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Serrano goes undefeated to claim Tri-State Tour stop

Serrafin Serrano, Andrew Butler and Miguel LaBoy

For the second time in as many weeks, Serrafin Serrano found himself in the hot seat during a Tri-State Tour stop. Two weeks ago (March 15), his victory in a winners' side final proved to be his last. On Sunday, March 29, at a $750-added event that drew 20 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ, he faced and defeated his hot seat match opponent, Andrew Butler, twice to claim the event title.
Serrano came within a game of visiting the loss side sooner. After surviving a double hill opening round battle against Chris Kelly, Serrano went on to defeat William Dang and Clive Rose, before winning his second double hill fight against Kevin Scalzitti, in a winners' side semifinal. Butler, in the meantime, defeated Mike Esposito 6-4 in the other. Serrano came within a game of a second straight double hill match, but claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Butler.
Scalzitti and Esposito moved to the losers' bracket and had their bids for any loss-side run back to the finals squashed immediately, though not, for both of them, without a double hill fight. Miguel Laboy, who'd defeated Luis Jiminez 8-3 and Clive Rose 8-7, eliminated Scalzitti in a second straight double hill match. Ambi Estevez, who'd gotten by Tony Ignomirello, double hill, and Bob Toomey 6-3, finished Esposito's day in the same way.
Ambi Estevez was called away from the event and forced to forfeit the subsequent quarterfinal match, advancing LaBoy to face Butler in the semifinals. Butler dominated 9-3 and got a second shot at Serrano in the hot seat.
Butler opened with a pair of racks that were quickly matched by Serrano for the first of only two tie scores. The second would knot things at 3-3. Serrano took a two-rack lead at 5-3 that while reduced to one, twice, was there at the 7-5 end, allowing to Serrano to claim the event title, undefeated.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Ron Vitello, Focus Cases by John Barton, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, and Focus Apparel. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Saturday, April 4, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards, in Astoria (Queens), NY.