There were only 29 players remaining in the 2017 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Event #4: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo Split 8 to begin Saturday’s Day 3, but that didn’t mean that it would be a swift ride to the tournament’s completion. It took 11 hours for Benjamin Zamani to emerge triumphant after 2:30 in the morning, but his nearly quarter-million dollar payout for his second career WSOP bracelet likely kept Zamani wide awake.
Going into final table play on Saturday, Zamani was second-to-last in chips with 750,000, a cool million behind chip leader Jared Hemingway. There were three clear tiers to the final table, with Hemingway in a tier alone, then Alex Ferrari and Gary Vick with 1.2 million and 1 million chips, respectively, then a clump in the third tier: Scott Bueller (775,000), Ryan Pluf and Zamani (750,000), and Forrest Auel (675,000).
You may notice that this final table was seven-handed, rather than the usual eight-handed that we would see in an Omaha tournament. That is because both the ninth and eighth place finishers were knocked out on the same hand by Hemingway.
The group broke for dinner at that point and about an hour after play resumed, Zamani made his big move. Holding A-6-Q-Q double-suited, Zamani turned Quads and with no qualifying low hand out there, was able to coax a significant chunk of chips out of Ferrari to grow his stack to 2.3 million and take the chip lead.
Zamani was up and down from that point, but went into three-handed play with the chip lead in an extremely close raise. With 2.550 million chips, Zamani was narrowly ahead of Hemingway (2.250 million), who himself was just above Ferrari (2.050 million).
Zamani quickly scooped Hemingway and the two split high and low to knock Ferrari out to enter heads-up play. Zamani had a significant chip lead, 5.1 million to 1.6 million. He extended that lead, taking Hemingway’s stack down to only about half a million, but Hemingway didn’t give up, doubling up more than once and surviving a couple other all-ins with split pots.
Eventually, the chip deficit was just too much to overcome and down to less than a blind, Hemingway was forced all-in with 4-6-K-9 versus Zamani’s 7-4-T-5 (we’ll ignore suits here, as they didn’t play a factor). The board came T-J-3-2-7, giving Zamani two-pair for the high and 2-3-4-5-7 for the low, and, by extension, the WSOP bracelet.
As mentioned, this was Benjamin Zamani’s second WSOP bracelet, having previously won a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Event in 2015. He now has 29 lifetime cashes at the World Series of Poker and $1.1 million in earnings. In all live tournaments, Zamani is just shy of $4 million in winnings. His biggest live cash is exactly $1 million, coming from a fourth place finish at the European Poker Tour’s PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in 2010.
2017 World Series of Poker Event #4: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo Split 8 – Final Table Results
1. Benjamin Zamani – $238,620
2. Jared Hemingway – $147,428
3. Alex Ferrari – $103,471
4. Ryan Paluf – $73,647
5. Gary Vick – $53,171
6. Forrest Auel – $38,946
7. Scott Buller – $28,948
8. Martin Corpuz – $21,839
9. Dustin Sitar – $16,726
Lead photo credit: WSOP.com