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Tommy Vedes Wins the World Poker Tour Festa al Lago Classic

Vedes Takes Home the Top Prize of $1,218,225 and His First WPT Title


Tommy Vedes Wins 2009 WPT Festa al Lago ClassicThe final table of the 2009 World Poker Tour Festa al Lago Classic $15,000 no-limit hold’em championship began at 4 p.m. PDT today at Bellagio. The field of 275 players had whittled its way down to the final six, and they returned to see who would walk away with the top prize of $1,218,255. Here is a look at the chip counts when play began:

Author’s Note: All elimination hands are featured at the bottom of this article.

Seat 1: Tommy Vedes — 2,990,000 (pictured right)
Seat 2: Jason Lavallee — 2,045,000
Seat 3: Craig Crivello — 2,570,000
Seat 4: Freddy Deeb — 3,840,000
Seat 5: Jason Burt — 1,375,000
Seat 6: Shawn Cunix — 3,670,000

It took more than an hour for the first player to put his tournament life at risk, and it was Tommy Vedes who faced elimination. Vedes held K-Q on a K-Q-6 flop when he moved all in, and Shawn Cunix had him covered with pocket sixes. A king fell on the turn for Vedes, hitting a four-outer to double up to 3.9 million and survive. That hand proved to be fatal for Cunix, who was eliminated in sixth place within the hour.

Jason Burt was eliminated in fifth place by Freddy Deeb, who grew his stack to 4.6 million after acquiring Burt’s chips. Deeb then tangled in a huge hand with Vedes, and for the second time at the final table, Vedes received some help to double up in a key situation. This time, Vedes was all in preflop with pocket queens, and Deeb had him covered with pocket kings in the hole. The board fell J-9-5-6-Q, and Vedes hit a two-outer to double up and take the chip lead with more than 6 million.

Vedes finished the job against Deeb a few hands later when he eliminated the most well-known professional at the final table in fourth place and grew his chip stack to a commanding lead of 9.7 million. Jason Lavallee evened up the chip counts heading into heads-up play by taking out Craig Crivello in third place. Lavallee held 7.3 million to the 9.2 million of Vedes heading into the final battle.

Heads-up play was exciting from start to finish, as Lavalle grabbed the chip lead 20 minutes in, and then he started to increase his chip lead by bringing his stack to eight figures. Vedes had his back against the wall when he moved all in for 3.76 million with A-10. Lavallee had him dominated with A-J, but the board ran out 10-9-9-4-7 to keep Vedes alive. Vedes doubled up again 10 minutes later when his pocket fives held on to defeat the pocket fours of Lavallee, who was crippled on the hand. The resident of Queens, New York, then used three queens to win the tournament on the final hand and eliminate Lavallee in second place.

After a strong run of tournament success during the last couple of months, Vedes captured his first major tournament title and won $1,218,255 in prize money. Vedes now holds close to $2 million in career tournament winnings, and he is currently one of the hottest players in poker.

Here is a look at the final-table results:

1: Tommy Vedes — $1,218,255
2: Jason Lavallee — $795,150
3: Craig Crivello — $477,090
4: Freddy Deeb — $278,300
5: Jason Burt — $208,725
6: Shawn Cunix — $168,970

Here is a look at the elimination hands as featured on’s live updates:

Shawn CunixShawn Cunix Eliminated in Sixth Place ($168,970)

Level: 25

Blinds: 50,000-100,000 with a 10,000 ante

Average Chip Count: 3,300,000

Shawn Cunix (pictured right) moved all in for his last 550,000, and Craig Crivello called from the big blind with ADiamond Suit QClub Suit.

Cunix showed 8Heart Suit 6Heart Suit for two live cards, but although he hit one of his outs, the board came KDiamond Suit 10Diamond Suit 6Diamond Suit 3Heart Suit JDiamond Suit, and Crivello’s flush sent Cunix to the rail in sixth place. Crivello now has 3.2 million.

Jason Burt Eliminated in Fifth Place ($208,725)

Level: 25

Blinds: 50,000-100,000 with a 10,000 ante

Average Chip Count: 4,125,000

Freddy Deeb raised to 400,000 from under the gun, and Jason Burt moved all in from the cutoff for his last 1.1 million.

Deeb called with AClub Suit QDiamond Suit, dominating Burt’s ASpade Suit JSpade Suit. The board came out KClub Suit QSpade Suit 4Club Suit 9Diamond Suit 8Spade Suit, and Burt was eliminated in fifth place.

Deeb is now stacked with 4.6 million.

Freddy DeebFreddy Deeb Eliminated in Fourth Place ($278,300)

Level: 26

Blinds: 60,000-120,000 with a 10,000 ante

Average Chip Count: 5,500,000

Freddy Deeb (pictured right) moved all in under the gun for 975,000, and Tommy Vedes called on the button.

Deeb showed AHeart Suit 4Spade Suit and Vedes showed pocket sixes. The board came safely in the form of 8Diamond Suit 7Club Suit 2Diamond Suit 10Diamond Suit QSpade Suit, and Deeb was eliminated in fourth place. Vedes now has a monster stack of 9.7 million.

Craig Crivello Eliminated in Third Place ($477,090)

Level: 26

Blinds: 60,000-120,000 with a 10,000 ante

Average Chip Count: 8,250,000

Jason Lavallee raised to 280,000 from the button, and Craig Crivello reraised all in for 1.95 million. Lavallee made the call, and they flipped up their cards:

Lavallee: 10Club Suit 10Heart Suit
Crivello: KClub Suit JSpade Suit

Board: QDiamond Suit 8Heart Suit 3Heart Suit 9Heart Suit 9Club Suit

Crivello was eliminated on the hand in third place, and Lavallee grew his chip stack to 7.3 million heading into heads-up play.

Jason LavalleeJason Lavallee Eliminated in Second Place ($795,150) — Tommy Vedes Wins 2009 Festa Al Lago ($1,218,225)

Level: 28

Blinds: 100,000-200,000 with a 15,000 ante

Average Chip Count: 8,250,000

Jason Lavallee (pictured left) moved all in for his last 2.775 million, and Tommy Vedes called instantly with KDiamond Suit QDiamond Suit.

Lavallee showed 8Heart Suit 6Heart Suit and needed help. The board fell ADiamond Suit 9Spade Suit 5Club Suit QClub Suit QSpade Suit, and Lavallee was eliminated in second place.



over 12 years ago

Um sounds like he got lucky.


over 12 years ago

Yeah and this is a skill game. Just goes to show you that bad beats don't just happen online.


over 12 years ago

Did anyone notice that the players were eliminated by seat order exactly in a row? Conspiracy or coincedence?


over 12 years ago

just goes to show you gotta get lucky to win!


over 12 years ago

That is deffinately true but Tommy has been doin a good job this series. It was bound to happen sooner or later. Word up for the NY playas!


over 12 years ago

wow congrats babe im so proud of u


over 12 years ago

I played with Tommy back in April for a few hours at Bally's. I am from NY and noticed he was a fellow New Yorker, His play is excellent and deserves a big win like this.

He was a great guy all around, Congrats to him, Keep up the good work!!