UKIPT Edinburgh: From worst to first, Nicolau Villa-Lobos wins UKIPT Edinburgh and £101,000
At 12pm today Nicolau Villa-Lobos started the final table as the short stack with just 313,000 of the 9,140,000 in play. Less than five hours later he had them all, a trophy and a six-figure boost to his bank balance. It's fair to say the 24-year-old boy from Brazil, who only took up poker when he had heart surgery six years ago, can cut it on a cold snowy afternoon in Edinburgh in January.
"Today was another day and I was in the small blind so knew I had an orbit to play," he said after winning. "I had spirit and very good vibrations from my friends in Brazil; everybody was supporting me a lot and sending me messages. I'm happy, very happy."
Making quads on the second hand to double up helped of course, fifteen minutes later he had a near treble up when his queens held against the pocket sixes of Vladislav Donchev and K♦Q♦ of Christian Bergstrom. The Swede exited in eighth and Villa-Lobos jumped to second in chips. But the first half of this final table was all about the player he, and everyone else, trailed.
Although he came to the final table fourth in chips, all eyes were on David Vamplew and he didn't disappoint. The UKIPT/EPT London champion was going for a second UKIPT title, in his home city no less, in the city where he learnt to play. To emphasise this he wore a Edinburgh University Poker Society top, several members of that society were on hand to witness the Scot bash up the field.
He had clashed a number of times with chip-leader Przemyslaw Dajer in the latter stages of play on Day 3 and the two of them were soon at it again. A successful five-bet shove gave him near chip parity with the Pole. And when he found aces to eliminate Guido Braye in seventh, we had a new chip leader.
The Scot, who joked pre-final table that he needed seventh to get him out of it for the year made sure that he did far better than that when he eliminated Jamie Sykes in sixth place. The latter was being railed by house mate and friend Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody.
The two young guns went to war pre-flop, Vamplew five-bet shoved for an effective 1,200,000 with A♠K♥ and Sykes was only too happy to call with pocket kings. The Scot turned a flush draw and rivered an ace to send the dangerous Sykes back to England. The final table wasn't yet an hour old.
There was just no stopping Vamplew, he would take care of Chris Derrick in fifth soon after, although the donkey work was done by Vladislav Donchev who shoved with pocket fours and held against Derrick's K♣Q♦. The Day 2 chip leader took home £21,150 for his efforts in Edinburgh.
So with half the final table eliminated Vamplew had almost 50% of the chips in play. His nearest rival was Villa-Lobos and the two of them would play a tournament defining pot, in a hand that lasted almost ten minutes.
From under-the-gun Vamplew min-rasied to 120,000 and Villa-Lobos defended his big blind. The latter called bets of 250,000 and 430,000 respectively on the 5♠2♥6♠K♣ board before open-shoving for 1,220,000 on the A♥ river.
After the longest tank of the final table Vamplew called, Villa-Lobos had 4♠3♠ for the flopped straight, Vamplew pocket tens. That pot gave Villa-Lobos a chip lead that he would never relinquish. "I just had the nuts and the flush draw in the hand against David," said Villa-Lobos. "I think I confused him with the line that I took. And after the all in on the river I started to breath more heavily and rub my palms, I'm sure he noticed that. I'm not sure if that's what made him call but maybe."
After that nothing went right for Vamplew, he doubled up Dajer but was still second in chips when he yet again played a big pot with tens against Villa-Lobos. The Brazillian had ace-king and paired his king to win a five million-chip pot and eliminate Vamplew in fourth.
So now it was the start of final table short stack against the players who had been one and two at the start of the day. With two-thirds of the chips in play Villa-Lobos was not going to be pushed around and he raise-called when Dajer shoved for 17 big blinds with A♣J♥. His A♠4♠ was dominated but a 6♦5♣8♠J♦7♥ board gave him a fortuitous straight and a 6.5:1 chip lead going into heads-up play against Vladislav Donchev.
The Bulgarian had almost got to heads-up play unnoticed, coming into play with 1,700,000 he had lost a chunk to Villa-Lobos in the hand that eliminated Bergstrom and then never got back above his starting stack. He wouldn't manage that heads-up either. Down to less than 10 big blinds he shoved with Q♥7♥ and Villa-Lobos snapped with A♣Q♣. Five cards later the most amazing comeback this tour has ever seen was complete.
UKIPT Edinburgh Final table results:
1st. Nicolau Villa-Lobos, Brazil, £101,000
2nd. Vladislav Donchev, Bulgaria, PokerStars Qualifier, £61,000
3rd. Przemysław Dajer, Poland, PokerStars Player, £37,400
4th. David Vamplew, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, £27,350
5th. Chris Derrick, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, £21,150
6th. James Sykes, United Kingdom, PokerStars Player, £17,000
7th. Guido Braye, Netherlands, PokerStars Qualifier, £12,850
8th. Christian Bergstrom, Sweden, PokerStars Player, £9,750
To catch up on today's turbo final table and who finished where you can click on the links below. To catch up with actual turbo final tables you can find all TCOOP reports here. Qualifiers for the main event of UKIPT Cork, which takes place February 14th-18th, are running now and available on the client. Until then we're all off to get Samba lessons.
All pictures are copyright of Mickey May, her boots could do extensive damage to anyone who chooses not to credit her.