Nick Pupillo Wins HPT Black Hawk for $194,478 & Second Title
On Sunday, the $1,650 Heartland Poker Tour Black Hawk Main Event came to an end as poker pro Nick Pupillo topped a 588-entry field to win his second HPT title and a $194,478 first-place prize. He did so by defeating HPT legend Reginald “Shawn” Roberts in heads-up play.
"I got lucky when I needed to and played well throughout," Pupillo said after the victory. "I'm pretty happy with how I played. Shawn's a very good competitor and it was a good match. I'm going to try to keep [the money] this time. And play more HPTs, of course."
Pupillo’s first HPT win came back in 2015 when he took down the HPT East Chicago for $120,537. More recently, he won the WSOP Circuit Thunder Valley Main Event in September of last year for $170,286, which he followed by finishing runner-up in the WSOPC Horseshoe Hammond Main less than a month later for $186,823. All told, Pupillo has won more than $2.3 million in his poker career.
HPT Black Hawk Main Event Final Table Results
|1||Nick Pupillo||Gilbert, Arizona||$194,478|
|2||Reginald “Shawn” Roberts||Nixa, Missouri||$120,146|
|3||John Sacha||Denver, Colorado||$78,743|
|4||Daniel Wojcik||Las Vegas, Nevada||$54,714|
|5||Karim Abuzar||Denver, Colorado||$39,761|
|6||Jack Peterson||Littleton, Colorado||$30,858|
|7||Ryan Dodson||Denver, Colorado||$25,931|
|8||Mike Itoafa||Littleton, Colorado||$21,609|
|9||Dapo Ajayi||Gainesville, Florida||$17,287|
Others to cash the Main Event were WSOP bracelet winner Adrian Buckley (11th - $13,311), Craig Casino (18th - $7,606), Matt Livingston (28th - $4,754), Aaron Frei (31st - $4,754), Colossus II champ Ben Keeline (42nd - $3,976), Khoa Nguyen (52nd - $3,371), and Wally Printz (59th - $3,112).
Final Table Action
The first player to fall was Dapo Ajayi, who lost ace-queen to Jack Peterson’s pocket sevens, and he was followed out the door by 2018 MSPT Denver Poker Open champ Mike Itoafa, a dentist by trade. Itoafa busted after running ace-queen smack dab into Karim Abuzar’s Big Slick.
Ryan Dodson bowed out in seventh place losing a flip with pocket nines to Roberts’ ace-queen, and Peterson took his leave after losing ace-jack to the ace-king of Daniel Wojcik. Abuzar was then straightened out by John Sacha, a 2009 HPT Black Hawk champ, before Wojcik jammed ace-deuce and failed to get there against Pupillo’s ace-queen.
Pupillo proceeded to bust Sacha in third place – the result of the latter’s queen-ten suited failing to get there against the former’s king-queen – and that allowed him to take a more than 2:1 chip lead into heads-up play. Before long, Roberts shoved with ace-nine and Pupillo called with king-eight. An eight on the flop was the final nail in the coffin for Roberts, who owns a solar company in Missouri.
Roberts, a three-time HPT champ who was making his 13th appearance at an HPT final table, earned $120,146 for his runner-up finish, which puts him within an HPT win of overtaking the all-time HPT money list from Craig Casino.
"I'm pretty happy with the way things went today," Roberts said. "I felt like I maximized what I had."
The HPT heads to St. Louis next for the first event at the Hollywood Hotel & Casino. The series kicks off March 7 and runs through March 18.
Images c/o HPT & Hold'em Radio
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