LAPT7 Panama: Ortiz outlasts Olvera, makes history with second LAPT title

It had taken just 26 hands to play down from eight players to two at the LAPT7 Panama Main Event. And when Guillermo Olvera and Fabian Ortiz returned to begin heads-up, it soon appeared as though they might only need one more to end it.

Following an Olvera open for 200,000, Ortiz called and the pair saw a flop come A♥[10c]7♠. Ortiz checked, Olvera continued for 200,000, Ortiz check-raised to 500,000, and Olvera called. Both then checked the 4♠ turn.

The river brought the 3♥, and after Oritz checked, Olvera jammed all in. Ortiz tanked for a couple of minutes, then called with 6♣3♣ for fifth pair. But Olvera had him beat with J♥[10d], and had jumped up to around 4.2 million -- still, however, behind Ortiz's 6.6 million.

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Over the next several hands Ortiz would chip Olvera back down again below 2 million, but the Mexican would slowly work his way back, adding to a neatly constructed wall of chips that was gradually earning new additions in front of him.

By the time they'd reached the end of the level at which point they took a 15-minute break, Olvera had built up to 3,590,000, just about half of Ortiz's 7,245,000.

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Fabian Ortiz

The pair sat back down, at it was at that point the two decided they might might to discuss a plan to change the payouts, currently scheduled as $158,485 for first and $99,560 for second.

Some numbers were crunched, and it was agreed that Ortiz would be guaranteed $128,930, Olvera $114,115, and $15,000 would be left on the side for which to play.

There was still much else on the line, too, of course -- a possible second LAPT title for Ortiz to tie Team PokerStars Pro Nacho Barbero's record or a possible first ever LAPT win for Mexico should Olvera come back.

The first hand back Ortiz took a chunk off Olvera after rivering a flush, and soon the latter was back down under 2 million with Ortiz the one adding to the sides of his honeycomb-shaped stack.

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Soon a hand arose that saw the pair reach the turn with the board showing 2♣4♥8♦7♣, at which Olvera checked, Ortiz bet, and Olvera called. The river brought the 8♣ and another check from Olvera, and when Ortiz quickly bet 575,000, Olvera thought for two full minutes before calling.

Ortiz quickly rolled over Q♣6♣ for a flush, and Olvera mucked, having been knocked down to less than 500,000.

Olvera found a double on the next hand when his K♥Q♣ held against Ortiz's K♣J♠. A couple of hands later Olvera would be all in again with 4♣4♥ versus Ortiz's Q♦9♥, and the 2♣J♦3♥5♣A♠ board gave Olvera a wheel and another double to about 1.5 million.

Again Ortiz chipped Olvera down, and again Olvera pushed all in, this time surviving with A♥6♥ versus Ortiz's A♦4♣. He'd double again in a hand played out to the river, correctly calling Ortiz's fifth street shove with third pair.

That brought the number of double-ups to five since heads-up began. The pair continued for another lengthy stretch, then with Olvera sitting behind 1,855,000 he opened for 250,000 from the button. Ortiz responded by shoving all in, and Olvera decided to think about it.

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Guillermo Olvera

Eventually a smile broke out over Olvera's face, and after the pair exchanged a chuckle the Mexican made the call.

Olvera: A♦7♦
Ortiz: K♣7♥

Olvera had the edge, but some recalled a heads-up hand from several years ago, the one that had ended the LAPT2 Chile Main Event in Viña del Mar when Ortiz had won the title with K♦7♣.

The 8♥7♠4♥ flop gave both sevens while keeping Olvera ahead. Then came the turn... the K♠!

A shout from the crowd came in response to Ortiz's good fortune, and a moment later the dealer delivered the river. It was the J♥, and after more than two hours of heads-up play, Ortiz had won.

Olvera earns that nice prize of $114,115 thanks to the deal, while Ortiz gets a first prize of $143,930 and a place in the LAPT record books.

Back in a few with a recap of an exciting final day of poker in Panama.

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.