Just Completed 3 Day Boot Camp with Demetrius Jelatis aka The Tinman


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Wow, Wow, Wow. What a game changing experience I just had!

I am a 5\6 level APA player, so Demetrius had his hands full with me. I believe, most of his students are of a higher level than me, but that did not discourage him in one bit. He has forever changed my game! I can never thank him enough.

The entire weekend was amazing. Demetrius is super passionate and very high energy. If my count was correct, we had nearly 39 hours of one on one table time over the Boot Camp weekend. All in the comforts of his home. Sleeping arrangements and meals (his mom is a secret weapon here, lol) were top notch!

We were on the table no later than 10am on Friday, Sat, and Sunday. Friday and Saturday, we were on the table until around midnight!

He had an organized well thought out plan for me. He evaluated where I was as a player, what we needed extra time to work on, and where he wanted to take me by the end of the camp. Demetrius, taught me his core shots, that he uses to build his patterns. I will never look at the table again the same. By then end of the weekend I was completely seeing the table differently. It really is remarkable, how he was able to simplify the game.

I feel I now finally have a clear path to improvement and know exactly what to practice to get better. No more just random drills I find on YouTube. The drills Demetrius taught me have an exact purpose and are ones I can practice the rest of my life! And they are fun.

I could go a lot deeper, but others have already given great detail into what to expect at Demetrius's boot camp. I just wanted to put out another thrilled camper quick review. Honestly if it was over at the end of day one, I would have felt I go my moneys worth, yet we still had a full day and a half to go. I encourage you to book a camp with Demetrius, you will learn a ton. Ohh man, don't even get me started on Corner Crawls. LOL!!!

Tin Man

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Thank you for the positive feedback Godinsession! Man, that was intense! If this ever gets to be too much for me I might switch to something less demanding like guiding people up Everest. ;)

One thing I want to make clear to any readers is my vision of how pool should be played. I really feel like top pool players should have an arsenal of shots at their command they can use to string together with grace and precision, much like an Olympic gymnast or a martial artist doing a form. A gymnast doesn't just start tumbling around the floor matt willy-nilly. They have a routine to perform that is carefully rehearsed and executed.

Pool is no different. With the right toolbox a pool player should be able to look at a layout, then see it unfold as a series of exacting maneuvers that lead from shot to shot with elegance, avoiding difficulty. There shouldn't be low percentage shots, big swing speeds, power draws, etc. There should be a series of easy shots executed with soft swings with natural movements that keep you out of harm's way.

That is what I teach. I make sure people understand which shots are the 95%+ shots and which should be shunned. Then I make sure they have the knowledge of why those shots are high percentage, how they work, they have the physical and mental technique to execute them and understand where people often go wrong with them, and we look at some nuances of these shots many overlook that can lead to increased accuracy. Then we dive deep into pattern play, looking at simple layouts first, then increasingly challenging positions. Just like a musician first learns the notes of the scale, then works on basic songs, and soon can play complex melodies. Eventually they can read sheet music. Well, I show how to read patterns so a layout of balls begins to look like music, and instead of just improvising your way through, you can read the music (layout) and play the right series of notes (shots).

With this approach I help students who are intermediate level and they start to look like world class players as they study the table with poise, then begin to move shot by shot through the rack with purpose, clarity, and grace. Meanwhile my advanced students who have spent years gun-slinging, trying to gain consistency shooting hard shots with big swings and forced cue ball paths see the table in an entirely new way. As I said in my "Less is more" thread it's not about learning new shots, it's about refining the way they play. It isn't overpowering or running the table over and never missing. It's about working with the table and finding ways to not use force or difficult inconsistent shots. My goal isn't to teach players new shots, it's to permanently transform how they see the pool table.

Of course I hear SJM talking so I want to make it clear I do cover all areas of the game including the break, safeties, jumps, kicks, and shot making as well. I'll even review fundamentals, and while it is NOT my strength (see Scott Lee, Dr. Dave, Mark Wilson, or one of the many other leaders in this game if you want to spend time on nothing but fundamentals) I do know a bit about the most important two: Pre-shot routine and the smooth, accelerating swing.

And I have no problem working with intermediate level players. I just give them some 'pre-work' so they have things to practice between when they schedule and when we train. Usually we schedule a few months out so I can see a video of them and give them some things to work on. They don't have to master them, they just have to struggle with them a bit. Then when we are on the table together their learning curve is much quicker and they appreciate the answers more since they've wrestled with the challenges a bit longer. By doing things this way I've taken intermediate players further than they would've believed.

In the end pool is such a deep and rich game. It is so rewarding to go from seeing a mess of balls and fighting a series of difficult shots, to seeing a graceful dance that leads to high level performance, and to watch your game come together at levels you've always wanted, and to have it hold up and succeed in situations that always used to stop you. I just want everyone to have that experience.


Older and Wiser
Silver Member
Glad to hear you had such a good experience. Tin Man brings a special blend of knowledge, professionalism and enthusiasm to his craft.

Wishing you continued success on the road to becoming the pool player you have always dreamt of being.