LAPT7 Panama: Ortiz on a roll as four more fall

The Fabian Ortiz express in running in high gear. Four players were eliminated before Level 29 could finish, with the Argentinian responsible for three of the knockouts.

Hogaza hits rail in seventh

On the very next hand after Hugo Lemaire's exit in eighth, a huge three-way hand developed between chip leader Fabian Ortiz, Antonio Hogaza, and Javier Rios.

It started with a raise to 180,000 (a little more than 2x) from Ortiz from middle position, with calls from both Rios (hijack) and Hogaza (big blind).

The flop came 3♥7♣A♦, and when checked to Ortiz continued for 485,000. Rios meditated a while before calling the bet, and Hogaza also thought a while before calling.

The turn was the Q♥ and Hogaza checked again. This time Ortiz bet 555,000, and after another brief tank Rios called once more, leaving himself about a million behind. Hogaza then check-raised all in for 925,000, and Ortiz came back with an over-the-top shove that forced Rios to let go of his hand.

Hogaza had A♣K♠ for top pair of aces, but alas for him Ortiz had A♠A♥ for an unbeatable set. The 5♥ meaninglessly completed the board, and Hogaza was done in seventh for $25,560.

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Antonio Hogaza - 7th place

Rios run out in sixth

Guillermo Olvera would then enjoy two double-ups on the next two hands, first through Rios with A♣K♦ versus the latter's A♦7♥, then through Suarez in a hand that saw the pair get it in on the turn after Olvera had flopped a set of nines versus Suarez's top pair of aces, and the hand held.

A couple of hands later Olvera was raising again, this time to 170,000 from the cutoff seat, and when Rios reraised all in for 355,000 from the small blind, Olvera called.

Olvera had 8♦8♠ and was dominating Rios's 8♣6♣. The 9♠J♦[10d] did provide some split-pot possibilities, but the 6♥ turn and A♣ river didn't help Rios, and he hit the rail in sixth ($34,240).

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Javier Rios - 6th place

Suarez sunk in fifth

The action continued unabated from there with Alexander Haber doubling through Nick Russo, then a short-stacked Russo doubling back right through Haber.

Then when Ortiz opened with a min-raise to 200,000 from under the gun, Hugo Suarez reraised all in for 330,000 from the button and Ortiz called.

Ortiz: A♣8♣
Suarez: A♥Q♣

The 3♦2♥J♦ flop was safe for Suarez, but the 8♥ spiked on the turn to hit the red-hot running Ortiz's hand. The river was the 5♥, and Suarez was out in fifth for $43,580.


Hugo Suarez - 5th place

Russo rolls out in fourth

Then as Level 29 came to a close, Nick Russo open-pushed for 540,000 from under the gun, and Ortiz reraise-shoved from the small blind.

Russo had K♦2♣, and Ortiz rolled over his hand... A♥A♣! How hot can a player be?

The community cards came K♠6♥[10c]8♣3♣, and Russo was out in fourth for $55,560.

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Nick Russo - 4th place

What a rush! Ortiz -- seeking his second LAPT title -- is up over 7 million now, Olvera has about 2.5 million, and Haber is sitting just under 1 million left as Level 30 gets underway.

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Fabian Ortiz collecting knockouts, chips

Photography from LAPT7 Panama by Carlos Monti. Click here for live updates in Spanish, and here for live updates in Portuguese. Also check out the start-to-finish live streaming coverage (in both Spanish and Portuguese) at

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.