Ben Lamb Leads Day 1B WSOP 2011 Main Event

Ben LambDay 1B of the World Series of Poker (WSOP)’s $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship main event recorded 978 entries, with American Ben Lamb extending his fantastic 2011 to sit atop that day’s leaderboard on 188,925 chips.

The field was reduced by 362 to 616 survivors to compete in Day 2B tomorrow at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, alongside the Day 1D players. Day 2B will see 2,490 starters after 1,874 made it through Day 1D.

The 26-year-old poker pro from Tulsa – who has collected four cash finishes this year, including victory in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship and a second-placed finish in the $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event – has already accumulated $1,331,832 in prize money from this series.

His other cash finishes, so far, are eighth in the $50,000 Players’ Championship and 12th in the $10,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em Championship.

However, just as Brunson crashed out early on Day 1A, so, too, did Michael ‘The Grinder’ Mizrachi after he had called the start of the day’s proceedings on Friday ahead of 10 hours’ play.

Hollywood’s Mizrachi – one of last year’s November Niners – was joined at the rail by players such as Nacho Barbero, Tuan Le, Andre Akkari, Rep Porter, Ashton Griffin, Erica Schoenberg, Michael Tureniec, Justin Smith and Noah Schwartz.

Lamb, meanwhile, leads a pack that includes second-placed Andrew Hinrichsen (175,480), of Australia, as well as New York’s Fabian Reyes (158,825), Spaniard Javier Martinez (156,250) and Guillermo Ramirez (152,600), of Cuba.

Additionally, Dario Minieri, Patrik Antonius, Mike McDonald, Eugene Katchalov, John Duthie, Maxim Lykov, Carlos Mortensen, Dan Kelly, Vivek Rajkumar, Justin Bonomo, David ‘Bakes’ Baker, Galen Hall, Andrew Lichtenberger, Tony Dunst, Erick Lindgren and Jake Cody are among the 616 entrants to make Day 2B.

Lamb, though, leads the way – and is likely to be considered one of the early favourites to lift the main event crown in November.

Lamb – who also has a United States Poker Championship title – reckons he finished the second of the opening days in a great position because he “had two really good tables” to play at.

He considers that “very important – especially in a tournament like this” because, “if you get a good table, you can accumulate so many chips without showing down your hand”.

Lamb currently sits in second place of the WSOP 2011 Player of the Year standings – behind Phil Hellmuth – but understands that he has enjoyed lots of good fortune at this series, stating that he is not one of those people” who believes he has suddenly become “10 times better than I was last year”.

But what a month or so Lamb has experienced – and who knows how far he can go in the main event. Maybe all the way to the November Nine, in fact.

Top 10 Day 1B chip leaders at the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship:

1. Ben Lamb (USA) – 188,925

2. Andrew Hinrichsen (Australia) – 175,480

3. Fabian Reyes (USA) – 158,825

4. Javier Martinez (Spain) – 156,250

5. Guillermo Ramirez (Cuba) – 152,600

6. Arnaud Esquevin (France) – 148,250

7. Edward Yee (USA) – 139,725

8. Ryan D’Angelo (USA) – 133,525

9. Quoc Nguyen (Italy) – 131,700

10. Guillaume Rivet (Canada) – 131,175