TCOOP 2017: First COOP title for Ryan "PROTENTIALmn" LaPlante in Event #39, $215 NLHE (6-Max, Turbo, Shootout, Progressive KO [50%])

Ryan "PROTENTIALmn" LaPlante has had a good run at the tables in recent years, with a signature bracelet win in Pot Limit Omaha at the 2016 WSOP and more than $1.6 million in career earnings here at PokerStars. The serial COOP finalist had never made it to the end of one of those finals until today, when he overcame four-time COOP winner Fabrizio "SixthSenSe19" Gonzalez and four other tough opponents at the final table to take the title in TCOOP 2017's Event #39.

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A $215 6-Max No-Limit Hold'em shootout with a 50% Progressive KO on every player's head, Event #39 kicked off at 10 a.m. ET with a 905-player field. The 216 players who won their first table won a $148.42 share of the $90,500 regular prize pool, which was matched by $90,500 in bounties for a $181,000 total prize pool. A second win was worth $633.50, and winning a third time was the ticket to the big payouts at the final table.

It took 10 and a half hours to move through the first three rounds of the shootout. After the semifinal round, these six players were left with a chance at the title:

Seat 1: Ryan "PROTENTIALmn" LaPlante ($1,782.80 bounty)
Seat 2: sincinaty118 ($1,676.54 bounty)
Seat 3: Fabrizio "SixthSenSe19" Gonzalez ($1,942.96 bounty)
Seat 4: SuperdupaMAN ($2,288.27 bounty)
Seat 5: Carlos "Poeira4" Branco ($1,692.57 bounty)
Seat 6: batmanuga01 ($2,382.79 bounty)

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The blinds kicked off at 10/20, with five-minute levels and everyone starting at 10,000 chips. Past Sunday Million finalist SuperdupaMAN was very active in the early going but came out on the wrong end of two early pots to drop about half the starting stack.

First was a loss of about 2,100 chips to sincinaty, the winner of the $5M guaranteed Sunday Million in December 2013, who called a small bet before the 9♦ 2♠ 8♣ flop and another one after it to make a gutshot straight on the J♠ turn with Q♦ T♣. sincinaty118 led on the 8♦ river and SuperdupaMAN paid off the 1,210-chip bet to drop to 7,854.

Fifteen minutes later SuperdupaMAN opened under the gun for 144 chips and called a big-blind re-raise to 732 from Fabrizio "SixthSenSe19" Gonzalez, the fourth-ever Triple COOP winner (victories during TCOOP, SCOOP, and WCOOP), to see a 7♥ 9♣ 2♥ flop. SuperdupaMAN checked behind there and then called bets of 985 chips on the J♠ turn and 2,960 on the 2♦ river, but the player from Norway mucked when Gonzalez took down the 9,404-chip pot with K♣ K♦.

Those pots seemed to open up the doors for looser action all around the table. Past Super Tuesday champion Carlos "Poeira4" Branco won a 10,616-chip pot from Gonzalez with A♥ 3♥ after making two pair on the 9♥ 3♠ A♠ flop and calling a big check-raise, checking behind on the 8♠ turn, and calling a half-pot bet and beating Gonzalez's pair of treys with 7♣ 3♣. SuperdupaMAN doubled up to 9,386 chips two hands later, opening on the button with A♠ T♦ and then calling Branco's small blind re-raise to catch trips on the T♠ T♣ 5♦ flop; SuperdupaMAN kept the lead through the Q♦ turn and J♦ river to crack Branco's A♦ A♥. And two hands after that, Ryan "PROTENTIALmn" LaPlante's Q♣ Q♠ made a set on the turn to lock up a 14,374-chip pot against batmanuga01.

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There was now some separation between the chip stacks, after 45 minutes of play and 10 blind levels. LaPlante (22,189 chips) was well in front of the pack, with Poeira4 (15,210) within sight of the leader, Gonzalez and sincinaty holding steady near where they'd started, and batmanuga01 working with less than 20 big blinds. sincinaty118 upended the order after raising in position with A♦ T♣ and making top two pair on the T♠ 9♥ A♣ flop. The Irish player bet half the pot when checked to and Poeira4 called before leading for 900 into 1,291 on the T♥ turn. Already holding tens full of aces, sincincaty118 flat-called and then raised all-in when Poeira4 led with a big bet on the 8♣ river. Poeira4 called with T♦ 8♠ for the rivered boat, tens full of eights, but sincinaty118 won the 18,499-chip pot.

