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Chris Farrell chalks up his first recorded, regional tour win on Garden State Pool Tour

By their design, split/separate brackets in a tournament are intended to keep the lower-ranked (Fargo-rated) players separated from their greater-skilled (higher Fargo-rated) brethren until late in the event process. This avoids circumstances that would force a mythical, low Fargo-rated ‘John Smith’ from paying an entry fee and then drawing Shane Van Boening in an opening round of play. Players in the separate brackets compete against similarly-rated players until the two brackets get closer to the end, at which point, our mythical ‘John Smith’ might be slated to play Shane Van Boening anyway, although at a point when ‘John’ has presumably played and won a series of matches that have at least allowed him to practice a little before doing so.

Chris Farrell started out in the lower bracket (525 & lower Fargo Rate) at this past weekend’s (Feb. 4-5) stop on the Garden State Pool Tour and thanks to the efforts of a fellow, lower-bracket competitor (Juan Taveras), faced a competitor from the upper bracket (526 to 675) only once, battling for the hot seat. Taveras lost his opening match in the lower bracket to Mike Strassberg and then proceeded to win eight on the loss side for the right to meet Farrell in the finals. Farrell went undefeated through the field, downing Taveras in the final. The $150-added event drew 37 entrants (17 upper bracket and 20 lower bracket) to Breaker Billiards in Clifton, NJ. 

Farrell’s path went through Gil Costello, Bob Toomey and Brenda C. Martinez, arriving at a winners’ side semifinal against Brook Villa. Christian Taeza, in the meantime, working initially from the upper bracket, received an opening round bye before sending Jim Conn, Alfredo Altamarino and Frank Rodriguez to the loss side and picking up Bill Meima in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Farrell downed Villa, double hill, advancing to meet his only upper bracket opponent, Taeza, who joined him in the hot seat match after defeating Meima 6-3.

On the loss side, Meima drew an immediate rematch against Rodriguez, who’d moved to the loss side and defeated Jim Conn, double hill, and Levi Lampaan 4-4 (Lampaan racing to 6). Villa drew Taveras, who was five matches into his loss-side streak and had recently won his rematch against Strassberg 6-2 and downed Martinez, double hill.

Taveras chalked up loss-side win #6, defeating Villa 6-2 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Meima, who’d sent Rodriguez home 5-3. Taveras then gave up only a single rack to Meima in those quarterfinals.

Taveras also gave up just a single rack to his upper bracket opponent in the semifinals, Christian Taeza before advancing to meet Farrell in the finals. Farrell completed his undefeated run with an 8-6 win in that final match to claim the event title.

Tour director Dave Fitzpatrick, assisted by Jennifer Pedutem, thanked the ownership and staff at Breaker Billiards for their hospitality, along with sponsors Billiards Engineering, JFlowers Cues and Cases, IntheBX, Off the Rail Apparel, Kamui, John Bender Custom Cues and Outsville. The next stop on the Garden State Pool Tour, scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 25-26, will be hosted by Diamond Jim’s Billiards and Pub in Nanuet, NY.

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Cangialosi and Pross split top prizes on Predator Tri-State Tour

James Cangiosi and Christine Pross

There was a time, a number of years ago, when almost every stop on the Tri-State Tour (now, the Predator Tri-State Tour) featured a competitor who was recording his or her first cash payout and tour victory anywhere. With the onset of the COVID pandemic and the transfer of Predator sponsorship of Tony Robles’ Predator Pro Am Tour to the Tri-State Tour, it would appear that those days are back. This past weekend, Saturday, Dec. 3, a stop on the Predator Tri-State Tour featured a winner and runner-up who recorded their first cash payouts anywhere. Christine Pross went undefeated to the hot seat at a $500-added, ABCD 9-Ball event that drew 35 entrants to Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ, before agreeing, with James Cangialosi, to split the top two prizes.

Their first and only match occurred in their battle for the hot seat. Pross, who would become the event’s official winner, had advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Steve Persaud, while Cangialosi battled Alfredo Altamarino. Pross won a double hill battle versus Persaud, as Cangialosi won a 7-3 contest against Altamarino. Pross claimed the hot seat 8-4 in what proved to be her final match.

On the loss side, Persaud picked up Dennis Feliciano, who’d lost his first match of the event against Bob Robideau and embarked on a six-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently included a successful rematch against Robideau 7-3 and the elimination of James Ehrig 7-5. Altamarino drew Frank Kasatta, who was also working on a six-match, loss-side streak that would end in the quarterfinals and had also included a recent successful rematch against Jennifer Pass (7-5) and the elimination of Dennis Feliciano III 8-5. 

Persaud downed Feliciano 7-4 and in the quarterfinals, matched up against Kasatta, who’d defeated Altamarino 6-4. Persaud ended Kasatta’s loss-side streak 6-1 in those quarterfinals. 

Cangialosi earned himself a second shot at Pross, waiting for him in the hot seat, with a 7-5 victory over Persaud in the semifinals. Pross and Cangialosi allowed their one and only match, battling for the hot seat, to stand as the defining match. They opted to not play again and as occupant of the hot seat, Pross became the official winner.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Family Billiards for their hospitality, along with title sponsor Predator Cues. This event was the last 2022 event of the Predator Tri-State Tour’s 2022-2023 season. A schedule for the 2023 portion of the season has yet to be released. Consult the tour’s listing under the “Tours/Events” tab on the front page of our Web site, which will post further information as it becomes available to us.

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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.