Not too long ago it seemed that the expected final day of Event #31: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha would be extended to a day four, but after a quick succession of eliminations, a winner has finally been declared with Sam Stein proving victorious as the clock ticks past 5:00 a.m.
With the sun rising here in Las Vegas, a look back on Event 31 saw some of the most talented Pot-Limit Omaha players form a field of 685. From past bracelet winners to world champions, the field was totally stacked, but after an action-packed day one, only 138 players remained with Ben Lamb sitting atop of the field alongside poker professionals and tournament veterans.
Yesterday saw the field expecting to play down to a final table, but we would shy with just 25 players still fighting it out as Dan Heimillier (63rd), Bryn Kenney (59th), Brian Roberts (53rd), Joe Hachem (50th), Tony Cousineau (49th), Eli Elezra (41st), Jeffrey Lisandro (35th) and Gabe Patgorski (31st) all falling short of a final day berth.
Eliminations flew fast once we started play today as Tommy Le (20th), Rami Boukai (17th), Andrew Chen (13th) and Tex Barch (10th) were just a select few that fell before a final table of nine was formed with day one chip leader Ben Lamb leading the final table with nearly one-third of the chips in play.
It would take nearly 90-minutes until we lost our first player, and once Dilyan Kovachev hit the rail, Austin Scott followed soon after before Brock Parker's chase for a third bracelet would end in seventh. A short-stacked Zimnan Ziyard exited in sixth before chips swirled round for several hours before Adam Junglen couldn't capitalize on his second WSOP final table as he exited in fifth. Although possessing the loudest rail, Christian Harder would be next out the door as Warren Fund left Lamb and Sam Stein heads-up with just a half hour remaining on the clock for the night.
With Stein holding a better than two-to-one advantage over Lamb, it would take a few dozen hands before Stein's turned Broadway straight hold against Lamb's second-nut straight and re-draw to a chop to see Stein awarded the Event #31 Champion and recipient of a gold bracelet and $420,802 first prize.
Final Table Payouts
Throughout the tournament, Stein displayed great bouts of aggression, timeliness and reading abilities to navigate his way through one of the most highly talented Pot-Limit Omaha fields ever assembled. PokerNews would like to congratulate Sam Stein on a excellently played tournament as his lifetime winnings now close in on 3 million while also adding a gold bracelet to his trophy cabinet.
For the PokerNews Live Reporting Team, we will be back on the floor tomorrow reporting on all the live action from the 2011 World Series of Poker and the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino!