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.


“Dr. Dave” Alciatore

Location: Fort Collins, CO


Favorite Billiard Discipline: Bar-box 8-ball due to the CB control, finesse, and strategy required, and the ability to run out almost anything.

Favorite Pool Hall: Mardi Gras Lanes Pool Hall (New Orleans, Louisiana, where I was first exposed to the game. I wish it was still around to visit.).

What do you like about instructing? Helping a student find a path that lets him or her maximize their potential. Also, learning something new with every student concerning how to be a more effective teacher.

Who taught you how to play? Everybody I have watched and played with over 50 years.  I also studied with and learned a lot from Jerry Briesath, Tom Simpson, and Randy Goettlicher.

How and when did you fall in love with the game?  Initially, watching players in the pool hall at the bowling lanes where my mom worked when I was young.


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.


Samm Diep

Location: Denver, CO


  • PBIA Master Instructor (2022)
  • ACS Level IV Master Instructor (2022)
  • Billiard University Masters in Pool (2019)
  • Billiard University Senior Instructor (2013)
  • Arizona Women’s Billiard Tour Stop, Phoenix, AZ (September 2010)
  • US Amateur Qualifier, Denver, CO (2010)
  • Arizona Women’s Billiard Tour Stop, Tucson, AZ (July 2010)
  • Denver 14.1 League Champion (May 2010)
  • US Amateur Qualifier, Denver, CO (2009)
  • 10th Annual Northern Lights 8-Ball Shootout, Rugby, ND (November 2008)
  • US Amateur Qualifier, Denver, CO (2008)
  • US Amateur Qualifier, Denver, CO (2007)
  • BCA Midwest Regional Championships runner-up (May 2007)
  • ACS National 8-ball Women’s Masters Team Champion (June 2006)
  • BCA National 8-ball Women’s Masters Team Champion (May 2006)
  • 15th Annual Four Bears Classic Champion (April 2006)
  • Denver VNEA Women’s AA/AAA Singles Champion (March 2006)
  • BCA National 9-ball Women’s Open Champion (November 2005)
  • US Amateur Qualifier, Denver, CO (2004)
  • Valley International Women’s Open 9-ball Champion (May 2004)

Favorite Billiard Discipline: 14.1 Straight Pool (hands down)

Most Notable Students: Silviana Lu, Sofia Mast, Zachary Bryan, Elsie Cash Lance, Brayden Gallegos, Amanda Campbell

Favorite Pool Hall: Felt Billiards, where I’m the house pro (101 W. Floyd in Englewood, CO)

What do you like about instructing: I love watching that lightbulb go off, that moment when my students connect with and understand something I teach them. 

Who taught you how to play: My first formal instruction was at Randy Goettlicher’s Cue Tech Pool School in Dallas, Texas. After that I worked briefly with Caela Henley-Huddleston, Tom Ross, Tim Miller and Bob Keller. I give much credit to all of the above for every bit of knowledge I’ve collected from each of them throughout the years, and from so many other great players throughout the years. 

How and when did you fall in love with the game? 

I grew up playing the violin since age 9. When I was 14 years old I played in a private orchestra which met for weekly rehearsals. Once every couple months or so, my older friends and I would sneak out of rehearsal and head over to the all-ages poolhall where I got my first taste of pool. It was then that I fell in love with the game and realized I had a little more potential than my peers. It would be 10 years later before I joined my first pool league and began competing and teaching.

