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LaFleur and Altamarino split top prizes on Tri-State Tour

Allison LaFleur & Alfredo Altamarino

The Tri-State Tour’s top two women almost met in the hot seat and finals of a $1,000-added tour stop on Sunday, November 17, which drew 29 entrants to Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ. But it didn’t turn out that way. Allison LaFleur went undefeated through the field, and in the end, past midnight, with a long drive ahead for both of them, she and (male) Alfredo Altamarino opted for a split of the top two prizes.
The ‘match that almost happened’ actually occurred in one of the winners’ side semifinals. LaFleur’s path to the hot seat was a bit of a roller coaster ride; four matches, two of which went double hill and two of which she gave up only one rack, total. She downed Adrian Daniel and another of the tour’s top women, Vinny Mistry, double hill, shut out newcomer Roger Blanco and in that winners’ side semifinal, gave up the single rack to the woman who entered the tournament ahead of her (just barely) in the tour standings, Michelle Brotons. In the other winners’ side semifinal, a local Shooter’s player, CJ Chey, squared off and defeated Joe Mazzeo 6-2. In her third double hill fight, which reportedly hinged in the end on a safety battle, LaFleur claimed the hot seat over Chey.
The potential for a Brotons/LaFleur final was still very much in the air, so to speak.
Brotons moved over and picked up . . . guess who – Alfredo Altamarino, who’d been sent to the loss side by CJ Chey in the second round and was working on a seven-match, loss-side streak that would take him to the finals and include victories over three of the tour’s top women and a prize split with a fourth, LaFleur, who’d end the night at the top of the list. After defeating top-tour-female #3, Amanda Andries 5-2, Altamarino downed #7, Vinny Mistry 7-4 and then, eliminated Mac Jankov 5-3 to pick up Brotons. Mazzeo, in the meantime, picked up Chris Kemp, who’d defeated Marcelo Adinolfi 6-3 and Rick Rodriguez 6-4 to reach him.
Kemp moved into the quarterfinals with a 6-4 win over Mazzeo, as Altamarino was busy surviving a double hill battle against Brotons, and ending hopes for a ‘top two women’ final. Altamarino then eliminated Kemp 6-4 and in what was described as a “stunning upset,” his rematch versus Chey in the semifinals was a shutout.
LaFleur and Altamarino opted out the final match, split the cash and called it a night.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Family Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui, Phil Capelle, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Billiard Engineering, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, and Pool & Billiards. The next Tri-State event, scheduled for Sunday, November 24, will be hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.

Mazzeo comes back from hot seat loss to win his first Tri-State title

(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.