Tuesday June 28, 2011 : The professionals are out in force for the 2011 Series, liberally populating entry lists
The 42nd World Series of Poker continues to attract a hefty proportion of the international professional poker player community in the most recent events, producing an often dazzling display of talent and experience at the tables, along with entertaining and generally good humoured behaviour.
Ben Lamb, a Las Vegas pro who has also enjoyed a successful poker career online, is having a great tournament this year. In addition to an almost $260 000 second placing in the $3000 PLO event on June 19, he took down event 42: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship Monday, earning his biggest yet career payday of $814,436…with a maiden gold bracelet to add respect.
The WSOP win is Lamb's (known as ‘benba' online) sixth first in a career that has seen the Las Vegas pro's career earnings top $2.2 million in 32 cashes.
Lamb was one of a stellar field of 361 players who took four days to decide a winner. Monday saw just four survivors return to the felt on the fourth day, with Lamb leading with 4.33 million in chips, followed by John Shipley with 2.7 million, Sami Kelopuro with 2.15 million, and Christopher King with 1.6 million.
King was the first to go, busted out by Lamb. Shipley followed, taken down by Finnish player Sami Kelopuro and setting the scene for the heads up between the Finn and Lamb, with the latter well ahead – over two million chips better off than his opponent.
Kelopuro proved to be a tough nut to crack, bouncing back to almost even and then stealing the lead from Lamb, who showed his mettle by taking it right back. After a period where neither player seemed to be able to subjugate the other, Lamb suddenly ignited and took the match.
Kelopuro's sterling effort was rewarded with a $503,173 runner-up prize.