LAPT8 Panama: Shakeeb Kazemipur wins LAPT8 Panama
If at first you don't succeed, try and try and try again.
"Never surrender," Kazemipur told his rail of rowdy Canadians as he hoisted the trophy.
Kazemipur failed to make it through day 1a multiple times but gave it one more shot on day 1b. Since then, he's been an unstoppable force. Kazemipur ended both day 1 and day 2 with the chip lead and started the final table second in chips.
That didn't last too long. Kazemipur went on a knockout spree and eliminated every player at the final table except for one.
First, Kazemipur took care of the short stacks.
Derek Ecenarro was the first casualty. Ecenarro shoved his short stack with 9♦9♣ and Kazemipur called A♦A♠. Kazemipur called for a "nineball" for his opponent but none came.
Ecenarro was eliminated in 8th place and won $21,220. Then Kazemipur sent Pierce Mckellar to join him soon after. Mckellar made his move with Q♥T♥ and Kazemipur called with A♥3♠.
The board didn't improve Mckellar's hand and he was out in 7th and earned $29,880. Kazemipur's lead kept growing.
Next up was the short-stacked Damian Salas. Salas moved all-in with 5♦5♥ and was flipping against Kazemipur's A♣7♦.
Kazemipur paired his ace on the flop and his seven on the turn.
Salas won $39,760 for the 6th place finish and then Kazemipur got some help in the elimination department.
Iermolcheva took out Francois Lincourt --Kazemipur's countryman-- in 5th place. After Lincourt lost a big pot against Kazemipur, he moved all-in with 7♥5♥ and Iermolcheva called with 9♦9♣.
The 6♥7♠8♥ flop gave Lincourt a straight flush draw but the turn and river both brought sixes to give both players a full house. Lincourt got a $50,740 payaday for his 5th place finish
Iermolcheva scored an elimination but it was the last anyone besides Kazemipur would get.
In the other eliminations, Kazemipur had the lead or was involved in a flip. When he called Francisco Rocha's all-in bet, he was dominated.
But Kazemipur was unstoppable.
Rocha had K♥Q♣ to Kazemipur's K♦9♥ but Kazemipur hit the 9♥ on the flop. No help came for Rocha on the turn or river and he won $64,700 for finishing 4th.
After that, Kazemipur brought the tournament heads up with kings.
Tullio Bertoli moved all-in with A♦3♠ and Kazemipur snap-called with K♦K♠.
The board brought all low cards and Bertoli won $81,460 for the 3rd place finish.
Despite dealing all those eliminations, Iermolcheva had a slight lead to start the heads up match.
Kazemipur had the initiative early on but then Iermolcheva took a large lead. Kazemipur then maneuvered his short stack until he managed to double up and come back to win the tournament.
A short-stacked flipped for his tournament life with A♣K♥ against Iermlochova's J♥J♠. Kazemipur doubled up and then finished his last opponent with pocket aces, just like his first elimination of the day.
Iermolcheva won $113,580 for the runner-up finish while Kazemipur became the LAPT8 Panama champion. The title comes with glory, a shiny trophy and $180,112.
LAPT8 Panama- Main Event
Prize pool: $930,932
1- Shakeeb Kazemipur, Canada, $180,112
2- Olga Iermolcheva, Ukraine, $113,580
3- Tullio Bertoli, Venezuela, $81,460
4- Francisco Rocha, Chile, $64,700
5- Francois Lincourt, Canada, $50,740
6- Damian Salas, Argentina, $39,760
7- Pierce Mckellar, USA, $29,880
9- Derek Ecenarro, USA, $21,220
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.