After starting the final table as the short stack, Tommy Vedes staged a remarkable comeback to end up taking his second WPT crown last night in Hollywood, Florida. It was a case of "last to arrive, last to leave" as Vedes was officially the last player to register at 12 noon on the second day of the event and in three short days he took down the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown for the title, a $25k seat at the WPT Bellagio and $780k.
This win is all the more remarkable as Vedes actually made the final table last year also - although last year he busted in the spot he started in today, 6th place.
Vedes needed the help of a coin flip early in the match to give him some momentum as he doubled through Kyle Bowker after his AK outflopped Bowker's 10 10. Left with only 90,000 chips Bowker looked all but finished but he started to make a spirited recovery and approached 500,000 chips before losing a few small pots before he was unceremoniously dumped from the championship by massive chip leader, Joe Serock who called Bowker's open shove and his dominating AJ bested Bowker's QJ as the board ran out dry.
Serock's lead at this point was looking almost unassaible as with 4.25 million chips he had more than three times as many as his nearest opponents. However, things were to change as Vedes went on a bit of a rampage - firstly eliminating Sharon Levin in 5th place (for $159k) when he called Levin's shove (she held A3) with his pocket sixes which were enough to seal Levin's fate. He then went on to eliminate Craig Bergeron - shoving over the top of Bergeron's all in for 990k chips. Bergeron was in bad shape as his 66 faced off against Vedes QQ and the board once more couldn't come to Vedes opponents rescue and Bergeron left the arena with a $213k pay cheque.
With play three handed and the blinds at 25k/50k with a 5k ante the chips started to move around at quite a rate. Serock played a key pot against John Dolan which sent him straight from dominant chip lead to the short stack as his shove with 66 was looked up and outflopped by Dolan's AJ. Soon after Dolan eliminated a deflated Serock as Serock's pocket Queens were cruelly busted by Dolan's K8 when a K fell on the turn after all Serock's chips had been committed. Serock took home his 2nd 3rd place finish in a WPT event in two months and bolstered his bankroll by a further $306k.
Heads up play started with Vedes the big underdog - however a series of double ups switched the chip lead and the momentum of the match as Vedes starte dto run away with proceedings. The end came as Vedes got it all in ahead with his A 10 playing off against Dolan's K6. It looked as though Dolan may have earned a double up as he flopped two pair on a KJ6 flop. However, a Queen on the turn made Vedes Broadway straight, and with it the title.
Dolan's consolation was a nice $459k payday while Vedes booked his second WPT title, $780k and a $25k seat to the upcoming WPT Bellagio.