Joseph goes undefeated to claim his first Tri-State title

Mark Joseph and Clint Pires
When Mark Joseph and Clint Pires met in the hot seat match and finals of the November 25 stop on the Tri-State Tour, it guaranteed them their second appearance in the AZ database; Pires had finished 4th on a Tri-State stop in August at Clifton Billiards, Joseph finished 5th a month later at Shooter’s Billiards in Wayne, NJ. Joseph won both matches to claim his first regional tour title. The $1,000-added event drew 25 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
Following and opening round bye and victories over Richard Brother and Allison LaFleur, Joseph moved into a winners’ side semifinal against Teddy Lapadula. Pires, in the meantime, got by Mike Strassberg, Artur Trzeciak and Gil McGrath to face Alfredo Altamirano in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Both matches went double hill, sending Joseph and Pires into the hot seat match, while Lapadula and Altamirano moved to the loss side. They had both secured their highest finish on the tour, but neither of them was finished. Joseph gave up only a single rack to Pires in their hot seat matchup (5-1) and waited on his return.
On the loss side, Kevin Serodio, who’d lost his opening round to Jowen Pichardo, was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that came within a game of derailing Pires’ bid for a rematch against Joseph. Victories over Luis Lopez and Shane Soto were followed by a 5-2 win over Bob Toomey, and a 5-1 victory over Greg Partlow, which set Serodio up to meet Lapadula. Altamirano, in the meantime, drew Carlos Serrano, who’d gotten by Gil McGrath 5-3 and Michelle Brotons 5-1 to reach him.
Identical 5-1 scores sent Altamirano (over Serrano) and Serodio (over Lapadula) to the quarterfinals, where Serodio chalked up loss-side win #5 over Altimarano 5-3.
Pires was already in a position to record his best finish on the tour when he arrived from the hot seat match to face Serodio in the semifinals. He secured a minimum runner-up finish with a double hill win that ended Serodio’s loss-side winning streak.
In some ways, for both Joseph and Pires, it didn’t matter who won the final match. Both were assured of their best finish, to date, on the tour. But in other ways, it mattered a lot, because they battle to double hill to decide it. In the extended race-to-7 final, if Pires reached five first, the match would extend to seven games. Pires forced that extension and was able to chalk up another rack to reach the hill, but Joseph hung on to win it and claim the event title.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, and DIGICUE OB. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for December 2, will be hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.