Contact: | (303) 667-8000

David Donovan

Location: Richmond, VA


  • I started playing pool in the 1960’s, and from the very first time I played I was instantly hooked!! Later due to my passion for billiards, eventually owned and operated two upscale Billiard Rooms as well as several Health & Fitness Centers. I later became a member of the BCA, and in 1989 successfully completed and was awarded a certificate for the session “ College of Pool Knowledge”, which was taught by Master Instructor Jerry Briesath.
  • In an effort to further enhance my knowledge and skills to be a better coach/teacher, in 2017 I completed an intensive program, and became a certified instructor/coach with the ACS (American Cue Sports). In an effort to become the best instructor/coach that I can be in 2018 I under took additional training and successfully was elevated to the highest level which is Level IV Master Instructor / ACS. To further my ability and teaching skills in 2019-2022 I added to my education and knowledge by advancing with the PBIA to the level Master Instructor.
  • Over the last 30 years, I have coached and helped hundreds of players, from beginners to advanced players, elevate their game.
  • ♦ 1990 Southern Maryland 9 Ball Shoot Out “Runner Up”
  • ♦ 1993 1st Place NISE EAST 9 Ball Classic
  • ♦ 1994 2nd Place NISE EAST 9 Ball Classic
  • ♦ 1995 1st Place NISE EAST 9 Ball Classic
  • ♦ 1998 1st Place 9 Ball APA Fall Division / Team
  • ♦ 2000 Richmond 8 Ball BCA Pool League 1st place Team
  • ♦ 2000 Richmond BCA Pool League “MVP”
  • ♦ 2001 1st Place 8 Ball Team Award BCA Richmond
  • ♦ 2009 1st Place (2- 1st place finishes) Richmond Billiard Tour
  • ♦ 2009 Player of the Year (Total Points) Richmond Billiard Tour
  • ♦  2010 3- 1st Place Finishes Richmond Billiard Tour
  • ♦ 2010 2nd Place Over All Points Richmond Billiard Tour

Between the years of 1990 – 2020 I have won over 100 local tournaments  in Maryland, Virginia and South Carolina, and was ranked consistently in the top 5 %  BCA 8 Ball and BCA 9 Ball Leagues in Richmond, VA.

I have 15 training videos on YouTube and have published several articles in Sneaky Pete Mafia Billiard Magazine.

Favorite Billiard Discipline: All of my students are notable but one that is very special is an 80+ year old that was getting beat by al his opponents and friends after 3 months improved to where he now beating them most games. We are all students of the game and I have learned a lot from the students that were the toughest to teach.

Favorite Billiard Discipline: Although I enjoy most games, my favorite is 9 Ball and Straight Pool.

Favorite Pool Hall: Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA and Q Masters, Va

What do you like about instructing: I enjoy meeting new people, and since I have a passion for pool, it is very satisfying to see my students achieve greater success on the table. Furthermore, since I spend a lot of time working with the mental side of the game, it is rewarding to know that I am helping them to also have a more positive outlook on their everyday lives.

Who taught you how to play: In the beginning, I was mostly self taught and learned by playing tougher players. In later years, as more books and training videos became available, I became a real student and have watched and studied from all the best players and instructors.

How and when did you fall in love with the game? 

In 1961, I enlisted in the US Air Force and was stationed at Andrews AF Base in Maryland. At that time someone took me to the recroom, which had 9-10 pool tables, and challenged me to a game. I had never played before and imediately was hooked. At that time, the movie the Hustler with Jackie Gleason and Paul Newman had made pool very popular, and the room would always be packed. Therefore, I would always manage to get there early to get a table, and like one of the scenes from the Color of Money, I would get chills as soon as I got close to the room and could hear the balls colliding!!

Contact: |

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


  • Retired Senior Chief in the US Navy with AA in Electrical Engineering and a BA in Industrial Management
  • 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
  • USAPL Juniors Instructor  Coach
  • 3 Time APA Master League MVP

Currently, I focus on teaching pool full-time in the Dallas-Ft Worth metroplex and strongly believe that a pool player must possess a good consistent stroke to perform well. I specialize in helping individuals analyze, develop and improve their stroke technique.

How and when did you learn how to play: My early exposure to the game of pool was through my father, who was one of the best players in town during the 1950/s & 60/s. Spending countless hours in pool halls and bars, I developed a deep love and understanding for the game. In my late teens, my friend and I found refuge in playing 8 & 9 ball on the weekends, which kept us away from trouble and off the streets.

My passion for pool continued to grow, and I played pool at every duty station, frequenting places like the American Legion and VFW.

Having a strong desire to continuously improve my game, I sought lessons from renowned pool players such as Jerry Briesath, Mark Wilson, Randy G., Jeremy Jones, Nick Varner, Earl Strickland, Johnny Archer and Robin (Dotson) Bell. I firmly believe in learning from others and credit my mentors, tutors, teammates and friends such as Eric Smith, Randy G., Bill Suden, Carl Oswald, Claude Gragg and Carl Pearson for their invaluable support and guidance.

