LAPT7 Panama: Fabian fabulous! Ortiz becomes second ever two-time LAPT champion
After a three-hour final table bubble concluded play on Day 3, the final day of this season's Latin American Poker Tour Panama Main Event promised a quick start thanks to the several short stacks returning for the eight-handed final table.
It also promised the possibility of some LAPT history, with three players from Mexico hoping to earn the country's first ever tour title, and chip leader Fabian Ortiz of Argentina hoping to equal the long-standing record of his fellow countryman and Team PokerStars Pro Nacho Barbero by becoming the second player to win two LAPT titles.
It would take a dozen hands before the first elimination came, with the Frenchman Hugo Lemaire presently of Malta leaving in eighth after falling in a three-way hand.
Then came the deluge, with five quick knockouts coming in just 14 hands, four of them thanks to chip leader Ortiz.
The next four eliminations came in the space of just a few minutes, the all-ins coming practically every hand.
First Antonio Hogaza of Mexico hit the rail in seventh, his ace-king no match for Ortiz's pocket aces after the case ace came on the flop.
Guillermo Olvera would take care of the Colombian Javier Rios in sixth when the latter pushed his short stack with 8♣6♣ and couldn't overcome Olvera's pocket eights.
A few hands later Ortiz would be back at it, calling a Hugo Suarez preflop all-in push. Ortiz had A♣8♣ and was behind Suarez's A♥Q♣, but an eight came among the community cards to send the Mexican out in fifth.
Nick Russo was Ortiz's next victim, committing a short-stack with king-deuce and watching Ortiz roll over pocket aces... again! The Aussie was out in fourth and Ortiz had more than two-thirds of the chips in play.
Alexander Haber of Jamaica was the short stack with three left, and would hang on for a couple of hands before running into the Ortiz buzzsaw. All in with A♥7♠ against Ortiz's A♣J♥, no improvement came for Haber whose third-place finish catapults him to the top of the all-time money list for his country.
Ortiz had a better than 4-to-1 edge against Olvera to start heads-up play, but the latter doubled on the first hand between them to cut the edge to 2-to-1. They'd continue a while longer, then struck a deal to narrow the gap between the prize money.
There was still $15,000 left for which to play and the trophy, with Ortiz still gunning to match Barbero's mark and Olvera hoping to win a first LAPT for Mexico.
Olvera would manage to double four more times yet never could scrape back to close the gap, then finally came a hand in which he'd be at risk with A♦7♦ versus Ortiz's K♣7♥.
Olvera had the dominant hand, but when a king fell on fourth street Ortiz seized the lead. A river blank then sealed it, and Olvera had come one spot shy of the win.
Just like he'd done during Season 2 at the LAPT Chile event in Viña del Mar, Ortiz had won the final hand of a Main Event with king-seven. Talk about manos, hands of fate!
The fast start and slow finish matched yesterday's varied pace, with Ortiz's win excitingly punctuating a great week in Panama City.
Congratulations to Fabian Ortiz for topping a 550-entrant field to capture his second LAPT title!
LAPT7 Panama Main Event final table results
Prize pool: $826,925
Places paid: 79
1. Fabian Ortiz (Argentina) -- $143,930*
2. Guillermo Olvera (Mexico) -- $114,115*
3. Alexander Haber (Jamaica) -- $71,280
4. Nick Russo (Australia) -- $55,560
5. Hugo Suarez (Mexico) -- $43,580
6. Javier Rios (Colombia) -- $34,240
7. Antonio Hogaza (Mexico) -- $25,560
8. Hugo Lemaire (Malta) -- $17,700
*= reflects the results of a two-way deal that left $15,000 in play for the winner
Thanks for following our coverage of LAPT7 Panama all week, including the all of the great pictures from photographer Carlos Monti. See you next from Lima for LAPT7 Peru in October!
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.