It’s been a crazy two years for Ryan Laplante.
In 2016, he won his first World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet, topping a field of 2,483 entrants in the $565 PLOssus, and very nearly followed it up with bracelet #2 in the summer finishing runner-up to Sebastian Langrock in a mixed Hold’em/PLO event.
Let’s find out.
Who are you?
“Ryan Laplante, 27 year old poker professional.”
What is your claim to fame?
“I won a bracelet in 2016, have done commentary on handful of different platforms and made training content for FloatTheTurn, CardRunners, and RunItOnce.”
When did your aspirations to become a poker player begin?
“When I was 13 and playing with friends on weekends and watching it on TV (moneymaker boom).”
How do you spend the first hour when you wake up?
“Shower/etc, eat breakfast.”
What time of the day do you find it easier to play poker and why?
“Day time until evening, dislike playing past 10pm unless I have to in a tournament.”
Do you have defined goals for how many hands/sessions you play in a week: both live and online?
“No, as I am a tournament professional.”
Where do you play online, what types of games, and stakes?
“I travel for major online series (May and September) and play on America’s Cardroom as well. Buy-ins from $11 to $10,000.”
Same question for live?
“I live in vegas and play most of the major series that are in town, and I travel for the better USA series. Buy-ins from $250 to $25,000.”
Do you have a specific routine that you go through before you begin an online poker session?
“Depending on the day, I try to do a short 30min review session before a large day of play.”
Same question for a live session?
“Generally don’t do anything before a live session.”
When you first sit down to play poker how do you begin?
“Online I register for 4-6 tables to start, then usually within 30min to an hour I’m up to my day’s max of 9 to 12.”
Describe your grinding station set up.
“At home: 2 24inch monitors. Traveling: Laptop and an external monitor.”
What tools do you use when playing poker, live and online?
“Live: None. Online: PokerTracker4”
What’s your thoughts on listening to music when playing? If you do, what do you listen to?
“Great tool to help focus. I listen to a mix of punk rock, classic rock, and pop.”
If you use a HUD then how do you use it?
“I have a fairly basic hud, just 5 main stats. I use them to build general profiles for weaker players.”
What system do you use for taking notes on your opponent’s, live and online?
“Live:None. Online: Built in site’s system, I use them to color code players based on how skilled I believe they are.”
Do you have a specific warm down routine after you have finished a session?
“Occasionally do a short review session.”
What do you do on the hour every hour when playing online?
“Use restroom, stretch, munch on snacks.”
What do you do during the break of a live event?
“Use restroom, chat with friends about hands or in general.”
What do you eat and drink when you play, both live and online?
“Bars, bags of chips, fruit, anything that’s easily and quickly eaten.”
What is your process of review?
“Visual hand history review using pokertracker4.”
How do you educate yourself about poker?
“Discuss with friends, watch training videos on RunItOnce, get coaching from my backer.”
How do you improve your mental state?
“Relax with my pets and fiancé, play video games, sleep well.”
How much of your time is spent playing versus learning?
“95% playing, 5% learning.”
How do you know when to stop a session?
“When I bust the tournament. For cash games: When I no longer feel focused.”
Are you consciously trying to emulate the style of a particular player? Do you have people you look to as models for your game?
“My game is very dependent on the players at my table, I play very exploitative in the huge majority of games I play in. Rest of the time I try to play in a “GTO” oriented manner.”
Is poker easy? Does it come naturally to you?
“Playing for fun poker is very easy. Playing at a high level poker is very difficult. I’m not a “naturally talented” player. My game has been slowly built via thousands of hours of studying and coaching.”
What is your favourite moment in poker?
“When I won my bracelet. Was something I had imagined and dreamed about for 13 years.”
What books/courses/mentors have helped improve your game (doesn’t have to be a poker book)?
“My backer and coach JackStack99 has been the number one influence on my game and career.”
Do your surroundings affect your work, how?
“Yes, when I’m with my fiancé I’m always in a much better mood and able to focus and grind more easily.”
Was there ever a time when you didn’t want to play poker? How did you get out of the funk?
“Not really, I enjoy taking short breaks, but I’ve always really enjoyed the grind.”
How does poker make you feel?
“Happy and accomplished.”
What is the one thing you know you have to change after answering these questions?
“Need to spend more time studying and improving.”
What is the one question I didn’t ask, but should have asked, and now answer it?
“Q: What do you see yourself doing 10 years from now. A: Playing poker professionally.”