When the final table of the LAPT7 Panama Main Event started, all players were naturally looking for the win. But for one player, the victory held even bigger significance. It was Fabian Ortiz who was looking to capture his second LAPT title, the first one coming in 2009 in Vina del Mar, Chile.
Ortiz started the day as the chip leader, although both second place Hugo Suarez and third place Nick Russo were not that far behind. Although he had the required experience, Ortiz did not have an easy road ahead of him due to added pressure and the top three stacks being so close together.
The journey began last night with seven players standing between him and the coveted title. The first player to leave the house was Hugo Laimer of Malta. He started the day as one of the shortest stacks and could never get things going.
Soon after his departure, the entire table went into berserk mode and saw four eliminations in the span of just a few minutes. First, a huge three-way hand came about between chip leader Ortiz, Antonio Hogaza, and Javier Rios.
The three went to the flop of #3h#7c#ad. Ortiz continued his preflop aggression postflop, but was once again called in two spots. The turn brought #ah and as Hogaza checked again, Ortiz bet out a hefty sum. Rios made the call and Hogaza moved all-in. Ortiz moved in over the top and Rios was forced to let go of his hand. Hogaza turned over Ace-King but quickly got the bad news when Fabian revealed a set of Aces that had Hogaza drawing dead and leaving the table in seventh place.
Although Rios was able to dodge a bullet in that hand, he did not last long. After losing some more chips, he finally moved in with #8c#6c but had the bad luck to run into Guillermo Olvera’s pocket Eights. That was it for Rios, as he was sent to the rail in sixth place.
Ortiz took out another player as he claimed the very short stack of Suarez despite his #ac#8c being dominated by Suarez’ #ah#qs. A fifth place finish earned Suarez a nice payday of $43,580. Not long after, Nick Russo moved all-in and he would also fall victim to Ortiz, who was simply on fire. Russo’s #kd#2c was in horrible shape looking at the pocket Aces of Ortiz. Russo had to settle for a fourth place finish and a prize of $55,560.
Standing between Ortiz and a heads-up match for his second LAPT Main Event title was Alexander Huber, who managed to hold onto his short stack for some time. When push came to shove, Huber jammed in his stack with Ace-Seven, but like tablemates before him, he was dominated by Ortiz. Huber’s Panama adventure was good for $71,280.
Ortiz started heads-up play with about a 4-1 chip advantage, but Olvera was able to double up and close the gap somewhat. At this point the players struck a deal and split most of the money, leaving $15,000 to play for. Although Ortiz was able to eliminate most of his competition in quick fashion, Olvera proved to be a tough cookie by doubling up several times. This tournament simply had Fabian’s name written all over it and he was finally able to take down Olvera’s defenses with #kc#7h despite being dominated by Guillermo’s #ad#7d. A King fell on the turn to seal the deal, rewarding Olvera’s valiant effort with a runner-up finish and $114,115.
Ortiz managed to capture a second coveted LAPT title and he did it in style, eliminating most of the final table on his own. Aside from the all-important championship, he also earned just shy of $144,000 for his great and memorable performance in Panama.