Ben Lamb’s amazing return to the WSOP Main Event final table didn’t last long.
On just the fourth hand of play Lamb, who was playing from the short stack, 3-Bet all-in with A♥ 9♥ and English pro Jack Sinclair snapped him off with A♣ Q♥.
The board bricked and Lamb found himself on the rail in ninth place for a consolation prize of $1,000,000.
“I’m just kind shocked a little bit,” said Lamb after busting.
“I’m not going to beat myself up about it though. I picked up A-9 suited and I had less than 20 big blinds. I felt great about it.”
Lamb: "You Don't Get Many Chances Here"
Lamb fell a little short of his last experience in 2011 where he finished third for $4.02m but the Oklahoma native was positive about the tournament.
“Honestly I had so much fun in this tournament,” he said.
“I’m obviously disappointed with ninth place. I think a week or two from now it will probably set in that I had a chance to win this tournament and you don’t get many chances to win this tournament.”
Lamb joined a very elite crowd by making the final table for the second time. Only Mark Newhouse (who went back-to-back in 2012-13) and French pro Antoine Saout have performed the same feat in the post-Chris Moneymaker era of poker.
Of course Saout is still live in the 2017 Main Event final table and was fighting from the short stack at the time Lamb busted from the tournament.
The gravitas of the situation was not lost on Lamb and he admitted the chances of making a third WSOP Main Event final table were quite low.
“The odds of making it to the final table once, let alone twice is staggering,” he said.
“As a realist my mind says I probably won’t be here a third time but next year I’ll give it my all. I’ll try and do it. If I could make it to Day 4 or 5 I like my chances.”
No November Nine This Time
There was one major difference between the 2017 final table and the one that Lamb appeared at in 2011: The nearly four-month hiatus between making the final table and actually playing it out has been eliminated.
Despite a worse result, Lamb was a big fan of the change — at least from a player’s point of a view.
“I actually prefer this as a player but for promotional purposes it’s probably better to have the November Nine, he said.
“With the November Nine you have all this time. You’re thinking about it so long it haunts you.
"With two days I didn’t have enough time to really realize I was at the final table. Honestly I had so much fun in this tournament. I think I’ll just be happy when I look back at it.”
Playing for the Win
Lamb may have busted early but he said his eyes were planted firmly on the $8m first-place prize up top.
“I was going for the win,” he said. “I just didn’t get a chance to build the stack up. I wish I was still in there playing though. It looked like it was going to be a lot of fun. John’s [Hesp] already got the crowd going crazy.”
By finishing ninth, Lamb, who is primarily a cash game player, boosted his lifetime live tournament earnings to $8.2m.
The 2017 WSOP Main Event final table will play out over a three-day span. The goal today is to get down to six players and then come back on Friday to play to the final three. A winner will be declared on Saturday.