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by Tom "Dr. Cue" Rossman

According to Michael Shamos, curator of The Billiard Archive in Pittsburgh, PA, “artistic pool” initialed its foundational roots back in 1827. (Billiards Digest – July 2003) He further goes on to state that the first book devoted entirely to ‘trick shots” was written at that time by Francois Mingaud, who just happened to invent the cue tip. This cueing guide opened the door for the unique “twists and turns” "dips and dives” that could be applied to the small sphere we call a “billiard ball”. Thank you, Mr. Mingaud, for the joy you have given us, and thank you, Mr. Shamos, for the refreshing history of our sport.

Those original “trick shots” by Mr. Mingaud in a 40-plate presentation would eventually transform themselves into a 40-shot/challenge format (2000 – 2004 program – professional skill level)…with various degrees of difficulty. In addition, definitions would be applied to what “trick and/or fancy shots” really were… becoming inclusive with seven other defined disciplines. These 8 uniquely challenging categories would encompass the magnetic cuesport art form we now call “artistic pool”. Note: Please reference “game” section of this website for shots/challenges and discipline listings.

Additionally, a copyrighting and/or coining of the “artistic pool” wording took place in 1991 with the release of a “Dr. Cue” teaching aid called Banks, Tricks, and “Kicks”. This pioneering effort to help others learn how to do over 70 “artistic pool” shots…with adjustment applications…established “artistic pool” competitions for juniors and amateurs 2 years later. They continue today with the BCAPL, VNEA, APA, ACS and special events for wheelchair competitors. Sanctioned world, continental, and TV events highlight the pro spectrum, with respective WPA, Federation, and ESPNendorsements.

Note: For professional event/player information, plus APTSA member details please visit:


The umbrella term “artistic pool”…with specific focus on “artistic”…holds reference to billiard “skills” or “knacks” with “aesthetically pleasing” or “beautiful” overtones. Player uplifting, fan appealing, sponsor attracting, and media enhancing are just a few benefits this “gift” provides the international arena. The creation of APTSA (Artistic Pool and Trick Shot Association) solidifies the three-fold message of 1) professional image, 2) professional demeanor, and 3) professional skills. Its mission statement is simple:

“ To promote the ‘art’ of pocket billiards”

In that regards, this web site has been developed for the past, present, and future of our sport…primarily for “artistic pool”, but may on occasion include other “artistic” applications to carom, snooker, and pyramid. The central theme of this site is three-fold in nature: 1) Marketing of our sport, 2) Education and Entertainment for our sport, and 3) Incentives and Training programs for all those interested in our sport. The foundational principles and historical attachments for our sport will accent these focus objectives in an on going “crusade” to present the “sport and show” of “artistic pool”.

The “gift” of “artistic pool” is a special blessing to us all. It is one of entertainment, education, competition, emotion, and personal enhancement to your “spirit” and “heart”. May each of you enjoy this unique journey…through the “pages” that follow!!

Best Victories… Tom "Dr. Cue™" Rossman

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