In a fast-paced conclusion to the second annual PokerStars.net Latin America Poker Tour stop in San Jose, Costa Rica, Ryan Fee went wire-to-wire on the final table to claim the title and the $285,773 top prize. The 20-year-old from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania proved his live poker mettle against a field of some of poker's biggest stars, including Humberto Brenes, Victor Ramdin and Max and Maria Stern. Fee held the chip lead to start the final table, as the chip stacks looked like this:
Ryan Fee - 481,000
Joel Micka - 336,500
Andrew Chen - 313,000
Jesus Bertoli - 265,000
Claus Rasmussen - 254,000
Brent Sheirbon - 186,500
Maria Stern - 151,000
Jeffrey Petronack - 122,000
After an initial tentative back-and-forth period, Maria Stern picked up the aggression, moving all in preflop several times. Finally, she found action in the form of Jeff Petronack, who made the call with . Stern tabled , and the board ran out . With no help on the board, Stern couldn't outdraw Petronack's pocket queens, and she picked up $24,425 for her eighth-place finish.
Soon after, Claus Rasmussen moved the last of his chips in preflop with , and Joel "JMPRODIGY" Micka made the call with pocket kings. Rasmussen picked up a pair on the flop, but the turn and river weren't enough help to keep him around when they came down . Rasmussen's seventh-place finish was worth $34,195.
Jeff Petronack seemed poised for a chop when he moved all in preflop with and was called by Ryan Fee with . The flop did not cooperate, coming down to give Fee the flush and leaving Petronack drawing practically dead. Fee's hand improved to the immortal nuts when the hit on the turn to give him a royal flush. In a peculiar twist, the came on the river to put a straight flush on board and send Petronack home in dramatic fashion in sixth place ($43,960).
Fee claimed another victim when he busted Andrew Chen in fifth place ($61,063). All the money went in preflop as Chen's was well ahead of Fee's . The flop was a good one for Fee, as the board gave him additional outs. The on the turn made Fee's straight and left Chen drawing for a chop, and the on the river was no help as Chen headed to the rail.
Jesus Bertoli maneuvered his short stack all the way to a fourth-place finish ($80,603) before he ran afoul of big stack Ryan Fee. Bertoli moved all in preflop with , and Fee called with . Fee hit gin on the flop, and Bertoli needed help. The turn and river came down , and Bertoli was instead another victim of the Ryan Fee bulldozer.
Next, Brent Sheirbon moved all in over the top of Joel Micka's preflop raise, and Micka made the call with . Sheirbon looked at a classic coin flip as he tabled , but the board ran out . Micka's deuces held up to send Sheirbon to the rail in third place ($109,913) as heads-up play began.
Joel Micka and Ryan Fee jockeyed back and forth heads-up before the chips went in preflop in one last big hand. Micka raised preflop with , and Fee re-raised. Micka three-bet big, and made the call when Fee moved all in. Fee tabled and picked up a gutshot on the flop. The on the turn was no help, but the on the river gave Fee top pair and sent Micka home in second place with $148,993.
Over the course of three days, Ryan Fee made his was past 218 top-notch opponents in San Jose to claim the LAPT title and $285,773 for first place.