The Latin American Poker Tour Season 8 Panama $2,500 Main Event, presented by PokerStars.net, attracted 422 entries to Sortis Hotel in Panama City and created a prize pool of $930,932.
The final table was filled with some interesting storylines, including the appearance of Ukraine's Olga Iermolcheva, who became the seventh woman to reach an LAPT final table, and Venezuela's Tullio Bertoli following in his brother Jesus' footsteps in making an LAPT final table, becoming the first pair of brothers to make the final table of a LAPT. Jesus was previously a finalist in 2008's LAPT San José. Bertoli and Iermolcheva finished in third and second places, respectively.
After a nine-hour battle at the final table, it was 20-year-old student Shakeeb Kazemipur who captured the $180,112 first-place prize and became the second Canadian in history to win an LAPT title.
"Never surrender," Kazemipur said after the win, and indeed he did not. After busting four times on Day 1a, Kazemipur reentered on Day 1b. He ended the that flight as the chip leader, and went on to prove the fifth time's the charm.
Final Table Results
According to the PokerStars Blog, Iermolcheva began the final table as the chip leader, which wasn't too much of a surprise considering several months back she was chosen from hundreds of players by Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov to be his protégé for the World Championship of Online Poker. Good training indeed.
The first elimination from the final table came when Kazemipur raised to 52,000 and American Derek Ecenarro three-bet shoved for 448,000. Kazemipur made the easy call and the cards were turned up.
The board ran out a clean , and Ecennaro was out the door in eighth place for $21,200. Before long, Pierce Mckellar and Damian Salas joined him on the rail in seventh and sixth places, respectively.
With five players remaining, Iermolcheva sent Canadian Francois Lincourt to the rail in a big hand. It happened Lincourt moved all in under the gun for his last 380000 and Iermolcheva re-shoved from the small blind.
The flop was big for Lincourt, who flopped a pair and open-ended straight flush draw, but he ended up making a full house with the running turn and river. Unfortunately for him, his sixes full of sevens was second best to Iermolcheva's sixes full of nines. Lincourt took home $50,740 for his fifth-place finish.
After the elimination of Chile's Francisco Rocha in fourth place, the aforementioned Bertoli fell in third. It happened when he got his stack all in preflop holding the only to run into the of Kazemipur. No miracle was to be had after the board ran out , and that left Kazemipur and Iermolcheva nearly even in chips.
The heads-up battle ended up being a three-hour affair, during which time Iermolcheva pulled out to a big lead. Unfortunately for her, Kazemipur doubled into the lead when his overcame her , and that was followed by what would be the final hand of the tournament.
In it, Kazemipur limped and Iermolcheva checked her option to see a flop of , which both players checked. When the appeared on the turn, Iermolcheva bet 200,000, Kazemipur called, and the completed the board on the river. Iermolcheva bet 500,000 and then called off after Kazemipur moved all in. Iermolcheva tabled the for flopped trips, but it was no good as Kazemipur had rivered a full house with the .
Iermolcheva took home $113,580 for her runner-up finish while Kazemipur was awarded the title and $180,112 top prize.
Andrés Jeckeln Captures High Roller Title
In addition to the Main Event, the stop saw the conclusion of the LAPT8 Panama High Roller, a tournament that attracted 45 entries including players such as Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari, Leo Fernandez, Chilean Andrés Herrera, Oscar Alache and Venezuelan Miguel Cieri, Miguel Alvarez and many others.
In the end, Argentina's Andrés Jeckeln, who finished runner-up in the LAPT8 Chile High Roller, defeated his best friend Richard Dubini in heads-up play to win the trophy and $ 69,735 prize money.
Final Table Results
The Latin American Poker Tour continues Season 8 in the city of Lima, Peru, in July. Satellites are running now on PokerStars.
*Photos courtesy of PokerStars Blog.