Heinz, Lamb, Staszko Make Final Three of 2011 WSOP Main Event

The final table
Just three players remain in contention for the title of 2011 world champion.

Just three players remain at the 2011 November Nine final table with Pius Heinz leading the way to the title of world champion and $8.7 million.

After enduring an almost four-month sweat before returning to Las Vegas to decide a champion, the 2011 November Nine sat down this afternoon with one goal in mind: Make the final three.

Now, after watching six players’ WSOP dreams crushed, Pius Heinz from Germany, Martin Staszko from the Czech Republic and Ben Lamb from the US remain in contention.

All three of them will return on Tuesday evening to play down to a winner.

Pius Heinz controls more than half the chips on the table headed into three-handed play with Ben Lamb in second and Martin Staszko bringing up the rear.

Here are the chip counts for the final three players.

  • 1 - Pius Heinz - 107,800,000
  • 2 - Ben Lamb - 55,400,000
  • 3 - Martin Staszko - 42,700,000

As the final table roster was whittled down, a few main storylines emerged. Pius Heinz looked to be the player to beat, taking control of the table and doing by far the best job of staying out of trouble as he quietly put together a chip leader stack.

Ben Lamb
Despite having to get lucky, Ben Lamb is in contention for the 2011 Main Event title.

Ben Lamb continued the red hot streak he was on all summer by getting lucky in a few key spots to stay alive and give himself a shot at the title.

Martin Staszko started as chip leader but would find himself at risk of elimination on the three-handed bubble. Staszko was all-in racing A-8 against Pius Heinz’s pocket sixes and flopped trips to double up and outlast Matt Giannetti for a spot at Tuesday’s finale.

Giannetti, who was among the big stacks for much of the day, suffered a crushing blow with pocket jacks all-in preflop against Ben Lamb’s A 7. Lamb flopped a flush draw and got there on the turn to cripple Giannetti.

Despite scoring a quick double, Giannetti would get it all-in against Lamb again shortly after.

Giannetti open-shoved A-3 from the button four-handed and got a snap-call from Ben Lamb in the big blind. Two more kings hit the flop and the room exploded, giving Lamb quads, the pot and a stack to make a run at the world championship.

Giannetti was visibly shaken and exited quickly before the celebrations had ended.

“It sucks when you get close to something you really want and don’t make it,” Giannetti told the assembled media moments after busting.

“I didn’t come here to finish fourth,” he added.

Paving the way to four-handed play was Phil Collins who seemed to have trouble hitting his stride this afternoon. Collins was down to roughly 18 million and three-bet shoved after Pius Heinz opened to 2.1 million at 500k/1 million.

A 7 for Collins couldn’t crack the German’s pocket nines and he was out for $2.2 million.

Eoghan O'Dea
Eoghan O'Dea received a $1.7 million consolation prize for finishing sixth.

Preceding Collins out the exit was Ireland’s Eoghan O’Dea who entered the final table second in chips but exited in sixth place.

O’Dea’s afternoon went sideways in a big pot against Pius Heinz. O’Dea three-bet pre-flop and bet the flop and turn before getting pushed off his hand. He lost almost two-thirds of his stack and found himself as the shortest stack at the table.

“I’d usually just call there and then called behind, but I felt like he was weak there and ended up losing a lot of chips,” O'Dea told the media.

“I misread the situation,” he added.

O’Dea fought back and maneuvered his way to sixth place before losing a flop against Ben Lamb to bust for $1.7 million.

Out in seventh was Belizean Bob Bounahra, who was supported by a mob of his countrymen waving flags, cheering and even banging out beats on drums and shakers.

Bounahra never really put himself in contention and ended up getting it in bad with A-5 against Martin Staszko’s A-9.

The next two players went out in the precise position in which they entered.

Ukrainian Anton Makiievskyi played just a few hands before getting all-in with K-Q against Pius Heinz’s pocket nines. Makiievskyi flopped a king but watched a nine hit the turn to send him packing.

Brit Sam Holden entered the final table in ninth place and barely got his wheels turning before getting all-in bad with A-J against Ben Lamb’s A-K.

Here are the full payouts for the six players eliminated today:

  • 4 - Matt Giannetti - $3,012,700
  • 5 - Phil Collins - $2,269,599
  • 6 - Eoghan O’Dea - $1,720,831
  • 7 - Bob Bounahra - $1,314,097
  • 8 - Anton Makiievskyi - $1,010,015
  • 9 - Sam Holden - $782,115

For a more detailed accounting of the day’s action click through here to read PokerListings.com’s live 2011 WSOP Main Event final table coverage.

For a photo rundown of the day click through here to our 2011 WSOP Main Event Final Table Picture Book.

Action will resume on Tuesday at 5:30pm when the remaining three players will decide who walks away with the title of world champion and $8.7 million.

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