The ACS Texas 2022 8 Ball State Championships were held at the end of October in Belton, Texas. Lufkin local, Tavo Velazquez, was the 2021 Texas State Champion and returned to the competition to defend his title.

Though Velazquez had won last year, winning again was not a given. There were 118 players in the tournament and in the very first match he had to play Rick Castillo, a well-respected pool player from San Antonio.

Castillo had to win 5 games and Velazquez had to win 6, since he was an advanced player. Castillo had Velazquez stuck 2-4 and he only needed 1 more game to win the match, while Velazquez needed 4.

Nothing Came Easy At The 8 Ball Championships For Tavo Velazquez

Velazquez amazingly wins the next 4 games in a row to move into the tournament. His opponent in the finals would be even harder to defeat as he was a friend and former teammate, Stephen Turner.

Turner was undefeated and Velazquez had to beat him twice to win. The first match goes the distance and Turner has 4 and Velazquez has 5.

They both have to win 1 more game to get the title. If Turner wins, he’s the champion, but if Velazquez wins they have to play another match.

Turner misses a shot during the 3-hour match and gives Velazquez the opening to run out, forcing a second match. Velazquez played for 12 hours straight that day because in a true double-elimination format you have to lose twice to be eliminated.

Luckily the second and final match was postponed until the next day.

Tavo Velazquez Wins The State Title With A Truly Amazing Jump Shot

The final was a 4-5 race. Velazquez needed to win 5 and Turner needed 4.

During the final Velazquez perched on the table to make a jump shot that completely shifted the momentum of the game in his favor. Velazquez ended up winning the final 5-2.

Velazquez is now the 2022 Texas State 8 Ball Champion. He has won 2 Texas State Championships and a national title within the span of 12 months.

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Tavo Velazquez
Tavo Velazquez

Now everyone in Lufkin has something to be proud of. Hopefully, he has time to enjoy it and won't be thinking about trying to keep the title next year.

One of his opponents asked him why he played as if his life depended on it.

“I promised my 4yr old daughter I would bring home another trophy and I plan on keeping my word”.

He nodded, smiled, and walked away.

Tavo Velazquez
Tavo Velazquez
Tavo Velazquez
Tavo Velazquez

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