@MauriceHawkins fought back from a 4-1 deficit in a lengthy heads-up battle against HB Sablotny to become the August 2018 @HPTPoker @AmeristarSC Champion, earning $113,322. Sablotny cashes for $71,743 as runner-up.
Hawkins was running over the final table early on, moving from 1.6 million to as high as 3.7 million. He went downhill fast when 3-handed play began, falling as low as 800k of the 10.4 million in play. A triple-up to 2.7 million sent his stack back upwards.
Sablotny and Hawkins played heads-up for more than three hours, staying close to even the first two hours, before Sablotny opened to a 4-1 chiplead over the next hour. Hawkins rapidly regained his composure, his chip, and then closed out Sablotny in a massive cooler, his 5-7 > A-6 by flopping a straight against a turned two pair.
Sablotny began the final table just shy of 1.5 million, scoring the first elimination of the day when he ended Steve Graham's day in 9th place to move to 1.9 million. He took the chiplead by eliminating Ryan Julius had held that lead much of the rest of the tournament.
Keith Heine was the tournament short stack with 19 players left, having just 8BB. he doubled with 18 left, managed a short stack to the final table and worked all the way to a third-place finish, cashing for $48,042.
Alan Perry (4th, $33,506) and Daniel Loizzo (5th, $25,130) were next in line to cash.
John Richards had his Kings cracked by the Sevens of Loizzo to finish 6th for $19,710. Richards has the best long-term run at this location, finishing 8th, 9th, 14th and 16th in HPT St Charles Main Events since 2014.
Julius, Greg Wood and Graham rounded out the final table finishers.
Those who cashed but came up short of the final table included Craig Welko (15) Brock McCoy (21), Mike Kamenjarin (22), Patrick Ray (29), Debbie Phillips (32), Josh Turner (33) and Jerod Smith (36).
Among those who came out for the HPT St. Charles Main Event but did not find the money was Ari Engel, Blair Hinkle, Greg Raymer, Greg Radosh, Nick Pupillo (the money bubble), Gary Herstein, Will Berry, James Mackey, Allen Kessler, Shawn Roberts, Mike VanderWoude, Shawm McCracken, Mary Sturges, Mike Rieck, Paul Belken, Nick Davidson, Roger Campbell, Sameer Al-Dbhany, Neil Patel, Darryl Ronconi and Bruce Hugon.
Here's the final results.
-- Dan Ross, Hold'em Live Updates