LAPT8 Panama: Iermolcheva leads the final eight

After three days of play, a field of 422 entrants was reduced to just eight.

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The final table

Leading the final eight is Olga Iermolcheva, with 2.71 million. Iermolcheva, a former PokerStars Protégé, barely made it to the tournament.

After playing in the EPT11 Grand Final, Iermolcheva flew straight to Panama and made it just before late registration closed.
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Olga Iermolcheva

Iermolcheva was short-stacked for much of that day but started chipping up on day 2. Then she took over Shakeeb Kazemipur's seemingly unstoppable lead.

Kazemipur, a 20-year-old university student from Canada, finished both day 1 and day 2 with the chip lead and is starting the final table second in chips with 1.5 million. Kazemipur won the Sunday Million in early April and decided to play the LAPT and backpack through South America with his winnings.

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Shakeeb Kazemipur

Not a bad summer break.

Venezuela's Tullio Bertoli is third in chips with 1.1 million. Tullio is the second Bertoli to make an LAPT final table. In the opening LAPT season, Tuillio's brother, Jesus, made the LAPT San Jose final table.

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Tullio Bertoli

This makes them the only pair of brothers to make LAPT final tables.

Everyone at the final table will also be chasing their first LAPT title. Aside from the personal history that would make for each player, there's a chance for LAPT history to be made.

The LAPT has yet to see a female champion.

Renata Teixeira has the record with a 2nd place finish, which she got just last stop in LAPT8 Chile. There, Teixeira started the heads-up match with the lead but lost out to Oscar Alache, who won his second LAPT title that trip.

Iermolcheva will be looking to improve that record.

Another novelty this LAPT final table is the way it's being shown. Players will be using fancy RFID cards and the final table is being shown with hole cards on a one-hour delay.

Check out that live feed right here.

The final table
Seat 1: Francois Lincourt (Canada) 890,000
Seat 2: Francisco Rocha (Chile 592,000
Seat 3: Shakeeb Kazemipur (Canada) 1,508,000
Seat 4: Derek Ecenarro (USA) 290,000
Seat 5: Pierce Mckellar (USA) 741,000
Seat 6: Olga Iermolcheva (Ukraine) 2,710,000
Seat 7: Damian Salas (Argentina) 488,000
Seat 8: Tullio Bertoli (Venezuela) 1,103,000

For multilingual coverage, check out our Spanish PokerStars Blog and our Brazilian PokerStars Blog. If you're more of a watcher, head over to LAPT Live to check out the live stream. Updates are also available on the LAPT Facebook page.

All photos are snapped by Carlos Monti and all words are clacked by Alexander Villegas.