LAPT Panama: Diego Sanchez, Sam Razavi, Isaac Malca eliminated

lapt-promo.gifTwenty-eight year-old Diego "diesanser" Sanchez has been playing poker professionally for the past five years before making his first LAPT main event final table. Though he had great success in the side events over the years, he had yet to reach a coveted spot at a main event final. That changed last night when he clung to his last ten blinds and slipped into a final table seat. He held it for exactly one hand.

After LAPT President David Carrion introduced the final table players today, the finalists took their seats. Sanchez sat in the big blind. The dealer shuffled and dealt, and play folded all the way around to Leo Fernandez in the small blind. It set off a blind vs. blind battle between Fernandez and Sanchez.

Fernandez: 9♥T♣
Sanchez: A♣2♣

Sanchez might have had a slight lead pre-flop, but the board ran out Q♥6♠9♦7♠4♣ and Sanchez's time at the final table was finished. At least he got one hand...and the eighth place $18,850 payout.

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Diego Sanchez

Sanchez's exit opened the door for more short-stack shoving, and Sam Razavi was the next to take his shot. It's been only one month since Razavi won the APPT Melbourne title for more than $340,000. Today, he had his eye on the $170,000 first prize here. The one-time UKIPT Cork winner sat in wait for his chance.

Chip leader Patrick Mahoney opened to 60,000 and Razavi shoved his short stack in the middle with A♣3♥. Mahoney made the call with A♠T♦. Razavi was behind from the start and never caught up. Razavi earned $24,880 for seventh place.

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Sam Razavi

At the first break, the chip counts looked liked this:

Seat 2: Walid Mubarak Raysuli Shenadeh (Peru) 700,000
Seat 3: Leo Fernandez (Argentina) 2,000,000
Seat 5: Marco Antonio Pedroso Cheida (Brazil) 675000
Seat 6: Johnny Sandoval Chacon (Costa Rica) 850000
Seat 7: Isaac Malca (Panama) 845 000
Seat 8: Patrick Mahoney (Mexico) 1,600,000

While the early eliminations were matters of short-stack-survival fails, the next one was big. Marco Antonio Pedroso made it 100,000 to play under the gun. Isaac Malca called from the button, as did Walid Mubarak in the small blind.

On a flop of J♦7♠2♥, Mubarak checked, Pedroso continued for 150,000, and Malca moved all-in for 600,000. Mubarak got out of the way, but Pedroso made the call with Q♠Q♦. Bad news for Malca who held A♣J♠. His missed his outs on the turn and river and was gone in sixth place for $33,180.

The 35-year-old Malca, a local businessman, was the only Panamanian at the table, and thus ended the host country's chance at its first LAPT title.

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Isaac Malca

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Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in Panama