Gerda Hofstatter (WPBA professional; US, European, and World Champion)
Dear Dr. Dave,
Your VEPS is the most comprehensive work on the game of pool I have seen. It is extremely educating, concise, and entertaining. Everyone who loves pool and wants to improve their understanding of the game should study it. I am recommending it to everyone I know. Thanks for the great work you and Tom did.
Kind regards, Gerda
Tom Simpson (BCA Master Instructor and ACS Level 4 Instructor/Coach):
In my opinion, this is the greatest single resource for players ever created. Packed with knowledge, clear demonstrations, simple explanations, and good pool sense.
GREAT job. Well organized and clearly illustrated.
Tom Shaw (Pool & Billiards, May, 2012, p. 35):
... a milestone in the history of pool ... Dr. Dave covers every shot you could imagine ... presented clearly and efficiently, and fully analyzed and explained in a a way that you can master them ... the camera work and audio are clean and crisp ... I could easily imagine someone spending weeks or months with each disc, there's that much useful information on each ... A stone cold winner.
George Fels (Billiards Digest, June, 2010, p. 34):
... splendid DVD series ... Dave and Tom haven't overlooked a thing ... all his [Dr. Dave's] talent and organizational skills for both his science and the game itself are on impeccable display ... The audio and video quality is stellar, and Dr. Dave is a charming if laid-back host
Cue Times Magazine (December, 2010, p. 5)
... VEPS has something for players of all skill levels, from beginners to the very experienced.
... If only we could have had access to this information in this concise format 20 years ago -- we might have been pros by now!
... The quality of the video is excellent as well as the presentation.
Billiard God Productions:
You can learn more about the principles of cue ball control from this DVD than from 10 years of playing experience.
This is not a "watch-once and put with the other DVDs" DVD.
The information presented is direct and easy to understand.
I just watched the seven minute video hi-lite reel and am completely blown away by it! Put me on the list of people who are loving what they are seeing! First of all you (Dave and Tom) both have good clear voices and explain things in a manner that is easy to understand. That is so important. The quality of the video is excellent, with good lighting and near perfect camera angles! Tom's (I'm pretty sure about this) execution of the shots is right on, and I don't really care how many tries it took him to make any of them. What is important is that we see a well executed shot!
Now for the best part. Even in fast motion (the hi-lite tape) I saw so many valuable shots that all pool players should practice and incorporate into their game. I love the way the shots are demonstrated to make it as simple as possible for players to understand how to execute them. I like that these DVD's do not tell players how to stand or hold their cues or stroke the balls or any of that other stuff. Dave and Tom do something very important here. They acknowledge the fact that most players already have a decent stance, grip, stroke etc. They get down to basics! Here's the shot - here's how you hit it - and here's the result!
Now for what I absolutely loved, even though it may take away from my next book. Some of their advanced/trick shots are among the "secret" shots I had planned to diagram in my next book. Many of these shots are ones that even good players don't know! I saw shots on there that the players who know them often don't want to share with anyone else. High level stuff here, never before so graphically illustrated. My hat is off to both Dave and Tom. You really went through the ceiling with this series. You guys cover a lot of bases here and provide a lifetime of valuable information on five DVD's. I don't want to tell you how long it took me to learn a lot of these shots. Where were you when I needed you?
Good job gentlemen!
PS: You know it's almost unfair that now any decent pool player can learn in a days what it took me many years to learn. Like I said there is a lifetime of knowledge on these five DVD's.
The biggest compliment I can pay to any instructional aid for pool is this: The day after watching Disc I of the Video Encyclopedia of Pool Shots (Basic Shot Making and Position Play) I found myself using things I learned from it in every game of pool I played, and I played better and won more because of it.
That brings me to my only serious complaint about VEPS: it’s misnamed. This is no mere collection of pool shots; it’s a comprehensive instructional course on how to shoot. Each “shot” is actually a helpful shooting technique that can be applied to many shots and many situations that come up in real play.
