All poker players who stream their play over Twitch harbor dreams of winning big tournaments while their viewers are tuned in and watching. Besides adding to their bankrolls and perhaps boosting subscribers, it makes a great show!

Just ask Rinat “Zapahzamazki” Lyapin who on Tuesday night put on a great performance for a thousand or so viewers on his Twitch channel. They got to see the Russian outlast a tough field in WCOOP Event #18-M, the $55 No-Limit Omaha-8 event, to win first prize and a cool $11,523.03.

The winning moment

With about 15 years’ worth of poker experience, the last three of which he has been streaming frequently over Twitch, Lyapin has already enjoyed several five-figure scores, with his prize this week for winning a WCOOP title representing a top 10 cash for him.

He especially enjoys pot-limit and no-limit Omaha hi-lo, and it was his experience with NLO8 in particular that appears to have served him very well in this one.

“This game usually is very aggressive,” Lyapin explains. “Like 30-40 big blinds can be a short stack with which you might just go all in preflop. People do that a lot — not like in hold’em, where with 20-30 BB stacks the result often comes postflop. Here it is very aggressive — a lot of all-ins preflop.”

By the second day when the 1,502-entry field had been carved down to the last 16 players, Lyapin found himself short on chips, but long on knowledge of how to persist.

“With two tables left I was a short stack at an aggressive table, so I just played very tight and waited for other people to knock each other out. Then at the final table it was the same situation. I was short, and players were very aggressive there, too. So I just waited for others to get eliminated. In fact the player who I ended up heads-up against knocked out most of the others.”

That player — “submissssion” — was one with whom Lyapin had played in the cash games before. “He’s a regular player… very aggressive. He’s crazy.”

In addition, submissssion had a significant chip advantage of about 8-to-1 when heads-up play began. But Lyapin was able to hang on and after doubling multiple times drew even.

“We had more than 100 BBs — very deep stacks — so we actually played a lot of postflop. I think I might have played a little better than him postflop, I don’t know. It took more than one hour, I think — very long for NLO8.”

Finally came that last hand shown above — a triumphant climax to a great show for Lyapin’s followers. “I was very good at all-ins. I won all of the ones I needed to, so there was some luck,” says Lyapin.

It had been a challenging final table with a number of strong opponents, including Lyapin’s fellow countryman and 2013 EPT Prague High Roller champion Ivan “vandir4rek” Soshnikov who took third. (“I know Ivan. He’s a good player,” says Lyapin.)

“The final two tables were very strong — very strong players,” says Lyapin. “In fact, I was looking at the ‘High” version of our event, and I think our final table might have even been stronger than that one.”

Mostly an online player, Lyapin has won some packages to play on the APPT (he’s in Manila up above), and was at the PCA a few years back where he took the opportunity to get a photo with the Brazilian football legend and good poker player in his own right, Ronaldo.

Rinat and Ronaldo at the PCA

Lyapin will be back at the WCOOP tables going forward, hoping to give his viewers another similarly exciting show. Good luck to him (and them)!


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