The largest pot-limit Omaha tournament in live poker history went to a guy who doesn't play much PLO, by his own admission. Ryan LaPlante bested the 2,483-player field for $190,328, the best live cash for the Minnesota-based pro, and his first bracelet.
"If this is the first record I'll have, I'm excited try to get as many more as possible," he said of the distinction he will likely hold for at least another year.
Unlike Colossus champ Cord Garcia, who admitted he was hoping to hold the record of largest live field beaten for a bit longer, LaPlante said he hopes this event gets even bigger next year.
Final Table Results
|1||Ryan LaPlante||Brainerd, MN||$190,328|
|2||Sean Shah||Delray Beach, FL||$117,531|
|3||Tesfaldet Tekle||Tukwila, WA||$85,870|
|4||Richard St. Peter||Susonville, CA||$63,304|
|5||Charles Coultas||Seattle, WA||$47,092|
|6||Adil Khan||Coral Springs, FL||$35,353|
|7||Matt Livingston||North Las Vegas, NV||$26,786|
|8||Darryll Fish||Las Vegas, NV||$20,484|
|9||Grant Ellis||Whitby, Canada||$15,813|
LaPlante doesn't count PLO as one of his best or most played games, saying he only plays it during the WSOP and PokerStars' two big online series. However, he does have a wealth of experience playing the split-pot version of the game.
In fact, he thinks he might be one of the best tournament players out there.
"I personally believe I'm one of the better PLO-8 tournament players in the world," he said. "I have very good results on Stars in that; I know every single good reg in that and battle versus them. I think it really helps me play PLO."
It's just a few short hours from Brainerd, where LaPlante is from, to the Canada border. There, LaPlante can get back to the online grind, where has had quite a bit of success. Under the name "Protentialmn", he has logged just under $1.5 million in cashes on PokerStars.
For the past few years, he has spent four-to-five months in Canada playing online, but he said that could be changing now as he settles into a more stable home life with his fiancée.
LaPlante came into this unofficial final table with a short stack of just 13 big blinds, but the group was so tightly bunched that one double through chip leader Sean Shah would have made LaPlante the leader.
He got two early eliminations, first when two pair held against the aces of Grant Ellis, then when LaPlante limp-shoved the and outdrew the of Darryll Fish by making a straight on the turn.
When things got a little shorter, LaPlante realized he was up against at least one opponent with plenty of skill and more experience in Shah.
"I realized pretty quick on Day 2 that he was a very, very skilled PLO player and I needed to be very wary of him," LaPlante said. "A lot of what I did heads up and three-handed and four-handed I picked up off of what he was doing."
LaPlante was able to prevail, and after the win, he got emotional and needed a moment to gather himself when asked by a member of the media what the win meant to him.
"I decided at a pretty young age, I was going to do what I loved for a living and not really care about the money," he said. "To get something like this when I've been working so hard for it for so long, it's absolutely incredible."
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