WPT Festa al Lago Classic Earns Tommy Vedes First WPT Title And $1,218,225 Prize MoneyOctober 27, 2009 8:26 am
The poker gods must have been shinning on New Yorker Tommy Vedes as he dodged many a bullet on his way to victory at the $15,000 buy-in WPT Festa al Lago Classic. Even though numbers were a little down at 275 players, the high buy in assured there would be a pot of gold waiting for one lucky winner and that was going to be no mean feat judging by the depth of experience and talent at the final table which included Shawn Cunix, Craig Crivello and Freddy Deeb.
An hour and a half into the 6 man final table saw Shawn Cunix announce all in with 6 6 only to be called by Vedes holding K Q. Vedes’s tournament was on the line, especially as Cunix had him covered and when the flop fell K Q 6 he must have felt it was all over. The turn, however, brought a K giving Vedes a full house and effectively knocking Cunix out of the tournament.
“At that point the king comes and it crushed Shawn, which is unfortunate, because he is a good guy,” Vedes said. “But from that point, I knew I just had to win it.”
Deeb then knocked Jason Burt out in fifth but a little later announced all in with KK only to be called by Vedes holding QQ who then managed to spike a set on the river to crush Deeb’s stack and although holding onto some chips he was eliminated soon after in fourth.
“I got lucky with Deeb,” Vedes explained. “I don’t know what happened. I’m from Queens and it came queens all night long.”
The action quickly went from three handed to two after Crivello’s overcards failed to improve against Jason Lavallee’s pocket 10’s and the young Canadian was then able to manoeuvre himself into a sizeable chip lead by some aggressive attacking heads up play.
Once more Vedes rode his luck when his A 10 beat Lavallee’s A J and commented: “When I saw his ace-jack and the ace-ten, I felt like I knew I was going to win the hand. I did, after all the things that had been going on. It just came out right.”
Lavallee still maintained a slim chip lead at this point but his pocket 4’s lost against Vedes’s 5’s making him all but out. The poker gods put their last touch to the victory when the man from Queens finally took the title by calling Lavalle’s rag shove with K Q and then hit a Q on the turn and one more on the river for trips.
Poker is surely a game of swings and Vedes himself was on the receiving end of some bad beats to finish 19th at the 2009 WSOP Main Event and 54th at the EPT London after being chip tournament leader.
“The way I busted out of them were pretty hard beats,” he said. “But I just had to forget all the bad beats and focus and play.” Commenting on his latest victory he added, “I feel great. It’s unbelievable. I didn’t think it was going to happen so fast. After the World Series, travelling to Europe and everything else, playing this event and shipping it is just amazing.”