Poker Gods shine on Vedes at WPT Festa al Lago

Tommy Vedes
WPT Season 8 Festa al Lago champion Tommy Vedes.

The poker Gods appeared to finally give Tommy Vedes the break he needed in Las Vegas Monday night.

The New York native, who fell just short of glory at the Freddy Deeb.

However, Deeb's grip on the Festa al Lago title began to slip when Vedes managed to suck out on him as well, hitting a set of queens on the river after getting it in pre-flop against Deeb's pocket kings.

"I got lucky with Deeb," Vedes explained. "I don't know what happened. I'm from Queens and it came queens all night long."

Vedes continued to run well, making the nut-flush on the river against a Crivello straight to snatch a huge pot off him and take a commanding lead on the field four-handed.

Deeb came into the final with a chance to tie Gus Hansen for the most wins in WPT history at three, but those dreams were dashed when he shoved short with a weak ace and, once again, Vedes had his number, making the call with sixes and holding.

Three-handed play was a rather quick affair that ended when Crivello ran two face cards into Jason Lavallee's tens and failed to improve.

Heads up began with Vedes holding a two-million-chip edge over Lavallee, but the young Canadian chipped away to take the advantage and eventually bullied his way into a sizable lead.

However, Vedes uncanny ability to suck out came to the fore once again when he got it in dominated with ace-ten versus ace-jack and managed to flop a ten.

"When I saw his ace-jack and the ace-ten, I felt like I knew was going to win the hand," he said. "I did, after all the things that had been going on. It just came out right."

A few hands later, with Lavallee still holding the slight chip edge, the money went in again.

Jason Lavallee
Got it in good.

This time Vedes had fives over Lavallee's fours and the small pair held to give Vedes what appeared to be an insurmountable lead.

Finally, Lavallee ran rags into Vedes' king-queen, the turn brought a second queen, the river a third and the man from Queens became the 2009 Festa al Lago champion.

Following a 19th-place finish in the 2009 WSOP Main Event, busting on the bubble at WSOP Europe and turning the chip lead into a 54th-place fizzle-out at EPT London, Vedes said he felt like Festa al Lago was simply his time.

"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."

Vedes said he's scheduled to play the Caesars Palace Classic in Las Vegas Tuesday and plans to head to WSOPC Southern Indiana, WPT Foxwoods and WSOPC Lake Tahoe immediately after, just to see if he can keep the ball rolling.

"I don't know," he said. "Maybe I can ship another one. We'll see what happens."

For a comprehensive recap of all the final-table action, check out PokerListings' Live Updates.

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