Ben Zamani (28), a modest and retiring live tournament and online professional player from Boca Raton, Florida has triumphed in event 20 at the World Series of Poker, a $1,500 buy-in NLHE competition that attracted an entry list of 1,844 hopefuls, many of them leading professionals on the international circuit.
Claiming his first World Series of Poker winner’s bracelet possibly meant more to the quiet American than the $460,640 prize money, which brings his career earnings to over $2 million; just last week he was clearly disappointed with a runner up finish against Barry Hutter in the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout, a defeat which denied him a bracelet (see previous report).
Event 20 ran to an extra day with Zamani and four other survivors returning to the felt to decide the winner. Zamani held the chip lead, with another Florida pro – Natasha Barbour – in hot pursuit. The Florida duo eliminated the other three players to face off in a heads up with Zamani holding a small advantage.
Despite a valiant effort from Barbour, Zamani was able to extend that lead and leverage it into a win when he called a Barbour bluff.
Pay days for the rest of the final table were:
2 Natasha Barbour $284,911
3 Paul Ephremsen $196,986
4 Kevin MacPhee $142,070
5 Wenlong Jin $103,857
6 Garrett Beckman $76,922
7 Jared Griener $57,729
8 Oluwashola Akindele $43,888
9 Kevin Benoit $33,781