(There's an important update to this review, find it here.)
I hang out over in the AZ forums a few times a week to try and pick up tips or advance notice of new products or matches or, anything I find interesting really. Close to a year ago, I found this website: Perfect Aim Billiards.com/ and of course found the instructional DVD to go along with it. I read some of the reviews but quickly passed over the product as it was outside my comfort zone for such a questionable buy.
About 8 months ago I put something together from one of the threads on AZB about this DVD and my own experimenation. It significantly helped my game and I attributed it to the imformation I picked up from conversations authored by Gene Albrecht selling this DVD. I've been tempted to buy this DVD for well over a year now and I knew it had some questionable reviews, but every product will have some of those. I finally had some extra cash and I decided to go head and bite the bullet, especially in reference to my really wanting to get to that next level of play. I finally received the DVD and immediately watched it.
Boy did I feel like a chump afterwards.
1) $70 (plus $10 shipping!!) for a home-made DVD with a label stuck on it put in a $0.50 jewel case with not even another printed jewel case cover.
2) The "meat and potatoes" information was 85% repeat of what I've read in the various posts Gene uses to promote this disc (and the following discussion). ... Reviewer's note: I should make it clear that nowhere have I read the exact method he describes on the DVD - not from any post I've seen. I will say there was some guiding hints in one thread that lead me to experiment a lot at the table and kinda stumble across what Gene talks about on the disc. Still, what I discovered in my own experimentation isn't exactly what Gene is doing; he has a more precise method whereas mine is still a bit general.
3) Production quality? eh, it's a *hair* better than the VEPS, but not by much. Someday I hope people will learn that they can not rely on the on-camera-room-mic for instructional materials. 6/10
4) Step 8 or 9 or whatever that crazy section on figuring out if it's a 1/2 or 1/4 ball hit is ... pretty much pointless. Yes, it's a neat way of determining that information; but it's entirely unusable in a game setting.
Okay, there's my short-list of first-impression opinion/gripes. Here are my objective thoughts:
Considering I did fork over money for this DVD, I might as well try the info out. After all, the meat'n'potatoes section that I had picked up from the threads here was VERY helpful to me when I learned it. That said, if I had never heard of someone talking about eye-location before and no idea what it was... I would likely be writing this to sound like one of his testimonials. That tidbit, when I first put 2 and 3 together from the bits and pieces of the threads, was really a key to pushing my game to my next level. So, he's not selling bad information.
When the DVD was over, I was shocked - utterly shocked it had ended so quickly. One thing I would strongly suggest to Gene is to put some "Case Studies" on there - show yourself teaching this to someone and let us see the student learn it; and become enlightened. Don't script it - just film a lesson you give somewhere with good lighting and no background noise. Hearing the instructor say and demonstrate a concept is nice, but watching a student work through it and seeing the results of before/after comparison is really really important for future students/consumers.
To the people who've been playing a long time and try this method ... I don't expect it to work for you. You have trained your brain a certain way, so *anything* other than the sight-picture you have trained for is going to look incredibly wrong and I'd be surprised if you played half as well as normal trying this. I liken this method to using a super low deflection shaft ... those who learned and grew up with the old high deflection cues cannot make a ball with the OB2 or Z2; and no wonder! They have to relearn how to aim entirely! This system is similar to that, in my opinion. Great for the beginning intermediate player who has a mostly straight stroke but trouble with consistency, seeing the shot.
Objectively though, I'd still only give it a 6/10 overall. There was a lot of fluff and not enough demonstration. Simply shooting a single shot on each side of the table isn't enough variation to adequately demonstrate the point; especially as those examples were supposed to be some of THE most important shots to know/learn.
I will still experiment with the method in it's entirety to see if I can't fine-tune the method for me, but there's a good chance this disc just collects dust on my shelf. I might, should I really find myself unable to do anything with it take Gene up on his phone offer. I do really like that he stands behind his product and makes himself available for questions.