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2018 WSOP Event 54: Portugal's Diogo Veiga Wins $3K Big Blind Antes ($522,715)

Diogo Veiga
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  • Diogo Veiga beat Barry Hutter heads-up to claim Portugal's first gold in the U.S. with support of a rowdy rail.

“Ay! Campeão! Ay! “Campeão!”

A whole lot of chanting in Portuguese could be heard coming from the Twitch stream table in Brasilia this afternoon as Diogo Veiga became the first Portuguese player to lift WSOP gold in Las Vegas for the country’s third bracelet overall.

“Yesterday we had the Bulgarian rail as well, so there was kind of a match between the rails and it was pretty intense,” said Veiga. “Today the Portuguese rail won. They are a big part of my win and I’m really happy.”

“Today the Portuguese rail won. They are a big part of my win and I’m really happy.”

Veiga’s second-largest career cash of $522,715 that came with the bracelet for winning Event #54: Big Blind Antes $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em followed his largest cash worth about US$555,000 by less than three months. That one came for a sixth-place finish in the partypoker MILLIONS Grand Final Barcelona €10,300 Main Event in April.

In his winner interview, Veiga mentioned that he learned from that deep run in Spain and was happy to better the finish in this one. Until April, Veiga had not a single score in the six-figure range, and didn’t even have a score that exceeded $40,000, making 2018 his breakout year in a big way. He hopes to carry the momentum from the first half of the year right into the rest of it.

“Perhaps now I’ll see what more there is I can play,” he said. “The strategy won’t change. I had 15 tough days before, but now, this is a turning point. I’m going to play the Main Event and just see what happens. It’s still going to be a great summer.”

Diogo Veiga - 2018 WSOP Big Blind Antes $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Winner
Diogo Veiga had the boisterous support of his Portuguese rail.

Official Final Table Result

PlaceWinnerCountryPrize (USD)
1Diogo VeigaPortugal$522,715
2Barry HutterUnited States$323,019
3Radoslav StoyanovBulgaria$228,241
4Jonathan AbdellatifBelgium$163,404
5Tom McCormickUnited States$118,552
6David YanNew Zealand$87,179
7Anna AntimonyUnited States$64,991
8Cathal ShineIreland$49,126
9Todd IvensUnited States$37,660

Event #54 Overview

The $3,000 buy-in Big Blind Antes event drew 1,020 players who battled for a chunk of the $2,754,000 prize pool. A total of 252 players survived the first day of play, and the money was reached on Day 2 when they got down to 153 players, the minimum payout worth $4,513.

Jonathan Abdellatif led the final 31 players into Day 3, and bracelet winner Barry Hutter took over the lead just after play got down to two tables. Bulgaria’s Radoslav Stoyanov then grabbed the lead from Hutter after he eliminated two-time bracelet winner Kristen Bicknell in 11th place to set up the unofficial final table. Both Radoslav and Hutter took big stacks into the final table, as did David Yan.

Anna Antimony sent Ryan Hall out in tenth, picking up pocket tens against Hall’s shove with pocket deuces, to get down to the official final table. Todd Ivens was out next in ninth place when he turned aces-up with ace-seven but trailed Abdellatif’s flopped set of eights and hit the rail.

Ireland’s Cathal Shine was eliminated in eight place, shoving his ace-jack from the small blind into the ace-queen suited of Hutter in the big blind, which would be a theme for Hutter at this final table. Neither player made a pair and Hutter’s ace-queen high pipped Shine, who had to settle for $49,126.

Antimony entered the final table as one of the shorter stacks, and despite getting a double up against Hutter, her kings against his ace-jack, she would eventually fall in seventh place when she shoved her queen-jack from the cutoff and Hutter looked her up with ace-seven in the big blind. Despite flopping a pair of queens and a gut-shot, Hutter spiked an ace on the turn and held.

After doubling up several opponents at the final table, Yan dwindled to under ten big blinds and shoved with jack-six in the small blind. He ran into the jack-nine of Abdellatif, who called in the big blind and rivered nines-full to end Yan’s run in sixth place.

Despite doubling up with ace-queen through Abdellatif’s ace-three, long-time WSOP regular Tom McCormick would eventually be the fifth-place finisher when he four-bet shoved pocket jacks from the big blind and got called by Veiga, who had three-bet Abdellatif’s open-raise with ace-four suited.

Veiga found an ace on the flop to send McCormick out with a six-figure score and his 72nd summer WSOP cash, still without a win. The remaining four players finished out the level before bagging up, Hutter with the lead and Veiga not far behind.

Final 4 Event #54: Big Blind Antes $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em
Event #54: Big Blind Antes $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em final four players.

Final Day’s Action

With the support of his friends on the rail, who alternated between chants of “Campeão” and “Buffalo!” Veiga stood by while Hutter knocked out the third- and fourth-place finishers to get heads-up.

In the ninth hand of the final day, the short stack upon entering the day, Abdellatif, shoved his remaining nine big blinds from the small blind with ten-five. Unfortunately for him, Hutter called from the big blind with a dominating queen-ten, and he couldn’t find help from the board. Abdellatif was out in fourth place, taking home a $163,404 payday for his efforts.

“It feels amazing. I can’t believe it yet.”

Stoyanov suffered a similar fate as Abdellatif, shoving from the small blind when folded to him with nine-four suited. Once again, Hutter was in the big blind and called with a superior hand, king-queen this time, which held up on the ace-high and pair of tens runout.

Veiga had his work cut out for him and had to climb back from a more than 3-2 deficit in chips against Hutter heads up. After slipping a bit, he found a double up, flopping the nut straight on the flop with six-three. The chips went in and Veiga had to fade Hutter’s flush draw and gut-shot for a higher straight, which he did.

From there, the two battled back and forth, and eventually Veiga climbed into a comfortable lead. Though Hutter started making a comeback, Veiga grinded him down again and then raise-called Hutter’s 18-big blind shove with {K-Spades}{10-Spades}, needing help against {A-Clubs}{10-Hearts}. He found that help on the {2-Spades}{K-Clubs}{7-Clubs} flop, prompting an eruption of cheers from the Portuguese rail.

The {8-Clubs} turn provided a sweat, giving Hutter outs for a flush, but the {7-Diamonds} river was safe for Veiga. Hutter’s bid for bracelet number two ended with his 22nd WSOP cash, a runner-up finish for his best live cash worth $323,019. With the score, Hutter’s WSOP earnings are closing in on $1 million, while his overall tournament winnings sit above $4.35 million, according to Hendon Mob.

Barry Hutter
Barry Hutter finished runner-up in Event #54 for his best live cash of $323,019.

Veiga credited his rail for the king on the flop that locked up his bracelet win.

“[The rail] called for that king on the flop way more than me!” said Veiga. “The last hand is definitely on them... The other ones are on me!”

Veiga was beside himself after the win, his compatriots standing by, still hyping him up.

“It feels amazing. I can’t believe it yet,” said Veiga. “The adrenalin is still too high. I can’t say much more than that, I’m just super happy.”

That concludes coverage of Event #54, but there’s still more poker to be played at the 2018 World Series of Poker. You can follow the live updates for all remaining events right here at PokerNews.

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