While players such as Jeffrey Lisandro and Phil Ivey have stood out amongst several lingering memories when considering successful years during the World Series of Poker, our attention should currently be devoted to one individual — Ben Lamb.
Lamb holds the crown for the leading point earner on the 2011 WSOP Player of the Year leaderboard, and it’s even more of an accomplishment, that he’s currently sitting in fifth amongst a collection of bright, new faces at the final table of the WSOP Main Event.
The 26-year-old poker professional hailing from Tulsa, OK now has 20,875,000 chips in the tournament, along with over $3.3 million in career tournament earnings, with most of that being accumulated from the WSOP. In 2011, Lamb has gone on a serious run to secure his place in tournament history, securing a first-place finish in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship, along with at least 3 other top-ten finishes.
The reason we say at least, is because Lamb just recently became one of the few special players that gain tremendous notoriety with their inclusion in the infamous November Nine. If he can manage to take down the $8.7 million first-place prize, he’ll then be included amongst the top tournament earners of all-time.
With his deep run in the $10,000 Main Event, he managed to surpass one of the greatest players in WSOP history, Phil Hellmuth, in the Player of the Year race. Arguably having the best year of anyone at the WSOP, Hellmuth, who astonishingly finished 2nd in three events this year, had a total of four cashes for just over $2 million in earnings.
It was said that Hellmuth would receive a bit of consolation from his three heartbreaking runner-up finishes by receiving the WSOP Player of Year Award. However, it looks as though those hopes are slowly diminishing, due to Lamb’s overwhelming accomplishments thus far at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.
“I’m focused on playing this tournament right now, but I’m definitely excited to be leading Player of the Year,” stated Lamb.
Lamb’s achievements certainly shouldn’t come as a surprise. Since 2009, he’s cashed in at least three WSOP events in consecutive years. In 2011, he’s grabbed five.
Despite having immense belief in his own talent, he’s undoubtedly aware of the necessity to run well in these tournaments, and he’s been keeping his mind focused solely on poker.
“It’s a combination of things. Run good is probably the leading thing but I’ve just been more focused this summer. I haven’t really done much but play poker.”
That may be an understatement. Lamb admitted he spent the first half of his summer playing in cash games nearly 16 hours a day. So far, his devotion to the game has allowed him to reach a potential of skill that very few players on tour can replicate.
Although Lamb understands that he’s consistently played well during this WSOP, when questioned about what he thinks about his improvement, he feels there’s still a lot of work to be done.
“There is a level of performance you can obtain. But to be really great, you may have to have something beyond the cap on your talent. I do not think I am anywhere near my cap.”
We can only hope for the same, as the World Series of Poker Main Event concludes in November, along with several other opportunities to increase his POY lead with WSOP events in Europe.
More is on the way from us here at High Stakes Report, including more information regarding the status of online poker, and the WSOP.