My dedication to the game led me to become a Certified referee and PBIA/ACS Instructor where I hold a master level certification.

Most Notable Students: My grand daughter, and all the junior players I have taught and instructed.

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

Favorite Pool Hall: Rack Daddy’s (North Dallas) and 2 Crazy Guys (McKinney, TX)

What do you like about Instructing? I enjoy being an ambassador for the game. I 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. 

Contact: or

Tommy HillTommy Hill

Location: Fresno, CA

Accomplishments: I played pool professionally from the late 80’s through the 90’s on the Men’s Professional Billiards Tour, The RJ Reynolds Camel Tour and the McDermott west coast Tour. Along the way I managed to win three professional events. In the mid 90’s I wrote a small monthly article in a west coast publication called Cue Sports Journal. I am currently a monthly Columnist for Pool & Billiards Magazine. Also, I am currently working on a Billiards based novel.

Most notable student: My son TJ. He is starting to play in professional events and he has also become a PBIA Certified instructor.

Favorite Billiard Discipline: I play all the games but one pocket has always been my favorite.

Favorite Pool Hall:  You will find me most nights at The Rack Family Billiards in Fresno California. I also love to travel to Hard Times Billiards in Sacramento CA.

Who taught you how to play: The town champion was an Italian man named Rocky Antenucci. Rocky took me in when I was 13 years old and became like a father to me. He taught me how to act in a pool room and how to play. As I got older, I also took advanced lessons from the great Don Feeney.

How and when did you fall in love with the game?  I was 13 years old when I first walked into The Rack Billiards in Fresno CA. I was immediately kicked out because I wasn’t 18
years old. The counter man, Rocky must have seen the dejected look on my face and he called me back to the counter, told me to sit right there and don’t move. I watched the players all day, turned in to every day and pretty soon I was taking lessons from Rocky and mixing it up with the guys. When I was 18 years old I played my first Pro event.


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.’


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

Robert Moreno / Chairman of the PBIA

Location: Prescott, AZ.

Accomplishments: Creator of the Okinawa Pocket Billiards Club’s, 21 combined billiards rooms, strategic billiards plan and marketing development strategy.

Outlined specific business and marketing practices designed to develop all levels of players from start to professional play that allowed all member pool rooms to increase business and generate profitable events that combine the community in positive ways. The plan incorporated “player development,” “community assistance,” and “professional instruction.” while bringing all room owners significant profits year after year since 1998.

Created the ONPC Charity Event that has brought several world class players to Okinawa since 1998 and raised $8000 per year, on average, for the past 24-years to support an Okinawan local orphanage.

Distributed this plan nationally, leading to an industry boom in Japan.

Founder of the Blue-Ribbon Billiards Academy in Okinawa City in 1996, owner of Pool Room Alabama in 1997, owner Breaktime Billiards 1999, founder of the Okinawa Master Billiards Academy in 2013, and the Barefoot Bob’s Master Billiards Academy and Pro Shop in 2023.

Most notable students: Stephanie Sterling (Seven-time winner of the Arizona Pool League Ladies State Championship, and others.)  Plus, military members stationed around the world. Craig Hauck winner of the Batta Open in Okinawa Japan and several international local tournaments. Steve “Doc” Strange who created a Middle School Billiards Classroom in a local school of Temecula CA.

Favorite Billiard Discipline: 9 Ball on the 9-foot tables, 8 ball on the 7-foot tables. I love the ability to watch players execute the training and achieve the goal of not allowing your opponent the opportunity to stroke the cue other than the lag. If training is meant to improve execution, 9 ball tells you what you should perform, and your job is to execute that performance. 8 ball allows you to select a pattern and test your ability to map out the possibilities and select the best plan.

Favorite Pool Hall: In AZ it is Barefoot Bobs Billiards in Prescott Valley; in the past I will always love Pool Bar Alabama outside MCAS Futenma on Okinawa 1989-2008.

