2011 November Nine Final Three Thoughts

Posted by James Guill on Nov 09, 2011 Posted in Op-Ed, WSOP News | No Comments »

On Tuesday, the final three of the 2011 WSOP November Nine took center stage at the Rio in Las Vegas, NV.  After over six grueling hours of play, Pius Heinz emerged as the champion.  Here are some of my thoughts and impressions of the final three spectacle.

Ben Lamb’s Exit Indicative of His Play at Final Table

I was one of the main people since the beginning of the final table that stated that Ben Lamb had been extremely lucky to make the final three.  Every time he was all-in at the final table, he was in with the worst of it and sucked out.

That trend continued on Tuesday.  Well, half of that trend continued.  One the very first hand, he decided to ship it on Martin Staszko with K-J when it was painfully obvious that Staszko had a hand.

Daniel Negreanu stated that both Staszko and Heinz were tell boxes.  As soon as I saw that wry little smile of Staszko that he quickly flashed and started going for chip, I said that he had a pair.  He had sevens and they held to cripple Lamb.  Lamb then gambled with Q-6 and ran into jacks. This time, Q-6 wouldn’t suck out and Lamb was out in just four hands.

I’m sorry that a lot of you Ben Lamb fans are upset at me, but at best Ben was playing his B game the entire final table.  At times it seemed he was playing his C game.  You just cannot get it all-in four times in a row behind and hope to win any tournament.

Lamb is undeniably a great player.  He proved that at the WSOP.  With that said, he did not play “Ben Lamb style poker” at the final table, and eventually his luck ran out.

Rails of Both Heinz and Staszko Impressed

I really enjoyed the banter back and forth of the two rails of Staszko and Heinz in the heads-up match-up.  I’ve still got the “Pius Heinz.  Pius, Pius Heinz” in my head.  At times, the chanting back and forth of the two rails resembled spirit chants that you hear kids do back and forth at different camps.  It was a lot of fun, and there did not appear much in the way of true malice between the two rails, which made it better for those in attendance and fans at home.

Staszko Played Much Better Than Expected

Overall, Staszko surprised everyone on Tuesday when he just flat out took Heinz to task.  It appeared numerous times that Heinz was down and out, but to Heinz credit, he stuck around and caught his spot to make his comeback.

In the end, I think Staszko’s inexperience caught up to him.  I can’t totally fault him on the flip hand he doubled up Heinz on, but his final hand was clearly misplayed based on his style.  Either event, Staszko played very well and should be proud of his 2nd place finish.

Pius Heinz will make a brilliant ambassador for poker in my view.  I don’t know the guy personally, but the combination of his play and his apparent good nature should make for a player that most fans should be drawn to.  Not surprisingly, he is signed with PokerStars and will clearly be the marquee draw on the site for a while.  Maybe we will see a heads-up match between him and Isildur1?

The 2011 WSOP is officially in the books and has been a record setting event.  Despite the naysayers, the WSOP continued to prove that they are elite poker organization in the world.  We are now just six months away until the 2012 WSOP kicks off.  Time to start making your plans.

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