Ben Zamani Wins First Gold Bracelet and $460,640 in Event #20 of the World Series of Poker
Zamani avenges a runner-up finish from less than one week ago, vaults into Player of the Year contention
Natasha Barbour finishes second, earns $284,911 consolation prize
MEET THE LATEST WSOP GOLD BRACELET WINNER:
Name: Ben Zamani
Residence: Boca Raton, Fla.
Occupation: Professional poker player
Number of WSOP Cashes: 14
Number of WSOP final table appearances: 2
Number of WSOP gold bracelet victories: 1
Best previous WSOP finish: 2nd (Event #14, $1,500 no-limit hold’em shootout, less than one week ago)
Total WSOP earnings: $764,350
The above stats include Zamani’s Event #20 victory
Las Vegas (June 11, 2015) — Ben Zamani carded his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet victory Thursday at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The win, which came in a $1,500 no-limit tournament, earned Zamani $460,640 as well as avenged a runner-up finish he carded less than a week ago in a $1,500 shootout event. With his spot in the winner’s circle cemented, Zamani now owns two cashes at the 2015 Series totaling more than $600,000 and vaulting him into Player of the Year contention.
Much like his previous runner-up finish, Zamani held control of the $1,500 event during its late stages. This time, though, he didn’t let it slip. On the final hand, he caught heads-up opponent Natasha Barbour in a bluff. Barbour moved all in with nothing but 10 high and Zamani called with trip aces. The river came and went and Zamani, on the verge of tears, left the ESPN main stage in disbelief. His rail later explained the passion Zamani has for the game, how much the bracelet means to him and how devastated he was following the runner-up finish a few days prior. Having reached his crowning achievement, there was nothing left for Zamani who politely posed for winner’s photos along with some of his loyal railbirds.
Zamani is 28 years old. Though born in Germany, he is American and resides in Boca Raton, Fla. His most-recent deep run marks his 14th and largest WSOP cash.
Event #20 was the 20th of 68 bracelet events on the 2015 WSOP schedule. The tournament’s 1,844-player field marked an attendance increase of more than 15 percent year-over-year. In all, the prize pool totaled $2,489,400 and paid the top 198 players. Notable in-the-money finishers include four-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Caufman Talley (10th, $26,337), two-time gold bracelet winners Andy Frankenberger (14th, $20,786) and Greg Mueller (102nd, $3,385), Chris Lindh (34th, $11,003), bracelet winner Taylor Paur (42nd, $9,111), six-time Circuit ring winner Valentin Vornicu (64th, $5,551), Matt Affleck (83rd, $4,231), Melanie Weisner (97th, $3,783), Joe Kuether (139th, $3,061) and Shannon Shorr (154th, $3,061).
The tournament played out over a four-day stretch with the latter half of the final table consuming all the action on Day 4. At the day’s start, five players remained in contention including two-time WSOP final tablist Kevin MacPhee (fourth, $142,070) and Barbour, who hoped to become the first female gold bracelet winner of the 2015 WSOP.
Here’s a look at the tournament’s final table results:
1st: Ben Zamani - $460,640 + WSOP gold bracelet
2nd: Natasha Barbour - $284,911
3rd: Paul Ephremsen - $196,986
4th: Kevin MacPhee - $142,070
5th: Wenlong Jin - $103,857
6th: Garrett Beckman - $76,922
7th: Jared Griener - $57,729
8th: Oluwashola Akindele - $43,888
9th: Kevin Benoit - $33,781
EVENT FUN FACTS:
- The final table featured no WSOP gold bracelet winners
- The 1,844-player field was made up of 1,791 males and 53 females
Ben Zamani’s official WSOP player profile page is available HERE.
Final results, live reporting log, photos and official winner photo are available HERE.
Live stream archive of the event is available HERE.