The 2010 PokerStars European Poker Tour Vilamoura proved to be the richest and biggest poker tournament in Portugal's history. A trio of British players — Toby Lewis, Sam Trickett and Teddy Sheringham — came to the final table with nearly three-quarters of the chips in play, but in the end, it was Lewis who ended up taking down this tournament of 384 runners for a €467,835 payday. For the youngster, it was the biggest result of his short career as he was cheered on by a loud and vociferous British rail that included Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly, WSOP bracelet winner James Dempsey and later, his final table rival, Trickett.
One of the major talking points, though, throughout the final table was the sheer quantity of bad luck suffered by Trickett. The aforementioned Brit ended up being eliminated in fourth place having been involved in seven all-in preflop showdowns. He was behind only once with jacks against a short-stack's queens but every other time he was marginally or massively ahead. He managed, however appallingly, to lose them all except one pot to bust a very short stack. On top of this, he found queens when former international footballer Sheringham had kings and also made trips when Frederik Jensen had flopped a full house. Despite this, Trickett never appeared to tilt and after his eventual elimination, even tournament director Thomas Kremser expressed admiration for the way Trickett had handled himself during the final table.
The chip stacks had been massively skewed at the start of the day with two huge stacks in Lewis and Trickett, and medium stacks in Jason Lee and Sergio Coutinho while Rob Hollink, Martin Jacobson and Frederik Jensen all started with less than 20 big blinds. Jensen had the busiest start, doubling with against Trickett's . Soon after, the Dane found queens when Trickett had jacks and got another double-up for good measure.
It was, however, Coutinho who was eliminated in eighth place and extinguished the final hope of the locals of another Portuguese player to follow in the footsteps of last year's champion Antonio Matias. He was crippled when he turned a flush against Toby Lewis who rivered a full house to take most of Countinho's stack. The Portuguese player was then eliminated by Trickett (the only showdown he won all day).
The former EPT Monte Carlo winner, Hollink was next out in seventh place. The Dutchman never had much going for him on the final table and made a move with only to be beaten by Teddy Sheringham's . Jensen followed him in sixth place after Jacobson made a big call with a measly pair of fives against the Dane's ace-jack and somehow won the race dodging overcards, a paired board, and a straight draw.
Jacobson then got lucky in a big pot after four-bet shoving queen-jack into Trickett's jacks; he managed to turn a flush to win the 2.4 million chip pot and soon after knocked out footballer (that's soccer player for all you Yanks reading this) Sheringham in fifth. Sheringham had two pair on the turn of a board with , but Jacobson had flopped with a straight since was his holding. No nine or king on the river, and Sheringham had managed his best-ever cash in poker — more than double the £40,481 he had received for a 14th place finish in last year's WSOPE Main Event.
Jason Lee, who had nursed a small stack for much of his tournament, was knocked out in third place when he pushed on the button with but found the Swede happy to try his luck with . Despite Lee's friend Annette Obrestad announcing, "You can't lose, you got it in behind!", he was unable to win as Jacobson turned top pair and Lee's flopped gutshot missed.
This left Jacobson facing Lewis, the latter in contrast to the Swede had slowly built up his stack neither winning nor losing big pots but slowly accumulating chips throughout and always looking incredibly comfortable during the final table. Lewis started off just shy of a 2-to-1 chip deficit but within 20 minutes had managed to take over the chip lead. From then on, it always looked as though there would only be one winner. Jacobson managed to rally briefly and evened the stacks but Lewis managed to catch a slice of luck, turning a set of fives at the same time that Jacobson made nines and fives to finish the tournament and send the Brits into a frenzy.
From Vilamoura, the PokerNews Live Reporting team is off to London to continue the hectic late-summer schedule as the 2010 WSOPE starts on Tuesday, September 14 from the Empire Casino in Leicester Square. Following that, it will be straight on to the Hilton Metropole on Edgeware Road for the EPT London as the coverage continues through until the end of the month and into October. Tune in then as the action will be coming thick and fast from England's capital city and the PokerNews team will be on hand to catch it all!
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