With apologies to Phil Hellmuth, this year may not be the year of the “brat” after all, but rather the year of the “lamb”, Ben Lamb. Already having won a WSOP bracelet this year in the $10,000 buy-in Pot Limit Omaha Championship, and with an additional 2nd place finish and 2 other big cashes to his credit, Ben Lamb has literally had his way at the 2011 World Series of Poker. This poker blog has given plenty of space to the accomplishments of Hellmuth, the all-time leader in WSOP bracelets won with 11, but Lamb has in fact done him one better and is the current leader in the WSOP Player of the Year race.
Despite not being the chip leader, the 26-year-old Lamb has plenty of ammunition, and this poker blogger considers him one of the favorites at this most prestigious of final tables. A total of 6,865 players began playing in the WSOP Main Event almost 2 weeks ago, and now we are down to just 9. The unfortunate bubble boy was John Hewitt, who will somehow have to be comforted with a check for $607,882 for his 10th place finish.
There are just 3 Americans among the November Nine, so the final table will definitely have an international flavor, with 7 nations being represented. Without further ado, here is this year’s November Nine, along with chip counts:
Martin Staszko (Czech Republic; 40,175,000)
Eoghan O’Dea (Ireland; 33,925,000)
Matt Giannetti (USA; 24,750,000)
Phil Collins (USA; 23,875,000) – no, not the musician
Ben Lamb (USA; 20,875,000)
Badih Bounahra (Belize; 19,700,000)
Pius Heinz (Germany; 16,425,000)
Anton Makievsky (Ukraine; 13,825,000)
Samuel Holden (UK; 12,375,000)
These players will become household names over the next 4 months, as this year’s World Series of Poker is broadcast on ESPN. They will all reconvene on November 5th to crown a champion, who will win over $8.7 million. In the meantime, we all have the WSOP Europe to look forward to, which starts on October 7th, in Cannes, France.