LAPT8 Bahamas: Josh Kay carries the day, wins Main Event, $367K
"I just pretty much let everybody else battle," said Josh Kay, winner of the first ever LAPT Bahamas Main Event, explaining his plan to "hang out until the end."
Kay was referring to the situation of coming to the final table with the chip lead versus a formidable group of some of poker's greats, including EPT heroes, those with WSOP gold, and others with the skill and knowledge of how best to close in major tournaments such as this one.
And so Kay did sit tight, chipping up somewhat while watching Martin Finger -- the EPT Prague Main Event winner, the EPT London Super High Roller champ, and WSOP bracelet holder -- knock out all but one of the other final tablists to carry a big chip lead into heads-up versus Kay.
That's when Kay got aggressive. And after a day's worth of the cards going Finger's way, they started going against him, too. Soon Kay had won all of the chips and could hold the trophy aloft, the first Main Event winner of Season 8 of the Latin American Poker Tour.
Just 11 players were left to start today from the 736-entry field that had created a $1,945,248 prize pool, just shy of the biggest ever for the LAPT. Early action saw Kyle Frey fall in 11th and Aaron Massey in 10th, and the final nine assembled around a single table with Kay still then the leader.
2011 PCA Main Event champion Galen Hall would go out next in ninth in a hand versus Finger, and while Kay still had the edge to start the official final table, the German had already begun his surge upward. (Check out final table profiles here.)
Finger would first take care of the Italian Mustapha Kanit in eighth using a pair of red aces to do so.
Those same two red aces would find their way into Finger's fingers again shortly thereafter, and he'd use them once more to bounce Jonathan Borenstein of the U.S. from the tournament in seventh.
2013 PCA Main Event champion Dimitar Danchev of Bulgaria started the day among the leaders, but had trouble establishing any rhythm and after getting short took K♦9♦ up against Finger's A♠8♠. And like was happening to everyone else tangling with Finger, Danchev, too, would fall, going out in sixth.
The American Taylor Paur (fifth) and the Polish player Jose Carlos Garcia (fourth) were the next two to go. In Paur's case Finger was responsible yet again after flopping two pair versus Paur's one.
Meanwhile for Garcia it was Stefan Jedlicka who eliminated him after Jedlicka's A♦Q♣ held against Garcia's A♠6♥.
But Jedlicka couldn't get anything going thereafter, and after a sequence of three hands didn't go the Austrian's way he went out in third, with Finger yet again claiming the victim's chips.
Finger continued to keep his momentum during the early part of heads-up against Kay, but as mentioned above the tide began to turn. Soon everything was going against the German and for the player from Michigan, and after a series of hands culminating in a flopped set for Kay, the latter came away with the win.
When asked what he planned to do with his newfound riches, Kay spoke not of celebrations but savings, mentioning his family and two-year-old son. It sounds like he's just going to sit tight again and hang out a bit, looking to the future and other good things to come.
Here's how the final table payouts went, with a list of all 111 players who cashed in the event available as well by clicking here.
LAPT8 Bahamas Main Event final table results
Prize pool: $1,945,248
Places paid: 111
1st: Josh Kay (U.S.) -- $367,928
2nd: Martin Finger (Germany) -- $223,900
3rd: Stefan Jedlicka (Austria) -- $158,740
4th: Jose Carlos Garcia (Poland) -- $119,820
5th: Taylor Paur (U.S.) -- $94,920
6th: Dimitar Danchev (Bulgaria) -- $71,780
7th: Jonathan Borenstein (U.S.) -- $51,540
8th: Mustapha Kanit (Italy) -- $35,200
Thanks for following our coverage of LAPT8 Bahamas the last three days, including all of the great images from the event provided by our photographer Carlos Monti. And stick close to the PokerStars blog for continuing coverage of the PCA Main Event and more as there's still much more to come from the Atlantis.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.