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Ben Lamb makes quick work of the WSOP competition

13 June 2023

Ben Lamb

Ben Lamb (photo by WSOP)

It took just three and a half hours on the final day of Event #25: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship to determine a champion and Ben Lamb has become the latest card shark to earn his second WSOP gold bracelet at the Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas.

It was yet another record field for a Championship Event of the 2023 World Series of Poker (WSOP), which drew a staggering 212 unique entries, and the top 32 finishers secured a portion of the $1,971,600 prize pool.

Lamb entered the final day with a narrow lead at the top of the leaderboard and proceeded to knock out all six of his opponents to secure the live poker's most coveted prize and $492,795 for the efforts. James Chen finished as the runner-up in a brief heads-up encounter while Poker Hall of Fame member Erik Seidel was eliminated in fourth place.

Lamb wrapped up the victory in lightning fashion and even before the winner shots were taken, he headed over to the side feature tables to embrace Shaun Deeb on the final two tables of Event #27: $1,500 Eight Game Mix.

"I guess I am not any more confident than I was, I mean, I don't know,” said Lamb. “Cards come and go, you have a hot streak and a cold streak, and I ran hotter than the fuckin sun, which was nice. Again, I think I am playing pretty good poker. I haven't been playing a lot but when I have been playing, I have been more emotionally invested and focusing harder," Lamb clarified during the winner interview, which perfectly sums up the run-good of the now two-time champion on the final day.

Since his first WSOP victory, Lamb had a few close calls including a third-place finish in Event #28: $50,000 HIGH ROLLER Pot-Limit Omaha and a runner-up finish in Event #60: $10,000 Short Deck No-Limit Hold'em one year ago during the 2022 WSOP. Lamb described the former as "that one hurt a lot" but he has now redeemed himself in the four-card variant.

A potential bid for a second WSOP Player of the Year title may also be on the cards as Lamb intends to increase his volume of play.

"You will definitely see me in some tournaments that I don't normally play, whether that's the $250k or the 10k Razz,” said Lamb.

Lamb expressed his particular love for the four-card variant with the special environment it is in. Where other high-stakes competitions may be rather dull and tense, that is not necessarily the case with four cards at everyone's disposal according to Lamb.

"It is a very social game,” said Lamb. “If you play PLO, it is a bunch of people in PLO cash, they like having a good time, laughing and running it twice.”

With his bracelet counter now up to two, Lamb can now change the tunes on the golf course where the banter and prop bets are flowing. Whether or not it feels sweeter to win the money on the felt or the green is still not settled, however.

"In golf you just go out there and can say, you won that ... in poker, in the first hour and a half, I played good. I made like 30 wheels; I scooped so many pots. It is always that thought in the back of your mind - did I play good or run good, or a combination of both. In golf, if you win you beat them.”

Having played poker for more than 16 years, the thought of earning more WSOP gold bracelets wasn't as important during the first couple of years, especially given that may change in the near future.

"Now the last couple of years I got some close shots, like damn, I wanted to win another bracelet,” said Lamb. “Now to get that monkey off my back, of course, but no one is ever happy with two ... or 16.”

While Lamb didn't experience any swings on the final day, making it that far was a whole different story, however, as the eventual champion endured a roller coaster ride during the late stages of Day 3.

"You know, tilt is a funny thing,” said Lamb. “I went from chip leader nine-handed to low stack nine-handed and ended up chip leader seven-handed. Everybody gets tilted, like in my mind I was yelling at everyone and could stay in a dark place but if you think logically, I think you can just make your chips. Just slow down and think before you put chips in the pot and don't let that anger win."

The conclusion on the final day stands in stark contrast to the long hours of the previous days and last year's edition, which featured a marathon heads-up duel of more than seven hours. Lamb was the chip leader by one full bet when the action resumed but it took only one level for him to establish a commanding lead.

He first scooped Brad Ruben and then Luis Velador in quick succession before knocking out German mixed game expert Johannes Becker. In three-way action, Becker flopped the top two pair and a gutshot only to see Lamb turn over top set when the remaining chips went in after the turn. The run-good of Lamb continued when he turned a wheel against Ruben's set and flush draw to cut down the field to the final five at the end of the first level.

Once the cards went back in the air, short stack Robert Yass quickly bowed out and Seidel became short before losing the last few chips to Lamb, too. During three-handed play, Velador tripled up while Chen was left short only for the one-time bracelet winner to become the next casualty when he couldn't beat the aces of Lamb.

Heads-up play between Lamb and Chen was a lopsided affair and the former held a lead of fifteen to one. Chen dropped all the way to just two big bets and survived three consecutive all-in showdowns via split pot before Lamb out-flopped him to seal the victory.

Final table results:
Place Winner Country Prize (in USD)
1 Ben Lamb United States $492,795
2 James Chen (US) United States $304,571
3 Luis Velador Mexico $211,715
4 Erik Seidel United States $150,445
5 Robert Yass United States $109,340
6 Brad Ruben United States $81,317
7 Johannes Becker Germany $61,919
8 James Obst Australia $48,300

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Ben Lamb makes quick work of the WSOP competition is republished from