Ben Lamb, a professional poker player from Tulsa, OK, took down Event #42, the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship, and a $814,436 first-place prize at the 2011 World Series of Poker.
In what has been an incredible run for Lamb, the 26-year-old PLO specialist finally cashed in on his strength by taking down his very first bracelet at the WSOP. Landing in a very similar situation — one which he experienced just days ago — Lamb once again made it to heads-up battle, and this time, he slayed his adversary.
Facing a crafty PLO veteran in Sami “LarsLuzak” Kelopuro, Lamb needed to utilize all of his weapons in order to finish off the aggressive online hot shot. He needed to defeat 359 other players as well, on his way to victory.
PLO has been the game that Lamb has excelled in the most, and when it comes to the WSOP, it’s undoubtedly his game of choice. Since his first appearance at the Series just five years ago, he’s now cashed five times in Omaha events, for a staggering total of $1,173,084. Nearly 48 hours before his recent victory, he secured what was the second largest live tournament score of his career, $259,918 in the $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event.
Lamb isn’t a stranger to No-Limit Hold’em either, as he’s cashed in several of those tournaments as well at the WSOP. He’ll certainly always remember his near final table during the 2009 Championship event, where he could’ve been a member of the November Nine alongside Phil Ivey, who is boycotting this year’s Series. Lamb ended up finishing 14th that year.
Lamb has traditionally considered himself a cash game player, and even his new tournament successes won’t have him aching to get back into the pro-heavy fields that are frequent at the WSOP.
“I probably wouldn’t have played this tournament if I didn’t come in second place in the $3K PLO tournament,” stated Lamb.
In what was only the sixth tournament entry for Lamb at the 2011 WSOP, he’s not even close to catching some of the most active participants this year, including Tom “durrrr” Dwan and Justin “BoostedJ” Smith. However, unlike those pros, Lamb has made the most of his opportunities, and won a gold bracelet.
“Some of my friends would tell me that I’m a great player, but then, they would point to their own wrist and say, oh wait — I’ve won my gold bracelet,” laughed Lamb. “After this, now I can say back to them — I’ve got a $10,000 buy-in World Championship gold bracelet. Where’s yours?”
Not only will Lamb be in possession of bragging rights, but he was also once in control of the 2011 WSOP Player of the Year standings. He has since relinquished that label, and his fiercest competition for the crown has been Phil Hellmuth, who has competed just as well in most of the events that Lamb has entered. The $50,000 Players Championship was a major deciding factor.
Despite Lamb making yet another deep run in the Players Championship event, Hellmuth ended that event in heartbreak, losing to the equally successful Brian Rast who now has two wins at this year’s WSOP. It was the third 2nd place finish for Hellmuth, and he, Lamb and Rast are currently the top three in terms of the Player of the Year leaderboard. Hellmuth sits in first with 710.25 points, Lamb in second with 659.05, and Rast in third with 550.00.
Lamb’s plans after winning his bracelet included playing in the Main Event, and after the event’s Day 1B start, he lead the entire field in terms of chip count.
There were 978 players who started the day, and Lamb ended with 188,925 in tournament chips.
In response to his ever-growing 2011 success, Lamb chalked it up to good table draws, and more than his fair share of luck.
“I had two really good tables. That’s always very, very important, especially in a tournament like this,” mentioned Lamb. “I understand how lucky I’ve gotten. I’m not one of those people who thinks I’m all of a sudden ten times better than I was last year.”
“I do realize how blessed I’ve been this summer. But I’m not gonna complain.”
Most of the railbirds won’t be complaining either, as they’ll have a familiar face to cheer on for the remainder of the tournament.
More ahead from the crew here at High Stakes Report.
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