There were some serious heavy hitters entering the third and final day of the LAPT Bahamas Main Event – two PCA Main Event champions, an EPT and EPT Super High Roller title-holder (one of only two) and the reigning HPT Player of the Year, just to name a few. When the dust had settled at the close of play, however, it was Josh Kay taking down the first ever LAPT event held at the Atlantis.
“My strategy was just sit back and let everybody else bust the other players,” said Kay. “They were extremely aggressive, and that’s not a style I’m used to playing. I had the chiplead going in, so I just thought I would sit back and move up the pay jumps and then try to win it once we got down to five-handed.”
Kay secured the biggest win of his career at $367,928 – and he beat the very dangerous Martin Finger heads-up and came from well behind to boot. After hitting a rush at just the right time, a flopped set gave Kay all he needed to clinch the title.
On the final hand, Finger opened, Kay three-bet to 450,000 and Finger called as the flop fell 9 8 5. Kay bet 325,000, Finger called and the turn was the T. Kay checked, Finger bet 525,000 and Kay shoved to put Finger at risk. It took about three minutes, but Finger tossed a single blue chip in and tabled Q T for top pair and a gutshot. Kay had 9 9 for a set however, and with the Q river Kay officially sealed the victory.
“My goal was just to get top three and then see what happened from there,” said Kay. “I don’t think I knocked anybody out besides Martin, but once we got down to three-handed I never really felt like I was losing it. He [Martin] plays online at the highest stakes heads-up and at first I was like ‘How am I ever going to win this?’ But then I made, like, six hands in a row where I had the goods every single time.”
While he had other plans coming in, this victory has likely changed Kay’s plans for this trip.
“I came to play this and the Main, but I don’t know if I’m going to play the Main [now],” said Kay. “I might just go home.”
More than seven hours earlier at the start of play Friday, there was still some work left to do before they reached a final table – but it wouldn’t take long before they got down to nine. Taylor Paur busted Kyle Frey in 11th, and Aaron Massey ran A Q into A K to go out 10th.
The final nine redrew and 2011 PCA Main Event champion Galen Hall was the shortest stack on the official final table bubble. After opening and folding pocket eights, Hall open-shoved 7 7 and Finger called with A Q. The Q 6 4 flop left Hall searching for a miracle and the K left just two outs to save him. The T river spelled the end, and Hall made his exit in ninth place.
The final table started tilting in Finger’s direction and he surged into the chiplead after taking down another heavy hitter in Mustapha Kanit. After four-bet folding A Q preflop and dropping out when Finger five-bet shoved, Kanit continued to slip until he and Finger got into one last fateful confrontation.
Finger opened for a raise and Kanit called in the big blind to see a J 7 3 flop. Kanit checked, Finger bet and Kanit called with the 5 landing on the turn. Kanit checked once again, Finger bet 200,000 – about two-thirds the size of the pot – and Kanit eventually shoved for 523,000 total. Finger called and tabled A A – which had Kanit on the brink, though his A 5 gave him both a pair and a flush draw. The 6 was a brick for Kanit, and it secured his elimination in eighth.
Pocket aces seemed to follow Finger throughout this final table, and when Jonathan Borenstein shoved from under the gun with A Q Finger looked down at A A once again. There wasn’t much of a sweat as it ran out J 3 2 3 T to send Borenstein out in seventh.
Dimitar Danchev had the chiplead late on Day 2, but little seemed to go his way at this final table. Finger opened to 100,000 from the cutoff and Danchev three-bet all in for 950,000. After thinking it over for a moment, Finger called with A T and had Danchev in big trouble with his Q T. The A 6 4 flop put Danchev on the brink, but the J kept a sliver of hope on the table as he picked up four outs to the straight. The 9 wouldn’t make that straight on the river, however, and the second PCA Main Event winner at this final table fell in sixth place.
After a short period of five-handed play, the field was reduced by two players in as many hands. Finger raised to 100,000 from the button, Paur three-bet to 270,000 and Finger called in position to see an A 7 5 flop. Paur bet 295,000, Finger called and the 5 paired the board on the turn. Paur slowed down and checked, Finger bet 450,000 and Paur came along to see the 9.
Paur checked, Finger put Paur all in and he quickly called for 1.5 million total, turning over A Q. The flop had taken Finger’s A 7 from well behind to well ahead, however, and his superior two-pair dispatched Paur in fifth. On the very next had Stefan Jedlicka raised to 100,000, Jose Carlos Garcia three-bet all in for 980,000 and Jedlicka called with A Q. Garcia was in need of a similar come from behind victory to the one Finger made on the previous hand as his A 6 was well behind, but the K 8 5 2 J runout sent him out in fourth place.
Jedlicka lost more than half his stack when his open-ended straight draw failed to connect against Finger and another pair of A A. It would be Finger finishing him off just a few hands later as he shoved the small blind and Jedlicka called for 530,000 on the A 2. Finger was well ahead with 7 7 and the J 7 4 was a dire one for Jedlicka; his elimination in third was sealed when the K fell on the turn.
Kay faced a 2-to-1 deficit to start heads up play, but he took chunk after chunk from Finger’s stack – eventually taking over the chiplead and then wearing Finger down to almost nothing in short order.
2015 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure – LAPT Bahamas Main Event Final Results
- Josh Kay – $367,928
- Martin Finger – $223,900
- Stefan Jedlicka – $158,740
- Jose Carlos Garcia – $119,820
- Taylor Paur – $94,920
- Dimitar Danchev – $71,780
- Jonathan Borenstein – $51,540
- Mustapha Kanit – $35,200
- Galen Hall – $27,820
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