After five days of battle at the Solis Hotel, Spa and Casino in Panama City, the final six men have been determined for the second-ever stop on the PokerStars Championship circuit in Panama. When the final table plays out on Monday, Russia’s Denis Timofeev will continue at the helm as he did on Day 4, but he’ll be sitting atop a 3.905 million chip stack for the penultimate battle.
12 men came back on Sunday with the task of setting the final table for the tournament. Timofeev, as previously stated, was in the lead with slightly more than two millino chips and there were some notable names in the pack behind him. Of particular interest was 2015 GPI Player of the Year Byron Kaverman, who was in third place with 1.236 million in chips, and the man who was the chip leader through the first two days of the tournament, Igor Yaroshevskyy. Yaroshevskyy was on the short stack with 422,000 in chips, however, and needed to make an early move to get back to viability.
It would take less than two hours for the players to eliminate three men and set the unofficial final table. Yaroshevskyy was the man who would earn that dubious honor, pushing all in after Kenneth Smaron put out a raise and Harpreet Gill made the call. Smaron immediately made the call and, after Gill sheepishly showed a A-2 as he mucked, Smaron showed Big Slick. Yaroshevskyy was beaten by a pip, holding Big Chick, but the flop had a sense of humor in coming down K-Q-3. Unfortunately for Yaroshevskyy, he couldn’t find another Queen to best Smaron and headed to the rail in tenth place ($27,260) and Smaron took over the lead.
Now with nine men on the redrawn unofficial final table, Timofeev and Kaverman were seated with Kaverman on Timofeev’s immediate left. Although he was out of position to a tough player, the duo didn’t tangle much. Instead, Timofeev took out his aggression on other members of the table. He forced Jonathan Abdellatif to lay a hand down and slowly saw his chip stack inch upwards. As Level 22 began in the tournament (10K/20K with a 3K ante), Timofeev was slightly behind Smaron while Kaverman was having difficulties.
Kaverman never got anything started once play reached the final table, getting his final chips in against Smaron with K-J against Smaron’s pocket treys. A monochrome 6♦ 3♦ 8♦ flop left Kaverman looking for something that would provide a split pot, but that wouldn’t come when a Queen came on the turn. Once the irrelevant river was dealt (a second Queen), Kaverman was ousted in eighth place and Smaron’s chip lead got bigger.
With one player left to the close of business for the night, play tightened up considerably until one stunning hand between Smaron and Timofeev. On a 9-2-8-4-J board and with 935,000 in the pot, Timofeev pondered his action before checking to the chip leader, normally not a recommended action. Smaron played his position, moving all in against Timofeev, who this time went deep into the tank. After a five minute reconstruction in his mind, Timofeev made the call and saw Smaron had 10-8 for a flopped middle pair. Letting off a relieved sigh, Timofeev showed a J-7 for the rivered top pair and took down the 3.29 million chip pot.
The very next hand, Timofeev stayed active in pushing a bet off the button. James Salmon three bet his stack out of the big blind and, completely unlike his hand with Smaron, Timofeev immediately made the call. His A-10 might have been on the lower end of the call spectrum, but it was the correct move as Salmon only mustered an A-2 for battle. A flopped ten all but ended the proceedings and, after a trey and a four came on the turn and river, Salmon was out in seventh and Timofeev was off to Monday’s final table with the chip lead.
1. Denis Timofeev, 3.095 million
2. Robin Wozniczek, 2.87 million
3. Kenneth Smaron, 1.855 million
4. Jonathan Abdellatif, 1.155 million
5. Harpreet Gill, 735,000
6. Anthony Diotte, 465,000
Play will resume in Panama City at noon on Monday, with the first-ever champion of the PokerStars Championship Panama taking home $293,860 for their efforts.