The techniques range from very basic (stop shots, straight draw shots, etc.) to intermediate and advanced (“hook” follow, complex combo/caroms, etc.), each demonstrated, described and illustrated in such clear and accurate ways that anybody can understand them and, most importantly, learn how to execute them and when. Dr. Dave is probably the most knowledgeable technical expert on pool today and this series delivers his knowledge in practical, useful form to players of all experience and skill levels. If you thought that the “science” of pool was only for geeks, VEPS will change your mind in a hurry.
At $30 per disc, VEPS is a huge bargain. You get not only lots of useful techniques (160 crammed into 87 minutes on Disc I alone), but also related references to Dr. Dave’s extensive library of literally hundreds of free on-line videos, articles, illustrations and graphics at his now-famous Colorado State University website (http://billiards.colostate.edu/). Whenever a technique on VEPS can be illustrated or expanded on by one of Dr. Dave’s online resources (this is true of many of them), a helpful reference is given so that you can look it up.
The techniques on Disc I are often (though not always) things that students of the game have heard of and even used to some degree, but presented in such a clear and helpful way that it’s often as if they’re brand new. I knew about most of the techniques on VEPS before, but I didn’t know many of them or realize how really useful and powerful they are until VEPS opened my eyes.
The techniques on Disc I are organized by type (cut shots, stun shots, follow shots, draw shots, CB direction control, CB speed control, avoiding a scratch, combination shots, carom shots and billiard shots) and numbered for easy reference. Many of them are “GEMS” – techniques that are so useful that they deserve special attention. I agree that the techniques chosen for this distinction deserve it, and think it’s a testament to the value of VEPS that more than 1/3 of the 160 techniques presented on Disc I earn it.
... I think [the] no-frills, no-nonsense approach is appropriate and even necessary in order to present the huge amount of densely packed information in this serious reference work. I’ll be returning to review many of these techniques over and over...
Here’s the second highest compliment I can pay to VEPS: I wish I'd produced it. Judging by Disc I it will be the most comprehensive, authoritative, accessible and generally useful instructional publication for pool to date (and probably for a long time to come), and the standard against which every other such publication will be measured.
Jim "Jal" Valasina:
I've been extremely impressed with the series. But apart from the information itself, I just wanted to mention that many times I find myself scratching my head as to how you've managed to put this together without any outside assistance? The setting, lighting, camera angles, graphics, editing and narration are worthy of a studio production, imo.
Those who associate you with "dimly lit" and somewhat fuzzy high-speed videos, incomprehensible equations and charts, though all excellent material for those with that bent, might say to themselves (as I actually did!): "I thought I knew Dr. Dave, but had no clue." Your ability to assemble a vast amount of material, present it in a clear and logical way, and always with great care and precision, frankly, dazzles me at times. Of course, the online samples provide a hint of what's in store, but being just samples, they can't really do the experience of viewing the entire video(s) justice.
This is almost certainly the best instructional series ever put together on our game.
Having a little bit of a background in physics, and being perhaps one of a small number of people that reads his technical proofs, I was very fortunate that he sent me preview copies to sort of look over for issues and to get my impressions (not that I know as much as him, of course). Thus I've had the opportunity to view each of the DVDs around three or four times. In brief, I think I'd be very surprised if you didn't feel you got your moneys worth, and then some, and then maybe some more. (Other than receiving the videos, I don't have a stake.)
I like to get out of the house to shoot pool, but don't get enough table time such that I want to spend much of it practicing specifics. For me, the videos filled in many gaps which I've never absorbed in a structured and orderly way. After viewing just the first one of the series, I felt I could happily wile away many hours practicing the shots and positioning routes on a home table, if I had one. I had never felt any urge or motivation to do this before. I think the way the material is organized and presented is ideally suited to that. For additional inspiration, many of the shots are simply a delight to watch.
Dr. Dave has unquestionably great articles and videos on his website, but if you should decide to go with this series, I think you'll still be pleasantly surprised at just how good it is. Although Dr. Dave did most of the work in terms of narration, editing, graphics, etc., his teaming up with Tom Ross was an inspired collaboration. You get Tom's professional level experience as an instructor (and it shows in his shooting), along with Dr. Dave's analytical and educational skills. That's a combination that's hard to beat.
