After a grueling heads-up battle and plenty of Day 2 swings, Daniel Swartz waded his way through 46 returning players and held on to win the Hollywood Poker Open Columbus Regional $1,115 Main Event, a tournament that attracted 294 entries and created a prize pool of $294,000. Swartz came in as the chip leader — having bagged a huge stack at the end of Saturday's Day 1a – and used it to navigate his way to the winner's circle for $70,560 and a $2,500 seat to next month's HPO Championship Main Event in Las Vegas.
Swartz's victory came after defeating the red-hot Nick Pupillo in heads-up play. Earlier in the month Pupillo, an Mid-States Poker Tour Team Pro, took down the Heartland Poker Tour East Chicago for $120,537, and then followed that up a week later with a sixth-place finish in the MSPT FireKeepers for $27,031.
Final Table Results
|3||Iverson "Cotton" Snuffer||$29,400|
Swartz weathered large swings and fatigue to outlast the likes of Doug Holland (15th) and Ken Moore (12th) on his way to the final table. The stacked final table was pared down to five somewhat quickly, and then play slowed as stacks got deep and players picked their spots.
Once chip leader Stephen Siska busted in fifth – the result of losing a big pot to Swartz — Ryan Austin fell in fourth place, again shortly after dumping significant chips to Swartz. Ivan "Cotton" Snuffer was next to exit in third, and that set up a long heads-up battle between Swartz and Pupillo.
Pupillo, who has been crushing all kinds of souls on the circuit as of late, wanted the title, money and trophy badly, but could not finish the job this time around. In what would be the last hand of the tournament, which happened in Level 29 (40,000/80,000/5,000), Swartz limped and then snap-called when Pupillo moved all in.
Pupillo, who was recently the subject of a PokerNews feature piece, had some major kicker issues, and they didn't get resolved on the flop. The turn actually gave both players tens and fours with a king kicker, but the chop disappeared when the completed the board on the river. Both players made kings and tens, but of course the jack kicker of Swartz was best.
While victory eluded Pupillo in the Main Event, it's worth noting that he did take down Event #22 $235 No-Limit Hold'em Deepstack while in Columbus, good for $6,435.
Congratulations to Swartz on becoming the latest HPO champion. We'll see him next month from June 26-28 for the HPO $2,500 Championship Event at the M Resort in Las Vegas. Rest assured the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be providing live updates from that event.