For Ben Lamb, cashing and running deep in the Main Event is not something new. The 2011 WSOP Player of the Year has secured his fourth cash in the event and hoping this one is the on that brings the bracelet.
Lamb got his feet wet In 2007, Lamb finishing 156th in a field of 6,358 for $58,570. In 2009, he added another breakthrough, finishing 14th for $633,022. The pinnacle of his Main Event finishes came in 2011, when he finished third for $4,021,138. Now among the chip leaders on Day 7, he’s looking for a second shot at the final table.
“I’m having a lot of fun,” he says. “It’s always fun being deep in this tournament. It’s the most pressure, stressful, and emotional form of poker I’ve ever played. Things are going well for me.”
While he now lives in Las Vegas and plays professionally, Lamb grew up playing in the thriving Oklahoma poker scene. A native of Tulsa, the 32-year-old attended Jenks High School and says academics always came easy and didn’t have to study until college.
Although he played billiards and golf with friends while in high school, the poker boom was also well under way. Chris Moneymaker’s 2003 rags-to-riches WSOP win helped spark his interest in the game, and he and his friends in high school joined in on the action. His card-playing continued during his one semester at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.
As his winnings increased, his interest in continuing college waned and he ditched his school books for the life of a poker rounder.
“I was making decent money while in college and decided to take a year off and give myself a shot at poker,” he says. “I’ve never looked back.”
Lamb is not the first poker shark from Tulsa. Bobby Baldwin became Main Event champion in 1978 and won four WSOP bracelets before becoming a successful casino industry executive. Lamb is hoping he can move that Tulsa total to two.