Ben Lamb

Ben Lamb ran through an absolutely stacked final table on Tuesday to win his second career World Series of Poker bracelet, taking the title in Event #25: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship. For the win, Lamb cashed for nearly half a million dollars.

Poker is a funny game in that luck plays as much or even more of a factor in the short-term than does skill. That’s why I would have a non-zero chance of beating Phil Ivey in a heads-up Sit-and-Go (I’m not saying I WOULD beat him, just that my chances wouldn’t be zero). And Lamb, who eliminated all six of his opponent’s yesterday, fully admitted afterward that he “ran hotter than the fuckin’ sun” on Day 4.

At the same time, though, he said in his post-game interview that “….I think I am playing pretty good poker. I haven’t been playing a lot but when I have been playing, I have been more emotionally invested and focusing harder.”

An avid golfer, Lamb said that sometimes the weird thing about poker is that you wonder if you did well because of luck or skill, whereas in golf, it’s all skill.

“I made like thirty wheels, I scooped so many pots. It is always that thought in the back of your mind – did I play good or run good, or a combination of both,” he said.

Really, though, it’s always a combination of both. Some days, you make all the right plays and miss your cards, some days, you just hit everything. Hell, in my one final table run in a tournament, I made what I considered a skilled play when down to two tables to build my stack, but at that same stage shortly before that, I got lucky on a three-outer to stay alive. Skill and luck, that’s the beauty of poker.

With Ben Lamb, his success over the last decade and a half is clearly much more skill than luck. You can’t play poker professionally at his level just hoping your river card appears. Part of that skill is managing one’s emotions and Lamb said that even someone as experienced as he is has to remind himself to keep his cool.

“You know, tilt is a funny thing. I went from chip leader nine-handed to low stack nine-handed and ended up chip leader seven-handed,” he said afterward. “Everybody gets tilted, like in my mind I was yelling at everyone and could stay in a dark place but if you think logically, I think you can just make your chips. Just slow down and think before you put chips in the pot and don’t let that anger win.”

As mentioned, this is Lamb’s second career bracelet. His first was in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship back in 2011. He has come close since then, finishing third in the $50,000 High Roller Pot-Limit Omaha event and second in $10,000 Short Deck No-Limit Hold’em last year. He said the High Roller, in particular, “hurt a lot.”

In winning, Lamb also foiled Erik Seidel’s shot at his tenth WSOP bracelet, but no doubt both will make more deep runs in World Series events to try to nab some more hardware.

2023 World Series of Poker Event #25: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship – Final Table Results

  1. Ben Lamb – $492,795
  2. James Chen – $304,571
  3. Luis Velador – $211,715
  4. Erik Seidel – $150,445
  5. Robert Yass – $109,340
  6. Brad Ruben – $81,317
  7. Johannes Becker – $61,919
  8. James Obst – $48,300

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