Staszko takes the chip lead; eliminates Lamb in 3rd place


That was fast.

After just four hands, Czech Republic’s Martin Staszko jumped from third to first and eliminated crowd favorite Ben Lamb in one of the wildest 15 minutes ever experienced at the final table.

The table immediately went to heads up play quicker than anyone imagined.

Staszko, 35, accomplished the task with three straight pocket pairs; 7s, kings, and jacks.

On the opening hand, Lamb’s starting stack of 55.4 million was severely crippled. He raised the pot to 3 million from the small blind after chip leader Pius Heinz folded the button.

Staszko reraised from the big blind to 7.5 million and Lamb reraised all in. Staszko called.

When the flop, turn and river didn’t produce any face cards, Staszko’s pair of sevens bettered of Lamb’s king and jack off-suit.

Lamb was forced to push more then three-quarters of his chips to Staszko, who moved into second place with 85.6 million

Two hands later, Staszko took the chip lead.

He took a pot of more than 14 million from Germany’s Pius Heinz, raising and reraising through the flop, turn and river, nursing what turned out to be a winning hand of pocket kings. The move gave him a chip stack of 106.2 million.

On the third hand, Lamb, 26, was shockingly sent to the rail.

After Heinz folded, Lamb raised all in for 10.9 million and Staszko quick called. Staszko showed pocket jacks to Lamb’s queen six.

Lamb’s estimated 300 supporters in attendance went silent as the flop, turn and river didn’t produce a queen or any help to make a winning hand.

A dejected Lamb, the World Series of Poker Player of the year, earned $4,021,138 for third place, but it wasn’t the night he expected.