It was all about Canada — nay, Calgary — at the Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) Panama Main Event this week. Two Calgarians found themselves seated at the final table of the $2,500 marquee tournament of the series, and one of them won the title.
Remember Shakeeb Kazemipur, otherwise known as Shak Kaz? This boisterous 20-year-old made headlines almost exactly a month ago when he won online poker's biggest weekly tournament — the Sunday Million. He was still 19 at the time, and PokerStars had to lift his chat ban (more details about how that came about here) so he could be involved in final-table deal talks. He negotiated a heads-up chop and came out on top, winning $183,000.
Kaz, originally from Lethbridge, Alberta (also the home of new 'Friend of PokerStars' Jaime Staples and apparently a breeding ground of poker talent), is a character that polarizes his tablemates into either a love or hate response to his antics. Besides his loud table presence, he is also known for firing an infinite amount of bullets at any given event until he has a chipstack that can carry him deep into the tournament. LAPT Panama was no different.
After being eliminated on Day 1a of LAPT Panama several times, Kaz fired again on Day 1b and finished the day with the most chips, and repeatedly did so on Day 2 as well. When he made it to the final table, he had the second-best stack and then ran all over the table.
Kaz eliminated every final-table opponent but one, eventually earning himself the trophy and $180,112 — his second $180,000 win within a month, and he isn't even old enough to play the World Series of Poker for another year.
The second Calgarian on the final table was Francois Lincourt. If you remember our live coverage of Deerfoot Inn & Casino's Winter Super Stack in February, Lincourt was within sneezing distance of taking the Player of the Series title, having finished second in two events in the series. He managed a fifth-place result at LAPT Panama, earning $50,740.
LAPT Panama was a five-day series offering 13 tournaments in Panama City. Most of the buy-ins fell under the $1,000 mark, and there was a wide range of game formats.
* Photos courtesy of PokerStars Blog.