The World Series of Poker $10,000 World Championship Main Event hit the money late Thursday night with a celebratory wave of emotion across the field. The warm and fuzzy feelings disappeared Friday as the second half the tournament begins, where decisions or luck can mean the difference between a min-cash or a run to the Final Table.

Ben Lamb knows the road to the final table. He navigated his way to third place in 2011 for $4 million while winning the WSOP Player of the Year award. He finished Day 3 over seven-figures and on the second break of the day he chipped up to 1.65 million.

“The first table I was at had a couple of friends that I play with and I actually ran incredible,” said Lamb. “I won a three-outer in a three-way pot where I was bluffing and picked up 400,000 chips. I bluffed the flop, got called in two spots, bluffed the turn and got called in two spots and hit the three-outer and got value.”

Lamb has mostly enjoyed high stakes cash games in lieu of tournaments and is one of the regulars in Vegas’ biggest games. Shifting gears to a Main Event mindset hasn’t been much of a challenge for Lamb so far. “I think the tournament will be different when it gets deeper,” he said. “Maybe I’ve just had really good tables so far – they’ve all been relatively soft.”

“In 2011 there might have been 100 very good tournament players and now there’s 500 very good tournament players in a field of over 7,000,” Lamb added. “A lot of times you just don’t get to play against them and I’ve been very fortunate up to this point with my tables.”

Ben Lamb is near the top of the leader board on Day 4 of the Main Event. (Photo: PokerPhotoArchive.com)
Lamb is fan of the WSOP ditching the November Nine concept. “I want to keep playing – I’m used to playing long hours, being tired and playing tired much more than pretty much anyone in the field,” he said. “I’d say let’s just play through now.”

Lamb is also excited for the return of Poker After Dark on PokerGO. “I’ve talked to Cary about it a little bit,” he said. “There might be some spots for me to play, I’m really excited about it. I support anything that’s good for poker in Las Vegas.”