Vladas Tamasauskas made his debut in the PokerGO Studio last week, playing in Event #1: $10,000 No Limit Hold’em. Up against some of the top tournament players in the world, Tamasauskas didn’t flinch. Instead, he battled his way through the field to reach the final table. There, he found himself on one of the short stacks, facing off with the likes of Aram Zobian, Victoria Livschitz, and Ren Lin.
Now, some players in Tamasauskas’ position might settle for just making the final table and maybe laddering up one or two pay jumps.
Tamasauskas didn’t settle.
Rather, he played patiently, maneuvering his short stack with expert precision. As the other players clashed, Tamasauskas sat back and waited. One by one, the eliminations came and Tamasauskas inched closer to victory.
Eventually, it was just him and Zobian left to battle it out heads-up. Zobian had the bigger stack to start, but the swings came quickly and the lead flipped back and forth often. It took over an hour to determine the winner, but in the end it was Tamasauskas who came out on top. The victory in Event #1 earned him $239,400 and 239 PGT leaderboard points.
Three final tables, two wins
Following the win, Tamasauskas rode the wave of momentum right into Event #2: $10,000 No Limit Hold’em. The surge took him deep, back to the final table once again. This time around, however, the Lithuanian’s luck could only take him so far. In a pre-flop, all-in confrontation, Tamasauskas had the worst of it with pocket jacks against Darren Elias’ pocket queens. The runout failed to improve his holding and he bowed out in 6th place. Elias would go on to win the event.
Again, the momentum from another final table appearance led Tamasauskas into Event #3: $10,000 No Limit Hold’em. The formula from the prior two events worked its magic once more as Tamasauskas made his way to yet another final table. Impressive to say the least, but that’s not all he had in store.
Tamasauskas began the final table as the shortest stack, but, once again, he managed to zig and zag at the right times, allowing others to fall before him. That’s not to say it was easy. It couldn’t have been. The rest of the table held some of the game’s strongest tournament players, most notably a Chip Leader Coaching double feature of Chance Kornuth and Alex Foxen.
For Tamasauskas, however, it was just business as usual: let the others clash, pick your spots carefully, run better than the rest, collect the trophy. And that’s exactly what he did.
There were a few key hands for Tamasauskas along the way. First, his pocket queens held up against Kornuth’s ace-three. Kornuth committed the last of his short stack, but couldn’t get lucky to stay alive. The hand effectively doubled Tamasauskas’ chip count, which allowed him to open up a little and play more adventurously.
The direct result of that came just twenty minutes later in a hand against Michael Rocco. In a three-bet pot, both players rivered a full house. Tamasauskas held the winner, with sevens full against Rocco’s fives full. There was no getting away for Rocco and the cooler saw his stack shrivel to less than one big blind.
Later, in a hand against Daniel Rezaei, with just three players remaining, Tamasauskas correctly hero-called an all-in check raise from Rezaei with just top pair on an extremely connected board. Rezaei had put his nut flush blocker to work, but the bluff couldn’t get through and Tamasauskas took an overwhelming chip lead. Rezaei would bow out shortly after, leaving just Tamasauskas and Ren Lin to fight for the top prize.
The heads-up battle between Tamasauskas and Lin took less than an hour to finish. Lin made a bit of a comeback, taking over the chip lead at one point by a slim margin. In the end, though, he couldn’t finish off Tamasauskas and would have to settle for second place.
The win earned Tamasauskas $208,800 and 209 PGT points, placing him well in the lead in the race for the Poker Masters Purple Jacket. It might be slightly premature, but PokerGO may want to get his measurements. Past winners of that coveted cloth include Michael Addamo and Sean Winter.
All Images Courtesy of PokerGO