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Look Out: David Vamplew

by Ryan Lucchesi |  Published: Nov 26, 2010


As David Vamplew went on the best poker run of his life over the course of a few days at the European Poker Tour London festival of poker, comparisons abounded for the 23-year-old professional poker player from Fife, Scotland. His light complexion and last name had many ready to nickname him “The Vampire,” while others thought that his circular glasses and ruffled hair pointed to the nickname “Harry Potter.”

No matter what nickname that people wanted to give him in London, the title that best described him was “winner.” On Monday, Oct. 4, Vamplew defeated professional John Juanda to win £900,000 after a heads-up duel that was impressive. The tough test at the end of the EPT London £5,000 main event was Vamplew’s reward for wading through a mine field of a tournament that included 848 players, the largest in the history of England.

Juanda was eliminated one spot shy of being crowned the king of London poker just two years after he won the World Series of Poker Europe main event across town in Leicester Square. “He got really unlucky,” said Vamplew of Juanda after the final. “When it’s broadcast, it will be really interesting to see what he had when he was getting me off some of my hands.”

The very next day, Vamplew was a contestant in the PokerStars UK and Ireland Poker Tour Champion of Champions event, thanks to his EPT London victory. He defeated the eight other PokerStars UKIPT season 1 winners to claim his second tournament title in as many days. How did it feel for Vamplew to win back-to-back tournaments? He said, “It’s pretty good; after yesterday, it’s the icing on the cake.”

The Scot topped UKIPT champions Padraig Parkinson (Galway), Joeri Zandvliet (Manchester), Gilles Augustus (Coventry), Andy Couldridge (Nottingham), Femi Fakinle (Killarney), Jamie Burland (Brighton), Nick Abou Risk (Edinburgh), and Max Silver (Dublin) to earn a seat at every EPT stop of season 2, including the Grand Final at EPT London in 2011. “It’s going to take a while to sink in. I had to get lucky to win. I won a few all-ins, but I’m pretty proud of the way I played. I’m pleased with myself, for sure,” said Vamplew after the second win.

Vamplew has been playing poker since 2005, and he turned pro after graduating in mathematics from Edinburgh University last year. He normally plays medium-stakes cash games, and started playing live tournaments only this year. His previous best cash was $6,000, in a WSOP event this summer.

He now has $1,420,085 in career tournament earnings and 1,920 Card Player 2010 Player of the Year (POY) points, putting him in 61st place. He is now the top-earning Scottish player of all time. His most serious run for the POY award may come in future years, but if he plays poker like he did for two days in October at any other point in his career, everyone will need to look out for the young Scottish professional. ♠