I haven't seen every instructional DVD out there, but I seriously doubt that there's anything that can match it.
JoeyA (concerning Disc I):
Dr. Dave's Video Encyclopedia of Pool Shots I is full of practical shots, one after the other, with CONCISE explanation. The video is so full of shots that you can't really process and utilize everything he discusses in one sitting.
JoeyA (concerning Disc V and the whole series):
I've been waiting for this video for a long time.
Dr. Dave and Tom Ross did another fine job of providing COMPREHENSIVE, yet DETAILED video and CONCISE yet CLEAR communication about what is happening and how it is happening.
This particular video is STACKED with difficult shots that are difficult only if you don't know them and haven't practiced them. I did not know the best way to make some of the shots and was impressed with Tom's skills and Dave's knowledge.
Like all of the preceding VEPS videos, this video provides an enormous amount of content. Dr. Dave and Tom Ross really did an excellent job on this video. I haven't even finished reviewing the entire video and had to give a TWO THUMBS UP for this video.
The jump shots and the masse shots are AWESOME.
If you like pool and want the SHORT CUT to learning how they make those unique shots, VEPS V is the video to have.
If you master the shots like Tom has, your peers will think you went to the State University of Pool.
Dr. Dave has some real nasty "SECRETS" of rigging the rack.
With all seriousness, even if you play well, this is a MUST HAVE VIDEO. I can predict with ABSOLUTE certainty that there is something TO LEARN for EVERY PLAYER at EVERY LEVEL.
The work that you and Tom did on this video and the rest of the videos as well, is exceptional and something that every aspiring player should have in their library.
Those who want to improve their game and educate themselves as to what is "really" happening on the table would do themselves a big favor by purchasing your videos.
Nice job Dave! Very clearly explained and demonstrated well. I love the lines showing the different cut angles and the same CB path. Well done! This will be a great addition to any poolplayer's library of instructional material.
Tim ("The Monk") Miller:
Bravo!!! nice going both of you.
This is going to be "the one and only pool class" a pool player ever needs!
You can learn more about the principles of cue ball control from this DVD than from 10 years of playing experience. The title "video encyclopedia" might seem a little ambitious, but five minutes into the contents establish that this is a precise and exact mission statement.
This is not a "watch-once and put with the other DVDs" DVD. This material is so densely packed that you can only begin to understand the details after you have viewed every section at least ten times. Your remote's reverse and fast reverse buttons will get extensive use as you view and consider the consequences and benefits of every clip and frame.
The information presented is direct and easy to understand. Make sure that you stop the DVD for a moment after each segment and consider how you could have used it in any previous game or match - and will use it the next time you are at the table.
Gary Frerking (from here):
... seeing the shots actually play out on video adds a new dimension to learning that books simply can't provide.
There is a TON of information packed into these DVDs. ... It's like having your own personal pool instructor on call 24/7.
Nic Barrow (snooker coach):
Your video content is amazing.
A true archive of billiard delights that is sure to help ANY player of ANY cue sport!
I’ve viewed it twice. By far the most complete collection of billiard knowledge I’ve seen. I can’t wait for more. I did have a hard time trying to find the “peace sign” tips after the first viewing. The categories being more shot oriented. The numbering is great and you and Tom both do superb work. I can only imagine how tough editing had to be. There is no wasted time. I definitely learned a few things, particularly in regards to cue ball travel and how to change it with different stroke. I definitely don’t know what I don’t know.
………2 thumbs up
I give it five stars as an introduction to shot making ***** with some nice additions for intermediate players.
I watched the whole DVD the other night and here is what I like and what I thought was needed from a user’s perspective.
Quality of the DVD: It looked great on my 5’ plasma TV.
Use of graphics: They are exceptionally clear and well presented. They are not over used and illustrate the points well.
