Poker players traveling to the Bahamas for the 2015 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure found a new event to play in this year's festival. Season 8 of the Latin American Poker Tour kicked off on Wednesday at the Atlantis Resort with the start of the $3,000 LAPT Bahamas Main Event, a tournament which ultimately smashed the expected attendance number by drawing a total of 736 entries to create a $1,945,248 prize pool.
After three days of play, Josh Kay was the last player standing. The Florida native bested German high roller Martin Finger heads-up for the title to claim the biggest score of his career ($367,928).
Kay entered the final day as the chip leader but sat back as Finger eliminated all but one player at the final table. Both players were deepstacked when heads-up play began, and Kay chipped away to reclaim the chip lead and eventually the title.
"It's unbelievable," Kay told PokerNews after his win. "I couldn't imagine that I was going to win this tournament but everything went right. It's really awesome."
LAPT Final Table Results
|4||Jose Carlos Garcia||$119,820|
Team Pros Jonathan Duhamel, Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier, Christian de Leon, Eugene Katchalov, Liv Boeree, Leo Fernandez and Victor Ramdin were among in the massive starting field on Wednesday. The first day came to a close with 183 remaining and Mukul Pahuja on top. One day later only 11 remained, including two former PCA Main Event winners in Galen Hall and Dimitar Danchev, as well as well-known poker pros Mustapha Kanit, Stefan Jedlicka and Aaron Massey.
Hall returned Friday as one of the short stacks and joined Massey and Kyle Frey on the rail just shy of the final table. On the bubble, Hall moved all in preflop with pocket sevens and was flipping against Finger's ace-queen, and the board sent Hall packing and secured the final table.
Kanit, who placed fourth in last year's PCA $25,000 High Roller, couldn't fare better in this one as he was clipped by Finger's and settled for eighth place. Finger picked up the same red aces a short while later and used them to eliminate Jonathan Borenstein in seventh place.
Finger continued to play executioner when he mowed down Danchev in sixth place. Finger raised to 100,000 from the cutoff and Danchev shoved for 950,000 from the button. Action folded back to Finger who once again called in a dominating position.
The board gave Danchev a small sweat on the turn but he was unable to improve on the river, sending him out of the tournament.
Paur and Jose Carlos Garcia were eliminated on back-to-back hands to leave only three rmaining. First, Paur three-bet over the top of a Finger open, and the German called to see a flop. Paur led out for 295,000 and Finger called, bringing the on the turn. Paur opted to check-call a bet of 450,000, and the completed the board on the river. Paur checked again and this time Finger put his opponent to a decision for all of his chips. Paur quickly called with the for two pair, but Finger rolled over for a better two pair to knock out the WSOP bracelet winner in fifth place.
Garcia met his demise on the very next hand when he three-bet shoved for 980,000 over the top of Jedlicka's opening raise. Jedlicka called and was way out in front with against , and the board ran out an uneventful .
Jedlicka, an Austrian pro known as "mindgamer" on PokerStars, lost three key hands while three-handed that ultimately sent him to the rail. The final nail in the coffin came when Finger shoved all in with pocket sevens and Jedlicka called off with the . Finger flopped a set and that was it for Jedlicka who pocketed $158,740 for his three days of work.
Finger had a two-to-one lead over the quiet Kay when the two began their heads-up match, but Kay gained steam with the help of a timely flop. Finger opened with a raise from the button and Kay called to see the dealer fan . Kay checked, Finger bet 140,000 and Kay check-raised to 390,000. Finger called, bringing the on the turn. Kay bet 800,000 and Finger called again.
The river was the and Kay shoved for 1.8 million. Finger paused in his seat before placing calling chips into the pot. His for a flopped two pair was second best to Kay who had flopped the nuts with the . Suddenly it was Kay who had nearly a two-to-one lead, and he never looked back from there.
On the final hand of the tournament, Finger raised to 160,000 with the and Kay three-bet to 450,000 with pocket nines. The flop drilled Kay and he led out for 325,000. Finger called and saw the improve his hand on the turn. Kay checked to set the trap and Finger bet 525,000. Kay announced all-in, having his opponent covered, and Finger spent several minutes in the tank before committing the rest of his stack.
Finger needed a jack to make a straight and win the pot, but it wasn't meant to be as the arrived on the river to complete Kay's comeback and make him the first champion on the LAPT in Season 8.
Stay tuned to PokerNews for continuing coverage of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure!