Blair @blur5f6 Hinkle began dominating final table play 5-handed, chipping down opponents without often playing big pots against them. He kept that same strategy going once heads-up against Novato's John Sheehan.
Heads-up play began with Hinkle holding almost a 3-1 chiplead, and while Sheehan occasionally pulled to within 2-1, he rarely came closer for the first 3 levels, but stacks evened and one hand made the difference.
Some 9 hours after final table play began, Hinkle moved in for 6.8 million and Sheehan called off his 6 milly stack. Hinkle's 8-7 outdrew Sheehan's A-T - Hinkle hit trips against Johnny Trips and took the title. Hinkle wins the $223,411 top prize and a $3600 2017 HPT Championship Event package.
Derrick Geliberte, Saurabh Patel, Daniel Maor, Lance Donnell, Marty Verdegaal, Hoang Vang and Ian Kalman rounded out the final table cashes.
The Season XII Player of the Year race was also decided here at Thunder Valley, with Kansas City champ Ryan Gregor holding off Cord Garcia for the POY title and entries into six HPT Main Events next season.
Garcia took 14th in the Championship Event held at Thunder Valley. Other notables cashing were Roger Campbell (10th) Julie Cornelius (13th) Aaron Thomas (18th) Jay Friedman (19th) Duke Lee (20th) Tyler Patterson (26th) Casey Carroll (27th) and Jermaine Gerlin (30th).
Players who came for the Championship Event and made Day 2 but did not cash included JC Tran, Mark Newhouse, Greg Raymer, Aditya Prasetyo, Allen Kessler, Neil Blumenfield, Amir Lehavot, Kathy Liebert, Ryan D'Angelo, Craig Casino, Stan Jablonski, Loren Klein, Lee Markholt, Chan Pelton and Darren Rabinowitz.