Nicolau Villa-Lobos may be more accustomed to the sandy beaches of Rio than the snowy streets of Edinburgh, but that has not stopped him from leaving the Scottish capital with the title of UKIPT Edinburgh champion and the £101,000 first place prize money.
Going into the final table, Villa-Lobos was the shortest stack. His 313,000 chips making him the favourite to pick up eighth place prize money, but also meaning he had the least pressure on him of any of the final table members. Within 10 minutes of the final table starting, Villa-Lobos had doubled up!
Chris Derrick opened to 80,000 from the cutoff then called when Villa-Lobos three-bet all in for 285,000. Derrick turned over a pair of deuces and was up against the Brazilian’s pocket fours. The flop improved Villa-Lobos to a set of four, which then turned into quads on the river! A nice start for sure!
Shortly after Villa-Lobos’ lightening start the final table lost its first player. Christian Bergstrom had flown to Edinburgh from his native Stockholm and was hoping to return to Sweden with the UKIPT trophy and the lion’s share of the prize pool. Those hopes were dashed though when he open-shoved for 421,000 in middle position and was called in not one but two spots! First, Vladislav Donchev called only to see Villa-Lobos move all-in! Donchev called the extra chips and the cards were revealed.
By the river the board read , eliminating Bergstrom, reducing Donchev’s stack by some margin and catapulting the once short-stacked Villa-Lobos to 1,600,000 chips!
Another ten minutes passed before Guido Braye was sent to the rail in seventh place. David Vamplew opened to 80,000 in middle position, Leeds’ online pro Jamie Sykes flat called on the button and Braye chose this moment to move al-in for 451,000 in total. Vamplew asked for a count of Sykes’ stack – 1,200,000 was the answer – and Vamplew moved all-in. Sykes snap-folded and the cards were turned onto their backs. Braye showed an ambitious and was in really bad shape against the red aces of the home town hero Vamplew. A board reading sent Braye home in seventh place and shot Vamplew to the top of the chip counts.
Vamplew then claimed the scalp of the dangerous Sykes and it looked like the former European Poker Tour champion was going to help himself to the UKIPT Edinburgh title too. Sykes opened to 85,000 from under the gun, Vamplew three-bet to 183,000 and when the action passed back to him Sykes four-bet to 325,000. Vamplew moved all in and Sykes instantly called, revealing as he did. Vamplew held the and he needed to hit otherwise he would double up arguably the most dangerous player at the table. The flop kept Sykes in front, the turn was a blank too but the on the river was enough to crack Sykes’ kings and he headed out of the tournament area to collect sixth place prize money.
Shortly after Sykes’ exit, the players were sent on a scheduled break and when they returned it marked the end of Derrick’s tournament. He first lost a typical coinflip with versus the pocket fours of Donchev to leave him with just 115,000 chips. These went into the middle on the very next hand, where he was called by all four players! The board was checked to the river where Derrick showed for trip fours, but was beaten by the of Villa-Lobos that had made a straight.
After the early flurry of activity it took a further two hours before the tournament lost another player, and when it happened it massively disappointed the gathering crowds. Vamplew opened to 180,000 only to see Villa-Lobos three-bet all-in for 2,400,000 from the big blind. Slightly unconventional from the Brazilian but it did receive a call from Vamplew nonetheless. Vamplew showed pocket tens to Villa-Lobos’ ace-king. Villa-Lobos took the lead on an flop and stayed in front as the and completed the community cards. Villa-Lobos soared to around six-million chips, while a disappointed Vamplew headed off into the snowy streets of Edinburgh pondering what could have been.
Next to go was the man who started the final table with the chip lead, Przemyslaw Dajer. He three-bet all-in for 1,350,000 over the top of Villa-Lobos’ opening raise with what turned out to be and was called by . By the turn the board read and it looked like Dajer was going to double up. That was until the straight-filling made an appearance on the river to condemn the Pole to a third place finish and leave Villa-Lobos and Donchev to play heads-up for the title.
Going into heads-up Villa-Lobos held a massive 7,910,000 to 1,230,000 chip lead over Donchev, a gap that proved too far to cross. Villa-Lobos won the first few pots, and did so without showdown, and on one of the first showdowns of heads-up, it was all over. Donchev shoved for less than 10-big blinds with and ran into the dominating of his in-form opponent. A final board of saw all of the chips in play belong to Villa-Lobos and he was announced as the UKIPT Edinburgh champion.
UKIPT Edinburgh final table results
Lead image courtesy of Mickey May.