Things only got worse for Poeira4 from there. He limped on the button with J♦ 7♦ and made a pair of jacks on the K♦ 4♠ J♣ flop, but short-stacked batmanuga01 called down with K♣ T♣ in the small blind to win with a pair of kings. Two hands later, Poeira4 raised to 288 under the gun with A♣ J♠ and then jammed for 3,896 total after LaPlante re-raised on the button. LaPlante called with 8♣ 8♦ and won the race when the board fell T♦ T♠ Q♥ 3♥ 4♦ to knock Poeira4 out in fifth.

The remaining four players made it the next 15 minutes to the 6:55 p.m. ET break without any more knockouts, though batmanuga01 was still hanging on with less than 20 big blinds. The Russian player kept head above water for another 15 minutes after the rbeak and was rewarded with a double-up when 9♦ 9♥ held up against sincinaty118's Q♦ T♦ after a two-diamond flop. That turned out to be enough to earn a pay bump after Fabrizio Gonzalez and Ryna LaPlante collided before the flop five hands later, Gonzalez holding J♦ J♠ under the gun and LaPlante Q♣ Q♥ in the big blind. Gonzalez called LaPlante's four-bet all-in but got no help from the K♠ T♠ 6♣ K♥ 2♣ board and left in fourth.

Fabrizio Gonzalez

Four-time COOP winner Fabrizio "SixthSenSe19" Gonzalez, out in fourth

That 21,257-chip pot boosted LaPlante's stack to 29,772, almost triple where he started. sincinaty118's 20,007 was double the starting stack, and batmanuga01 was one big blind ahead of the starting stack at 10,221. Then LaPlante shifted into high gear for the next 20 minutes, winning mid-size pot after mid-size pot and cutting both opponents' stacks in half before they took each other on before the flop. With the blinds and antes at 180/360/45, batmanuga01 opened all-in for 4,615 on the button with A♥ 2♣ and sincinaty called in the big blind with A♦ 9♦. Both players ended up with a pair of eights after the board came 8♠ 8♣ Q♥ 7♥ 6♦, but the kickers played, sending batmanuga01 to the rail in third.

That win put sincinaty118 into an uphill battle as heads-up play began:

Seat 1: Ryan "PROTENTIALmn" LaPlante (43,164 in chips, $4,172.62 bounty)
Seat 2: sincinaty118 (16,836 in chips, $2,867.93 bounty)

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sincinaty118 was able to take down some significant pots over the next 30 minutes, trimming the lead to less than 20 big blinds on the 200/400/50 level. But seemingly every time the Irish player started to get close, LaPlante won enough keep that lead at least level with the blinds. The pattern held for the better part of 30 minutes, all without sincinaty118 once facing an all-in situation.

sincinaty118 had climbed back to 21,899 chips before that first all-in moment arrived on the 400/800/100 level. THe Irish player raised to 1,776 on the button and then jammed all-in after LaPlante re-raised to 4,794 in the big blind. LaPlante called with T♣ T♥, a 2-to-1 favorite over sincinaty118's A♦ 5♦, and promptly made top set on the 2♥ T♠ 7♥ flop. A backdoor wheel draw was all that could save sincinaty118, but the 5♥ turn and 7♣ river didn't cooperate and the tournament came to its conclusion.

sincinaty118 earned $10,860 as the runner-up and another $2,867.93 in bounties - not a bad take for basically winning three sit-and-go's and finishing second in another. And for winning four in a row, Ryan "PROTENTIALmn" LaPlante earned $14,480 in prize money, $5,606.58 in bounties, and the enjoyment of being a TCOOP champion. Congratulations to both players on a solid day of poker!

TCOOP-39: $215 NL Hold'em [6-Max, Turbo, Shootout, Progressive KO (50%)] results
Entrants: 905
Total prize pool: $181,000 ($90,500 regular prize pool, $90,500 bounty prize pool)
Places paid: 216

1. Ryan "PROTENTIALmn" LaPlante (Canada) $14,480 + $5,606.58 in bounties
2. sincinaty118 (Ireland) $10,860 + $2,867.93 in bounties
3. batmanuga01 (Russia) $8,145 + $2,382.79 in bounties
4. Fabrizio "SixthSenSe19" Gonzalez (Uruguay) $5,430 + $3,087.09 in bounties
5. Carlos "Poeira4" Branco (Netherlands) $3,620 + $1,692.57 in bounties
6. SuperdupaMAN (Norway) $2,244.40 + $2,288.27 in bounties

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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in TCOOP