Oklahoma poker superstar is $4 million man

Tulsa's Ben Lamb was named player of the year by World Series of Poker
BY SEAN CHAFFIN Published: January 9, 2012

— While Tulsa native Ben Lamb had his run for the World Series of Poker Main Event championship cut short in November, he still took home more than $4 million for his third-place finish and was named WSOP Player of the Year.

Lamb's performance included: a runner-up finish in a $3,000 Pot Limit Omaha event for $260,000; then winning his first WSOP championship gold bracelet and $814,000 in the same game's $10,000 world championship; he took 12th in the $10,000 No Limit Holdem Six-Handed Championship for $56,000; and eighth in $50,000 Poker Players Championship for $201,000. And amazingly, he accomplished all this while only entering eight events.

Tulsa roots

South Tulsa has always been home for Lamb. The 26-year-old attended Jenks High School, playing billiards and golf with friends when not in class. School came easy to Lamb, and he says he didn't have to study until college.

“My parents and family were great and very supportive growing up, and I had a great group of friends,” he says.

While in high school, the poker boom was well under way, and Lamb joined in the fun with friends in high school and the in college at Trinity University in San Antonio.

Winning more and more, Lamb put college on the back burner.

“I was making decent money while in college and decided to take a year off and give myself a shot at poker. That was six years ago and I've never looked back,” he says.

In Oklahoma, Lamb could often be found in poker rooms at the Creek Nation and Cherokee Casino, where he also worked as a dealer for six months. Dealing also helped teach him more about the game, and these years helped shape him into a top-notch player.

Poker brain

The Main Event at the World Series of Poker takes deep focus and concentration. Players who advance play for up to 12 hours per day. Tension is high and attention spans wane as bleary-eyed players riffle and count their chips. Lamb, who has lived in Las Vegas for three years, found major success in earlier WSOP events including a deep run in the 2007 Main Event, finishing 156th for $58,570. More success would follow.

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I was making decent money while in college and decided to take a year off and give myself a shot at poker. That was six years ago and I've never looked back.”

Ben Lamb

Professional poker player

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