After three long days of intense, high-action, short-handed no-limit hold'em, it ended in a flash as Matt "Hoss_TBF" Hawrilenko defeated Josh Brikis heads up in just four hands to win the last WSOP gold bracelet of the summer, and a whopping $1,003,163.
Hawrilenko tops a field of 928 that included many formidable online and live pros, just 16 of whom made it through to today's final day of play.
Among those who made it, Eugene Katchalov suffered some early bad luck and went out in 15th. Peter Feldman, another dangerous foe, was among the chip leaders when play began today, but he also suffered a couple of unfortunate hands and ended the day in 14th.
James St. Hilaire had built a sizable chip advantage by then, but he, too, ran into a couple of rough hands -- one huge one with Josh Brikis in which the latter spiked a queen on the river to win with A-Q versus St. Hilaire's A-K -- and went out in 9th.
Soon they had reached the seven-handed final table, from which Robert Kay (7th), Matthew Waxman (6th), and Jonas Wexler (5th) were the first to go. The remaining four battled for some time before Sean Keeton, after battling gamely with the short stack for some time, was finally eliminated by Hawrilenko. Three-handed then lasted another hour before Faraz Jaka took pocket queens up against Hawrilenko's ace-king, and Hawrilenko won the race.
Hawrilenko had just over 9 million to Brikis' almost 5 million when heads up began. And just four hands later it was suddenly all over. Congratulations to Matt Hawrilenko, who after a dozen WSOP cashes and four final tables has finally broken through to win his first WSOP gold bracelet!
Thanks for following our coverage of Event No. 56 on PokerNews, and be sure to come back tomorrow for Day 1a of the Main Event!