Presentation style: It is not hyped or overly commercial. The instructional style, with recaps as needed, were useful and appropriate. This is an instructional DVD and makes no excuses.
Lack of music and other extraneous noise: Made it easier to concentrate on the topics.
The use of Gems is a good idea as it highlights things that are useful but not necessarily common knowledge. They are (at times) the kinds of things you can tell your buddies at the pool hall and earn some respect.
Lack of duplicate or multiple replays of the same shot is probably one of the most appealing features. As noted on the DVD I am capable of rewinding and pausing as needed. The lack of duplicates makes the DVD worth much more than the price paid. I think that a relatively new player will spend many hours with the more than 150+ ideas presented and discussed. The DVD contains two or three times the amount of information available on similar DVDs and this is quite impressive. I think this should be strongly emphasized in your public relations campaign.
as far as I'm concerned this series of dvd's would be as important to pool, or more so, than Ray Martin's "99 critical shots...", and that is a must have for every pool player.
The 1st disc I thought was awesome and certainly not just for beginners, it really does a great job of showing how to move the cue ball around with just a little bit of adjustment. I feel this is the one of the most important aspect of playing good pool, knowing where the cue ball is going so you can continue the run a heck of a lot more easily. This is very impressive. And as far as the question of too much content or not, not. I like when dvd's pack stuff in to refer to at your own pace.
... the content was incredible and I can not wait to see the next 4 discs. Thanks to you and Tom for putting this together. You continue to provide a great service to the pool world.
Dr Dave and Tom Ross have done an excellent job. There are many good instructional DVD's out there. This one is top notch. On a scale of 1 - 10, this disc should be given a 10.
Disc I: Many shots that players have taken years of play to learn. Not just for beginners. Advanced players who watch Disc I can brush up on shots they already know, or may even learn a few new ones. Dr. Dave does the narrating and some shot making. There are many "GEM" shots that have a somewhat annoying TA DAH sound, but they really are gems. Tom Ross shows much skill in some of his shot making. I'm sure you will want to purchase the complete series of 5 discs after you view Disc I.
Disc II: A non stop disc of english and position control instruction. Most experienced players might make a majority of these shots without hesitation but may find the advanced position play helpful. There are no racks of balls run, just many shots that will occur in ordinary games. You won't be disappointed.
I am still a developing player but I am learning a ton from the Video Encyclopedia of Pool Shots. Some of you old timers might know all this stuff, but these videos have accelerated my learning curve a great deal.
"Knowing" is not the same as "executing," and there is no substitute for practicing and drilling, but "knowing" is the first step. And, when things go wrong, I also understand much better why they went wrong. I could spend a year just working on the stuff shown in Volume II.
I highly recommend these videos and I cannot wait until Volumes III, IV and V are released.
Congratulations and thanks to Dr. Dave Alciatore and Tom Ross for putting this material together.
Got my Basic Shots DVD and have watched it a couple of times, and can say that I think it's great. Good production quality, & a TON of good material. You said you thought it might contain too much material, but not in my opinion. It just means that you overdelivered, and I'm glad you did.
... I like the teaching style and the easy to understand explanations.
The best instructional for progressing beyond fundamentals is Dr. Dave's and Tom Ross's Video Encyclopedia of Pool Shots. Dr. Dave tells you what's about to be shown and then Tom Ross shows it. No wasted time on the DVDs, and a large body of knowledge is crammed in there. You will be hitting pause a lot because it goes by pretty fast.
I've only seen the first two DVD's of the five that will ultimately be produced, but they are by far the best pool instructional of any kind that I've ever seen or read. I trust that the last three volumes will be likewise. Dr. Dave and Tom have really produced a superb product.
I have no doubt that you two have produced the best product ever for the game. THANK'S TO BOTH OF YOU.
The VEPS DVD's are great. These are a great addition to any billiard DVD and book collection you might have.
I ordered the whole set and have enjoyed them all. I'd consider myself a well above average player, and have still learned a ton from the videos.
I learn something new each time I watch them. In my opinion these are a must no matter what level you play.