What do you like about instructing: Explaining the technical side of pool to the advanced feel players and watching them understand what they never understood or had wrongly interpreted and watch as they start to understand and execute those weaknesses and build new strengths.

Leslie Rogers imparted upon me a spirit of continuous learning; 41 various instructor lead courses from all around the world now combined in my best practices version of the Olympic Style Long Term Athletic Development Plan that world-wide instructors implement and show success through the current Fargo Rate rankings worldwide.

Who taught you how to play: Buddy from Starbucks in Oklahoma City, Buddy Hall from Trueloves in Oklahoma City, Dave from Jacksonville NC, Doug from Jacksonville NC who is credited with my introduction to Cue Tech in Richardson TX, Randy G, Leslie Rogers, and Jerry Powers gave up their Thanksgiving weekend to create a class for my during my transition to Okinawa Japan on short notice. Leslie happened to move to Japan and in one short phone call sent me on a path to learn from multiple instructors from all around the world. From Taipei, Tokyo, Thailand, Philippines, Korea, and my eventual return to the US after living overseas for 28 years that led me to Paul Potier, Jerry B, Mark Wilson, Nick Varner, Max Eberly, CJ Wiley, Scott Frost, Mitch Ellerman, Tony Chohan, and many others.

How and when did you fall in love with the game? In 1999/2000 when Shimabukuro-San moved to Okinawa and began training me just after Scott Richardson left the island; having a significant impact on what a pool player should be able to execute and showing me how execution is the key to success; Shimabukuro-San prepared me for my entrance in the 2001 Inaugural Masters, the $1,000,000 Tokyo 9 Ball and that event gained my invitation to the 2001 World All Stars in Taipei.

Contact: Billiards.Live or


Carl E. Oswald

Location: Dallas, Texas


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


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.



Kevin Pickering

Location: Lancaster/Columbus Ohio

Owner- Slate Masters Billiards Training-Specializing in video/laser stroke analysis to blueprint and identify stroke technique deficiencies in all skill level players. Private and group lessons for all ages and experience. Current: PBIA Master Instructor (Instructor since 2009). Instructor: The National Billiard Academy (Tom Simpson) 2009-2017. Teaching Three-Day Intensive clinics.
Affiliate Instructor with The National Billiard Academy (Eddie Isreal) Cue tip installations and repair.
2017APA US Amateur Championships, Tampa, FL
BCA Regional Tournaments
VNEA Regional Tournaments
APA Regional Tournaments
NAPA Regional Tournaments
Favorite student or most notable students: Beginners and juniors. Anyone dedicated
to improving and willing work at it.
What do you like about instructing: Being able to explain principles and techniques to
players in a simplistic and understandable way to help promote learning. Seeing students learn,
improve, gain confidence, win more and enjoy the game. There is nothing quite like leading
students to discover a new dimension of connecting with the game.
Favorite Billiard Discipline: Big table 9 ball, 10 ball and 8 ball.
Favorite Pool Hall: Q-Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA.
Who taught you how to play? My father taught me the basics, and then many books and
videos. I then was self taught until later attending a clinic with Master Instructor Tom Simpson of
The National Billiard Academy.
I have also attended clinics/seminars instructed by: Tom Simpson (National Billiard Academy), Eddie Isreal (National Billiard Academy), Jerry Briesath, Mark Wilson, Nick Varner, “Dr. Dave” Alciatore, Randy Goettlicher, Mark Finkelstein, Shawn Putnam, Darren Appleton, Johnny Archer, Dennis Hatch, Dee Adkins, Roy Pastor, Steve Campana, Dr. Chris Stankovich
How and when did you fall in love with the game? As a child while watching my
father and friends play and then again as a teenager when I was able to play in many different
places with my friends and eventually having a table at home.
Contact: or (740)777-6297.h

