The Arizona Billiards Hall of Fame is proud to announce Pete Lhotka and George Teyechea as its two latest inductees.
Pete Lhotka’s career in Arizona pool began in the 70’s, when he won the Intercollegiate 14.1 National Championship. That was just one of many 14.1 titles that Lhotka won over the years, including nine Air Force 14.1 titles and two Arizona State 14.1 titles. A couple of Lhotka’s favorite moments in pool were focused on 14.1, as he competed in an exhibition match against Willie Mosconi in Tempe back in 1973 and also when he ran 85 balls on the great Steve Mizerak during the 1980 World 14.1 tournament.
In addition to his accomplishments in competition, Lhotka has a long history as a billiards instructor, having taught billiards at both Arizona Western College and Yavapai College. Lhotka also wrote a series of columns for Pool & Billiard Magazine and created an instructional channel on YouTube with recorded pool classes from Yuma and Prescott.
Appropriately, Lhotka was informed of his induction while playing pool with a friend in Prescott. “I feel real emotional right now” he said. Lhotka was also surprised when he was informed that he was the top vote getter on the ballot this year. “I didn’t know if I would get in” said Lhotka. “There are so many deserving people on that list”.
Lhotka was especially excited about joining such legends as his good friend Babe Thompson in the Hall of Fame. “Babe was the guy who inspired me to become a pool player. Watching him run 100 balls was incredible” he said.
Joining Lhotka in the Hall of Fame this year is another multi-talented player. Tucson’s George Teyechea can trace his love for the game back to the 1960’s and can trace his championship winning resume back to the early 90’s. A player of all games, Teyechea excels in a variety of games, winning Arizona titles in 8-Ball, 9-Ball and One Pocket.
Teyechea has competed at the top levels of Arizona pool for well over 25 years and now shares his cue sport knowledge in a number of different ways. Teyechea was a big part of the Az Junior 9-Ball Tour and the Junior program at Pockets in Tucson. In addition to his work with the Juniors, Teyechea has also become one of the top streaming commentators in the business today. His work with the Desert Classic and Diamond Pool Tour’s drew the attention of Cue Sports International, where he is now a regular commentator at their various amateur and pro events.
Even with his history of talking about the game, Teyechea was at a loss for words when he was informed of his induction while he was getting ready to commentate a pro event in Las Vegas. “Oh my god, did I really get in?” he asked, after taking a moment to compose himself.
Like Lhotka, Teyechea indicated that he didn’t think he would get voted in this year. “I thought the majority of votes were in Phoenix. I didn’t think there were many votes coming from Tucson” he explained. Teyechea though, is well respected throughout the entire state of Arizona and both he and Lhotka will make very deserving additions to the Arizona Billiards Hall of Fame.
Lhotka and Teyechea will be honored at the Hall of Fame Banquet, scheduled for November 5th at Bullshooters in Phoenix. They will also be looking to play in the Hall of Fame’s Arizona State Championship, that will take place at Bullshooters on November 6th and 7th. With the Covid virus situation, the 2020 banquet was not held, meaning the 2020 inductees Chuck Evans, Terry Osborne, Bob Jackson and Doc Rice will also be honored at the November banquet. All six of these players will join 2019 inductees Scott Frost, Roger Griffis, Babe Thompson and Mike Howerton as members of the Arizona Billiards Hall of Fame.