Before he was much taller than a cue stick, Tony Robles knew that he wanted to play pool, and play it well. Accompanying his dad to the local pool hall in Brooklyn's Bushwick section, Tony was 13 years old when he was first introduced to the world of tight racks and even tighter pockets. Though not yet familiar with the game, Tony was immediately taken with the crisp sound of balls draining into the pockets.
An older gentleman who was at the pool hall that day approached the 13 year old and asked if he wanted to learn more. Tony replied eagerly to the man who handed the youngster a book on learning to play pool. Tony took the book home that night and read it from cover to cover before going to sleep. The next day, he showed up at the pool hall to practice his newfound knowledge. And he hasn't left yet.
After graduating from High School, Tony dedicated himself to perfecting his game, practicing 12 hours a day, 6 days a week for over two and a half years. At age twenty-one, he turned pro.
His nickname, the "Silent Assassin," was bestowed upon him during the 1995 World 9-Ball Championships held in Winston-Salem, N.C. After soundly defeating one of the top pros by an 11-2 score, a fan approached Robles to congratulate him. Commenting on the accomplishment, the fan noted that it was "just another day at the office" for the fast rising Robles. Tony's ability to unexpectedly and resoundingly knock off top pros, the fan concluded, was like that of a "silent assassin."
The moniker stuck and has accompanied him most of his career as he, not quite so silently, ascended to the ranks of the world’s elite pool players.
Among the career highlights considered most important to Tony is a run of 113 balls he accomplished during the 1992 Straight Ball Championship held at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. The feat wowed the tournament crowd, which rose to give the Silent Assassin a standing ovation. Most rewarding of all was the presence of one of his biggest fans that reveled in the moment, his father. Other highlights of Tony's career include high runs of eight straight racks in 9-ball and five straight racks in 8-ball. He also boasts a high run in straight pool of 268 balls.
Tony loves movies (especially martial arts films), video games and boxing. He’s also a HUGE Dragon Ball Z/Super fan. But most of all, he enjoys spending quality time with his wife Gail and sons, Jonathan and Antonio.
He has been the subject of feature stories by NBC News, Newsday, The Daily News, The New York Times and Billiard's Digest, among other media outlets, and has served as technical adviser on numerous television commercials including ads for Macy's and Acuvue Contact Lenses.
Tony has worked as technical advisor for numerous shows like HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, USA Networks White Collar, CBS’s Limitless and Marvel’s Daredevil and the Punisher.