Ben Lamb’s Indirect Elimination from the WSOP – A Hand Long Remembered

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2011. November 27.
<strong>Ben Lamb</strong> lost the majority of his stack in the very first hand of the last day of this year&rsquo;s <em>WSOP</em> Main Event. The hand has been widely disputed in the poker community ever since.
In 2010, it was Matt Affleck’s elimination from the WSOP Main Event that became the topic of several discussions on the online forums months after the game. As you might remember, then soon-to-be world champion Jonathan Duhamel called with {#}J {#}J Affleck’s all-in on {#}A {#}A on the {#}T {#}9 {#}7 {#}Q board. The river being {#}8 , Duhamel won with a straight and Affleck was out in 15th place. Duhamel got a 42 million pot which enabled him to start the Final Table as chipleader.

This year’s most memorable hand is bound to be that between Ben Lamb and Martin Staszko on the 3-handed final day of the November Nine. No sooner had the first hand been dealt than the stacks were in the middle.

A small reminder of the hand in question:

"The 3-handed final table of the 2011 WSOP Main Event was held yesterday, with the participation of the 3 remaining players:

Seat 7: Pius Heinz - 107.800.000
Seat 8: Ben Lamb - 55.400.000
Seat 9: Martin Staszko - 42.700.000

Dealing started on the 40th blind level (200.000/600.000/1.200.000), and action began in the very first hand. Heinz folded on the button, when Ben Lamb raised to 3,000,000. Staszko reraised to $7,500,000. After a bit of hesitation, Lamb went all-in. Staszko called.

Lamb: {#}K {#}J
Staszko: {#}7 {#}7

Board: {#}9
{#}3 {#}2 {#}3 {#}T

Staszko already had 85,600,000 by the end of the hand, Lamb was left with 12,700,000,"
we wrote.

Indirectly, this hand led to the elimination of the otherwise favourite Lamb. He was unable to come back and was out shortly afterwards.

Ben Lamb out - WSOP 2011
Ben Lamb out - WSOP 2011

Lamb’s 4-bet all-in has been criticised by many since, and he himself has commented on it as well:

"I wanted to win the tournament more than get second place. The payjump is nearly three times as big between third and second, so it's kind of an inflection point in the tournament. I wanted to give myself the best chance to pick up chips early, and get a big stack if I go heads-up. I think there was a decent chance he was coming out swinging, but I wouldn't have done it with king-five. I had king-jack, and I though that if he folds I am setting myself up to a really good spot, and if he calls, at least I will have some equity most of the times,"  he remarked.

Despite his arguments, many still believe that Lamb’s 4-bet all-in was a mistake; he had an appropriate stack and, therefore, ample time to find a more profitable spot. In addition, many argue that he had the skills and knowledge to beat his two opponents by smaller pots, especially Staszko.


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