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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.
Approaching the midnight hour Monday in Vegas, three players remained at the felt in event 43: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em, which entered its third and final day Monday. Nachman Berlin on 5,800,000 was well ahead of Andre Akkari (3,500,000) and Matthew Carmody (3,400,000) as play reached level 28.
The third day of this competition had started with 34 survivors of a massive original field of 2,857, with Byron Kaverman holding the overnight chip lead but several top players still in the chase for the bracelet and the first prize.
Early in the evening the final table was set with the double elimination of Ray Foley and Phillip Meulyzer and comprised: Zachary Hall (800,000), Matthew Carmody (1,520,000), Andre Akkari (1,800,000), Nachman Berlin (1,200,000), Byron Kaverman (1,320,000), Nicolas Chouity (1,200,000) Scott Sitron (490,000) and Jacob Naquin (3,350,000).
The next player to head for the exit will not only set the scene for the heads up, but will earn a third placing check for $295,625.
Going into the early hours of Tuesday morning only three players were left contesting event 44: $2,500 Razz: Tommy Chen in the lead on 1,079,000, chased by Stephen Su (856,000), and Rep Porter (798,000).
The quartet had been among a third day starter field of 23 - the survivors of an original registration list of 363 - which reassembled mid-afternoon Monday to decide the winner in a tough competition that has seen a wealth of big name players bite the dust.
The casualty list for the third day included John Monnette, Victor Ramdin, Chad Brown, Robert Williamson III and David Sklansky.
Chen dominated then as he did just after midnight at level 25 and looks to be the favourite for the bracelet and the big money.
2,890 hopefuls signed up on Sunday for event 45: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em, but by the start of the second day on Monday only 304 remained, many of them notable names on the international poker scene.
Just after midnight Monday barely 37 players were still in the competition as the final level for the second day approached.
The top ten chip counts at that point were Glenn Mccaffrey heading the leaders on 600,000, Jonathan Driscoll (450,000), Antonio Esfandiari, George Kapalas, Aaron Massey, David Baker, Jonathan Lane, Radu Junc, Kenneth Griffin and Phil Hellmuth trailing on 150,000.
Event 46, the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em / Six Handed Championship has been billed as the most expensive six-handed tournament on the World Series of Poker schedule this year, and Monday's entry field of 474 creating a prize pool of $4.45 million certainly seemed to confirm it, with a stellar roster of top players taking their places for the start.
Ace-spotters all reported seeing Vanessa Rousso, Dan Kelly, Justin Bonomo, Marco Traniello, Lex Veldhuis, Neil Channing, Erick Lindgren, Scott Seiver, David Diaz, Jude Ainsworth, Eric Froehlich, Jonathan Duhamel, Vicky Coren, Annette Obrestad, David Benyamine, Justin Young, Vitaly Lunkin, Bill Klein, Juha Helppi, Dave Ulliott, Phil Laak, Adam Junglen, Sam Stein and Eugene Todd scattered among the tables.
Just on midnight Monday the officials judged that the required ten levels had been reached, and the first day's play was halted. Alan Sternberg holds the overnight chip lead on 260,600, but lurking back there in the top ten are tough and experienced players like Ben Lamb, Joe Cada, McLean Karr, Kevin Saul, Isaac Baron and Mike Sowers.
162 players survived the first day and return Tuesday.
Event 47: $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low-8 or Better, a new WSOP event, commenced Monday as well, attracting a field of 450 players to the late afternoon start and generating a prize pool of $1.02 million.
The professional players were again out in force, with Allen Bari, David Chiu, Andy Black, Allen Kessler, Thor Hansen, Jeffrey Lisandro, Jerry Buss, John Cernuto Barny Boatman, Tommy Vedes, Mel Judah, Max Pescatori, Mike Sexton, John D'Agostino, Richard Ashby, Chad Brown, Antony Lellouche, Mitch Schock, Jon Spinks, Dan Heimiller, Ylon Schwartz, Tom Schneider, Jean-Robert Bellande, Chris Tryba, David Steicke, Eric Baldwin, Mike Matusow, David Bach, Cyndy Violette and Kristy Gazes all appearing on the registration list.
226 survivors were left in the early hours of Tuesday morning Vegas time with just five hands remaining before the first day's action was wrapped up, having reached the required eight levels.
Bryan Micon was leading a star-studded top ten on 32,000, chased by Chris Tryba (23,000) and Chad Brown, Antony Lellouche, Eric Baldwin and Tom Dwan on 22,000 but with Al Barbieri, Max Pescatori, Dan Heimiller and Alexander Kostritsyn not far behind.
Source: InfoPowa News