Mark Powell

Location:  New Market, MD


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

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Linda Radford

Location: Rockford, Illinois

Contact: or

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Tom Riccobene

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Kyle Richard

Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada


I was married to Roxanne in 2000 and my son, Cody was born in 2003 Canadian Armed Forces member for nearly 27 years PBIA Instructor since 2012 (Left this space blank for the next one!) 2023 Nova Scotia Amatuer 8 Ball Champion 2023 Nova Scotia Amatuer 9 Ball Champion 2023 Nova Scotia Amatuer 10 Ball 2nd place 2023 Nova Scotia Provincial 8 Ball Champion 2023 Nova Scotia Provincial 9 Ball 2nd place 2023 Nova Scotia Ranking Points 1st place 2023 Canadian Cue Sports 9 Ball Singles Champion 2023 Canadian Cue Sports 8 Ball Open 2nd place 2022 JR Wedge Memorial 8 Ball 2nd place 2022 Canadian Cue Sports Maritime Advanced Team Champion 2020 Ryan Ongo Memorial 8 Ball 2nd place 2018-2019 Metro Pool League MVP and Rookie of the Year 2012 Eastern Canadian Championship 4th place 2006 Western VNEA Intermediate Champion Former Vice President of the Canadian Billiards and Snooker Association Former President of the New Brunswick Billiards Association Played in multiple Canadian Open and Amateur Championships, played in multiple BCAPL events and Joss Tour events, also played in the SBE, US Open and Derby City Classic

Favorite Billiard Discipline: I love them all! One pocket, banks, straight pool, rotation and of course 8,9 and 10 ball.

Favorite Pool Hall: Griff’s in Las Vegas

Who taught you how to play: I was mainly self taught, but I was fortunate to decide to take lessons with Randy Goettlicher and Scott Lee. That is when my game improved the most. Once I realized how quickly I improved with the new instruction I decided to become an instructor in order to help others to get the same great results.

How and when did you fall in love with the game? During high school there was a table in the lunchroom (winners table). It was not very long before I was on that table the entire lunch break.



Leslie Rogers

Location: Richardson, TX and Tokyo, Japan.


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 four 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


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


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


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.



Kim “The Dragon” Young

Location: Dragon Billiards Instruction, Vestal NY


Owner of Dragon Billiards Instruction, a PBIA Accredited Training Academy and billiards store in Upstate NY. Kamui Authorized Tips Installer. PBIA Master and ACS Level 4 instructor since 2022. Numerous singles and team wins as a pool player, but my greatest accomplishments are being a father to my wonderful sons, and helping my students achieve wins and trophies of their own.

Most notable student: Every student I’ve worked with is uniquely notable in their own way. But a few stand out to me as having challenges we’ve overcome together. From the student born without arms, to the 103 year old who learned how to use Zoom on his smartphone to facilitate online instruction with me, to the high-level junior players I’ve had the pleasure of coaching.

Favorite Billiard Discipline: 9 Ball, 8 Ball, One Pocket

Favorite Pool Hall: Guys and Dolls, Endicott NY

What do you like about instructing? That “light bulb” moment! Seeing students progress and achieve things they didn’t think were possible for them. Celebrating their victories with them and hearing stories of how they paid it forward, teaching their friends and teammates things they learned from our sessions together. Training the next generation of billiards instructors and inspiring players and teachers alike to hold themselves to a higher standard.  Teaching players how to be their own coach so they can correct themselves when I’m not there and not “Rehearse the Curse”.

Who taught you how to play: I was mostly self-taught in the beginning, with some instructional help from videos and books from Dr. Dave, Tor Lowry, Jerry Briesath, Phil Capelle, Freddy Bentivegna, and many more. Eventually, I decided to invest into my game and dream of becoming a professional instructor with formal coaching. I’ve had the pleasure of training under Master Instructors Anthony Beeler, David Donovan, Roy Pastor, and Tom Rossman, among others.

How and when did you fall in love with the game? I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was very young. My father is a professional tennis instructor, and I was inspired by his coaching. You could really see his students enjoying his lessons and having fun while learning. As a teenager, I enjoyed playing pool as much as anyone doing it for fun, but never “loved” it until I learned how to correlate science and math with the game. Learning about the physics and geometry of billiards is when I realized I loved the game…teaching it to others and seeing their eyes light up when they understood my lessons became my passion. That’s really what hooked me. I like playing pool, but I LOVE teaching it.



Walt Zincavage

Location: New England, Ashford, Connecticut


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!