of Cue Sport Billiard Academy and College in Peoria, Ill.  Currently now teaching at Miss Cue Billiards in Toledo,Oh.


Walt Zincavage

Location: New England, Ashford, Connecticut

Accomplishments: Walt has been active in the PBIA Instructors Program since 2000. In addition to teaching at the American Academy of Billiard and Cue Sports, he has taught a pocket billiards course at the University of Connecticut, organized several tournaments and delivered workshops to league players and other groups in the New England area. Walt has been recognized as an effective teacher at the college and university levels.

Walt is also active in the PBIA at the national level serving on the Instructors Program Committee and as a Billiard Congress of America Pool League certified referee.

As an outgrowth of his teaching, Walt advises on equipment selection and billiard room design. Walt is a cue maker and a member of the International Cue Makers Association

Who taught you how to play: In high school I often give up my lunch money to the guys at the local room – they showed me a shot and told me to come back when I figured out how to do it.  Then they would show me another shot. At the time I did not realize that they did not know how they were doing it either…. Years later I met instructors David MacNeill and Randy G – not only did they know how to make things happen on the table, they were also able and willing to share this knowledge with me!