WSOP Main Event: Lamb chops through WSOP field

wsop2009_thn.gifIf you've ever sat in the stands at a sports stadium and watched so-called professional athletes make a hash of the most rudimentary tasks they are paid millions of dollars a year to complete, you've probably also muttered the words: "Hell, I could do better than them."

For a poker dealer, this probably happens at closer quarters and more frequently than it does even for season ticket holders at the Detroit Lions. The major difference, though, is that a dealer can shift only one seat around the table and attempt to prove their mettle, a step taken by the PokerStars player Ben Lamb, currently one of only 35 players remaining in this year's WSOP Main Event. Mettle proven.

Main Event_Day 7_IJG_8662_IMPDI.jpg

Originally from Tulsa, OK, Lamb's road to Las Vegas has taken him through the Business and Psychology department of Trinity University, San Antonio, via the poker dealer's chair at a cherokee casino. He didn't much fancy studying and so abandoned college. He did realise that he already knew enough to beat the game and so turned pro three-and-a-half years ago, moved to Vegas last year, and now dominates pot-limit Omaha tables on PokerStars and is a regular on the live tournament scene.

In the past year, Lamb took down a $500,000 guaranteed tournament on PokerStars, earning $105,000, bolstering an already burgeoning online bankroll. He has cashed once at the World Series, in 2007, but this is his deepest run in the Main Event. By the time our reporter, Mad Harper, caught up with Lamb for a chat in the most recent break, he had only been all in once in the entire six-a-half days, chopping the pot with 9-8 on a nine-high board. (His opponent also had 9-8.)

"I got pretty short yesterday but had very few showdowns," Lamb said. "Why not? Well, I don't stop betting and so people have been folding on the flop or turn because they don't want to face a big bet on the river."

Currently sitting with about 4 million in chips, Lamb remains on course for a huge payday.

* * * * *

NEW CHIP OF THE HOUR

Denomination: 250,000
Color: Almond

* * * * *

PRESS RELEASE OF THE HOUR  (from ESPN)

28,000 - Number of pounds of TV equipment used to produce the WSOP  
192 - Total Number of days worked for the 2009 WSOP (Pre-production on May 4- set strike on November 11)  
40 - Number of HD cameras used by ESPN to film the WSOP  
26 - Number of Main Event hours that will air on ESPN in 2009 (highest ever)  
15 - Average amount of hours worked daily by the crew covering the WSOP Main Event for 12 days

* * * * *

NOT MENTIONED ON THE PRESS RELEASE STATISTICS OF THE HOUR

Number of ESPN camera crew wearing white shoes and black socks: 1
Number of ESPN camera crew wearing black shoes and white socks: 3

* * * * *

OVERHEARD TELEPHONE CONVERSATION OF THE HOUR

"You can't see anything but it's kind of exciting."

* * * * *

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE HOUR

Number of 16 oz. beers delivered to Blair Rodman while he was playing in the final four tables of the 2009 WSOP: 1
Number of minutes until his elimination after beer deliver: 14

* * * * *

BIGGEST BELT BUCKLE OF THE HOUR

That one.

* * * * *

RAILBIRD CONVERSATION OF THE HOUR

Railbird (jubilantly): "How you feeling, Nick?"
Nick Maimone (not at all jubilantly): "Card dead."

* * * * *

STATUS REPORT OF THE HOUR

"Didn't sleep much. Too much energy." -- PokerStars player Nick "fu_15" Maimone

* * * * *

JOE GIRON'S PHOTO HOUR

Main Event_Day 7_IJ3_1261_IMPDI.jpg

The packed rail at the non-featured table