Mazzeo comes back from hot seat loss to win his first Tri-State title
Skip Maloney
Jan. 7, 2019
(l to r): Joe Mazzeo & Alfredo Altimarino
(l to r): Joe Mazzeo & Alfredo Altimarino
Joe Mazzeo didn’t just come back from a hot seat loss in which he’d managed only a single rack, he roared back and returned the single-rack favor to Alfredo Altimarino to claim his first Tri-State Tour title on Sunday, December 6. The $1,000-added, 8-ball event, the Tri-State Tour’s first of 2019, drew 34 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
 
Mazzeo worked his way through a number of Tri-State veterans to claim his first title, including, in order, Jaydev Zaveri 6-5 and Paul Spaanstra 6-4, to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against John Francisco. Altimarino, in the meantime, vying for his first Tri-State title as well, got by his own list of Tri-State veterans, including Mike Strassberg 5-2, Andrew Ciccoria 5-4 and Artur Trzeciak 5-3 to arrive at the other winners’ side semifinal against Teddy Lapadula.
 
In their first of two, Mazzeo sent Francisco to the loss side 6-3. They would meet again in the semifinals. Altimarino shut out LaPadula and joined Mazzeo in the hot seat match. Altimarino claimed his first hot seat by allowing Mazzeo only that single rack.
 
On the loss side, Francisco picked up Fernando Galeas, who’d defeated Luis Jimenez 6-4 and Paul Spaanstra 6-1 to reach him. LaPadula drew Clint Pires, who’d recently eliminated Artur Trzeciak 5-1 and Ada Lio 6-4. Francisco advanced to the quarterfinals 6-3 over Galeas. He was joined by Pires, who defeated LaPadula 5-2.
 
Francisco earned his rematch against Mazzeo with a 6-4 victory over Pires in the quarterfinals, but reckoned without Mazzeo’s determination for his own rematch against Altimarino. Over the next 15 games in two matches, Mazzeo gave up only a single rack. He shut Francisco out in the semifinal rematch and then, gave up just one against Altimarino in the finals to claim his first Tri-State title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards for their hospitality, 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 Saturday, January 12, will be hosted by Shooters Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.