Chipleader to begin the final table, saved by a river King, back up to the lead and eventually to the title. Nick Pupillo is the HPT Black Hawk Champion, earning $194,487 for his second-largest career cash and his second HPT Main Event crown.
Pupillo defeated 3-time HPT Main Event champ Reginald 'Shawn' Roberts heads-up to claim the win. Roberts collected $120,146 as runner-up.
The three starting flights in Black Hawk, CO., combined to draw a 588-entry field, the players creating a prize pool of $864,360.
Although Pupillo began the nine-handed final table as chipleader, Roberts began shifting chips his way early on and Pupillo soon found himself facing an all-in for his tournament life when Roberts moved in on him.
Pupillo called with top pair, King kicker, on a Jack-high board, only to see Roberts holding Queens. Pupillo spiked a river King to remain in the tournament and Roberts came back to the back with that double to Pupillo. Roberts and Pupillo kept each other in check as final table play began, but it was another player who soon emerged as a force.
John Sacha began final table play as the short-stack and made a serious run at earning his second career HPT Black Hawk Main Event title. Sacha said he would win if he could climb to 3 million chips. He made it all the way to 10 million, then pretty much ran second-best to Pupillo for an entire hour before being eliminated by Pupillo in 3rd place, cashing for $78,743.
Pupillo began heads up play with nearly a 3-1 chiplead on Roberts, quickly extended that to a 6-1 chiplead, then calling to put Roberts at risk the first time Roberts moved his chips in.
Roberts and Pupillo were racing, A-9 for Roberts, K-8 for Pupillo. An 8 on the flop put Pupillo ahead, and he dodged Aces and nines on the turn and river for the win.
Daniel Wojcik (4th, $54,714), Karim Abuzar (5th, $39,761), Jack Peterson (6th, $30,858) Ryan Dodson (7th, $25,931), Mike Itoafa (8th, $21,609) and Dopa Ajayi (9th, $17,287) rounded out the final table cashes.
Others who cashes in the main event included Adrian Buckley (11th, $13,311), Shawn McCracken (12th, $13,311), Will Berry (13th, $9,940), Craig Casino (18th, $7,606), Alex Greenblatt (22nd, $5,705), Matt Livingston, (28th, $4,754), Aaron Frei (31st, $4,754), Teresa Hemingway (41st, $3,976), Ben Keeline (42nd, $3,976), James Carroll (48th, $3,371), Ed Sebesta (50th, $3,371) and defending champion Mike Englert (60th, $3,112).
Among those who came out for the main event but did not find a cash was Faraz Jaka, Allen Kessler, Ralph Massey, Aaron Massey, Josh Turner, Vince Moscati, Kevin Eyster, Nick Davidson, David Gutfreund, Danny Gonzales, Rich Dixon, Corey Zedo, Cary Marshall, Greg Geller, Nils Bardsely, Nader Wahdan, Svetlana Martie, Jay McVeigh, Bryan Johnson, Marty Gorenc, Shane Faulk and Fernando Galvan.
Here's the final results.
-- Dan Ross, Hold'em Live Updates