The $1,500 Main Event of Latin American Poker Tour Panama wrapped up May 16 at Sortis Hotel, Spa & Casino, and Colombia's Andres Carrillo topped a field of 553 for his biggest career cash of $138,225 and his country's second LAPT title.
Aaron Mermelstein, who has been crushing to the tune of nearly $1.5 million and two World Poker Tour titles since the beginning of 2015, finished third.
Official Final Table Results
|6||Paul Cukier||Costa Rica||$29,880|
Bryan Schultz (49th), Matthew Wantman (37th), Hunter Cichy (35th), and David Tuthill (28th) were some of the notable players making runs into the 79 paid places.
According to the live updates, the final table kicked off with Carrillo nursing a stack of just over 20 big blinds, sitting in seventh place out of eight.
Carrillo waited it out at first and picked some spots to shove, as Spaniard Raul Paez, who came in with the chip lead and the most tournament cashes at about $1.9 million, kept command early on. Mermelstein, meanwhile, came in with the second-place stack but fell to the short stack by the first break.
Carrillo made a big hand at Level 27 (25,000/50,000/5,000), calling a raise from Paez and then a continuation-bet on a flop. Paez paid off bets of 160,000 on the turn and 300,000 on the river, and Carrillo showed a flush, . That pushed Carrillo past 2 million and he had moved into the lead with 2.68 million by the time the next level began, with Mermelstein doubling up in a race in the mean time.
Anderson Blanco then busted seventh, catching a bad break when Carrillo called his three-bet and the two got it in on a flop with Blanco holding aces and Carrillo eights. The turn gave Carrillo a winning straight.
Mermelstein stayed alive courtesy of a two-outer with fours against kings, and it took awhile before the next two players went bust, Paul Cukier in sixth and Paez in fifth. Then, Mermelstein won a big race against fellow American Austin Peck to send him packing in fourth.
Carrillo was the shortest stack with 32 big blinds, neither Mermelstein nor chip leader Ruben Suarez was far ahead of him. After the dinner break, Suarez made a major misstep when he tried limping the small blind and shoving over a large raise from Carrillo, who snapped him off with and held against .
The players battled a few more levels before a short-stacked Mermelstein saw his run end after jamming 11 big blinds with and getting looked up by Carrillo, who showed and won unimproved.
Suarez and Carrillo were about even heads up, and Carrillo ended things when Suarez opened to 500,000 at Level 34 (120,000/240,000/30,000) and Carrillo called. He checked and Suarez shoved all in, with Carrillo calling holding for a flush draw. He trailed Suarez's , but turned some more outs when the hit. The river completed his flush and sent the LAPT title his way.