Kenneth Smaron Wins PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event

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Kenneth Smaron took down the PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event Monday (PokerStars photo)

The second PokerStars Championship Main Eventwrapped up Monday night in Panama with Kenneth Smaron navigating his way through a tough final table on his way to winning $293,860.

When the final six players bagged up their chips on Sunday night, Russia’s Denis Timofeev had the chip lead and Anthony Diotte, one of two Canadians still in contention, was the shortest.

Starting the final day with just 16 big blinds, Diotte was in search of a hand to push with and he found one on just the third hand. Robin Luca Wozniczek raised to 70,000 before Diotte move all in for 450,000 from the big blind. Wozniczek called and turned over 2d2s while Diotte had AhJc. The 8d5s2h flop gave Wozniczek bottom set and all but sealed Diotte’s fate. The Ac turn was no help and the 8c river was a formality as Diotte was sent packing in sixth.

Despite the momentum that came with picking up that elimination, Wozniczek was the next to go, a little over 90 minutes later. Jonathan Abdellatif raised to 100,000 from UTG and Wozniczek and Timofeev called from the small and big blinds respectively. The flop was 6c5h3h and both Wozniczek and Timofeev checked, allowing Abdellatif to bet 160,000. Wozniczek raised to 380,000 and Timofeev folded. Abdellatif moved all in for 1,760,000 and Wozniczek called all in. Abdellatif turned up 9h7h for a flush draw and double-gutter while Wozniczek turned over Kh6h for top pair and a better flush draw. The Jc turn changed nothing but the 4s river gave Abdellatif a straight to eliminate Wozniczek.

However, almost two hours later Abdellatif suffered the same fate. Smaron opened to 125,00 from the button and Abdellatif called from the big blind. The flop was Ad5h4d, Abdellatif check-raised to 650,000 after Smaron bet 100,000. Smaron called and showed down As7h for top pair while Abdellatif had a flush draw with JdTd. The 8c turn and 8h river failed to complete that draw and he was out in fourth.

It took over four hours and 101 hands to go from three-handed to heads-up. Smaron raised to 160,000 from the button before Timofeev re-raised to 475,000 from the small blind. Smaron eventually four-bet to 1,100,000, Timofeev moved all in for 2,910,000 and Smaron called. Timofeev showed ThTs and Smaron was racing with AcKs. The 7c5d4s flop kept Timofeev ahead. The 2c turn did too but gave Smaron wheel outs. The 3c river gave Smaron a runner-runner straight and eliminated Timofeev in third.

Smaron started heads up play with the chip lead and needed only nine hands to finish off Harpreet Gill. On the final hand Gill limped his button, Smaron raised to 350,000 and Gill moved all in for 2,615,000. After some delibieration, Smaron called and tabled KcJc and Gill showed Td8c. The AcQc9h flop kept Smaron firmly ahead. The 9d turn and 5s rier changed nothing, eliminating Gill, who started the day with the second smallest stack, in second place and giving Smaron the Championship.

The next PokerStars Championship event is scheduled for March 30 – April 9, 2017 at the City of Dreams in Macau.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Kenneth Smaron – $293,860
  2. Harpreet Gill – $217,860
  3. Denis Timofeev – $161,340
  4. Jonathan Abdellatif – $119,480
  5. Robin Luca Wozniczek – $88,480
  6. Anthony Diotte – $65,520
  7. James Salmon – $48,520
  8. Byron Kaverman – $35,920