The inaugural PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event drew 366 entrants for the $5,300 buy-in tournament and built a prize pool of $1.77 million. After seven days of action Kenneth Smaron took down the event for $293,860 – a record setting event for Panama.

Smaron is a Philadelphia native that spends his time in Costa Rica and Colombia to play online. He’s widely known as a top high stakes Sit & Go player with the screenname “kenny05”. “I’m going to take a few days off, celebrate this one tonight and I’m going to fly back to Costa Rica tomorrow,” Smaron said.

Five of the six players at the final table held the chip lead at some point during play and the final table took 170 hands to wrap up. The final hand was an expensive flip for Smaron when Harpreet Gill shoved holding ten eight offsuit. Smaron called with Kc Jc, the board ran dry and Smaron’s hand held to end the tournament.

UFC Hall of Famer and former Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz made a deep run as a Friend of PokerStars. He finished in 22nd place for $16,080 for his first cash and only second overall tournament. He received coaching from PokerStars Pro Felipe Ramos during the event.

Byron Kaverman narrowly missed the final table in eighth place for $35,920. He is confirmed for the 2017 Super High Roller Bowl and has already cashed in four high rollers this year already and cashed in both of the PokerStars Championship Main Events.

The next stop on the global PokerStars Championship tour is in Macau and runs March 30th – April 9th. The City of Dreams casino hosts the even and features a $51,000 Super High Roller and Main Event at approximately $5,460.

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 Wozniczek – $88,480
6. Anthony Diotte – $65,520