I have found so much valuable info from the VEPS dvd's. They are my most treasured billiards resource and I have a ton of material!
... of all the dvd's available intended to better your shotmaking, this series is the absolute best set to have. Great learning tool.
Dr. Dave and Tom Ross' DVD's have so much info it will boggle your mind.
This looks bleeding awesome! Hardcore-porn for billiards geeks.
Just Vols. 1-3 could keep a novice like me (APA 8-ball SL4) happy for several years at least.
I am writing to inform you of the wealth of information you and Tom Ross have assembled in this compendium of pool shots.
Your publication "The Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards" became my bible for reference and prompted me to purchase your Video Encyclopedia of Pool Shots. I am only a mediocre player attempting to improve my skills and now this 5-Disc Video series is beginning to make a difference in many aspects of my game. To date I have studied Discs I thru III and can now successfully complete many more shots than before my exposure to these discs.
The actual shots demonstrated includes a target showing the location to strike the cue ball with the cue for all shots. For me this is particularly important in order to duplicate the shot. Both your series and book depicts this information and much more detail about the individual shot-making.
For the cost, of much less than the price of a new cue or a few hours of private instruction, this video series of over 750 separate pool shots is a bargain. It is going to expand my knowledge of executing many shots that I could not accomplish before my exposure to your dedicated work in producing this series.
For a reference I am 82 years of age and have been on an APA league team for the past 4 years playing both 8-ball and 9-ball. I have competed in Las Vegas in 9-Ball doubles reaching the semi-final of that event and also in 8-Ball competition as a Team effort.
Thanks for your help.
I just got the 2nd in the series and gave it a once over and really its just awesome. You've done some great work on what I've seen so far of the first and second DVD. I think the second DVD is perhaps some of the most valuable information for playing the table that I've ever seen. When I watch it its as if I see the moves that my good friend who has been playing 40yrs keeping nailing me with and I think I've got something for him next time I find myself puzzled as to :What to do: I found the positional principles very easy to understand and some of the solutions very simple to grasp so playing the DVD and using them as exercises seem just the right thing to do with the laptop at the pool room on nice rainy day. Thanks a lot its truly good stuff. You did good man, hope you make lots of money you've certainly done lots of work.
anonymous (via e-mail):
I am writing to tell you how ecstatically happy I am with the purchase of the first three of your DVD series. I've been struggling with this game for 15 years--sometimes good, sometimes awful, mostly somewhere in between. I'm an information gatherer by nature and have every instructional book and DVD out there--still nothing helped. I was the pool-playing equivalent of that old saying about the eunuch in the whorehouse--I knew what to do, I'd seen others do it, I just couldn't do it.
After watching just the first half of the first DVD, my game has improved exponentially! For the first time I am pocketing balls and playing near perfect position with the cue ball--night after night after night. Pool as you know is a game of knowledge--your simple DVD examples perfectly instruct the player on how to hit all these shots. Knowledge is power! I can't wait to get through the rest of the series. I think I paid something like $80 for these three DVDs--if I had known how much they would improve my game I would have gladly paid five times that amount. Your DVD series is the best-kept secret in the pool world. I know I will watch them over and over.
The only problem I have now is that I don't want to walk away from the pool table. After struggling for 15 years with the game, for the first time I'm pocketing balls, playing position the way it is meant to be played and winning games with regularity. It's euphoria! And I've only gotten through the material on stun, follow and draw. I just can't drink in this information quickly enough. "Encyclopedia" was a good name for these DVDs, because of the extensive information in them.
I can't thank you enough for these excellent products.
Again, thanks for changing my pool game--and my life.
There is so much info on the disks it will probably take me a lifetime to get through. I consider myself a "technophobe" so I love the additional info on the website, but the disks are the stuff of genius.
fantastic videos. I bought all 5 ... lots of great info.
All five volumes offer good information. If you're starting out or if you're an intermediate player, the DVDs have all this good information about the game. It has all these scenarios presented and it shows more than one way a pool player can approach them.