After five, two-hour levels of grueling poker, Day 1b of the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event is history, and your chip leader is Ben "Benba" Lamb with 188,925 chips.
Talk about a heater.
Lamb currently sits second in the race for WSOP Player of the Year, with four cashes totaling more than $1.3 million, three final tables and a victory in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship event. Lamb's incredible run seems to be continuing, and it will be interesting to see if he can parlay his early success into a deep run in the Main Event.
There are a few other players sporting big stacks after Day 1b. Javier Ramirez (152,600), Mark "PokerH0" Kroon (130,975), Edwin Kim (123,650), Thomas Young (122,775), Carlos Mortensen (105,025) and Sam Stein (101,825) were all able to end the night above six-figures.
A sum of 985 runners ponied up $10,000 here on the second of the four initial heats. There were countless familiar faces in the crowd, including 2010 November Niner Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi, Justin Smith, Tuan Le, Nicolas Levi, and Noah Schwartz. However, none of these players listed were able to make it out of the day. Mizrachi had an especially tough day, losing over half of his stack on one of the first hands with on a board. His opponent, Mac Sohrabi, had , and Mizrachi was drawing dead heading to the river. He later busted with against the of Robin Fisher, when the board ran , and will not be making a return trip to the final table.
Some notables that successfully navigated their way to Day 2 include Kevin Saul, Sam Simon, Guillaume Rivet, Patrik Antonius, Garry "Beast Mode" Gates, Dan "djk123" Kelly, Mike "Timex" McDonald, and 2010 November Niner and runner-up John Racener.
Team PokerStars was well represented here on Day 1b, too. Maxim Lykov, Dario Minieri, Martin Hruby, Eugene Katchalov, John Duthie, and Leo Fernandez all advanced, while we said goodbye to Pierre Neuville, Nacho Barbero and 2011 WSOP bracelet winner Andre Akkari.
For the remaining 600 or so players it's off to Day 2b on Tuesday, where they'll combine with the survivors from Day 1d.
We're calling it a night here at the Rio, but make sure you check in tomorrow at noon local time for exclusive, up-to-the-minute updates of Day 1c of the 2011 WSOP Main Event.