L.A. area's Lambard earns first bracelet with Event #36 triumph

17 June 2019 (Las Vegas) – Huntington Beach, California's David Lambard is the latest gold bracelet winner at the 2019 World Series of Poker, having taken down Event #36 at the WSOP, $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout. Along with his first bracelet victory, Lambard earned $207,193 for the triumph.

Lambard, 44, outlasted the other nine players in the Event #36 finale, which as per the event's format saw each of the ten finalists begin Day 3 with approximately even stacks. Among the finalists were prominent pros Justin Bonomo and Andrew “LuckyChewy” Lichtenberger, though Bonomo was the first player to bust while Lichtenberger finished in fourth.

Lambard had previously logged one prior six-digit WSOP payday, that being a runner-up finish in a 2018 Circuit main event in Los Angeles. This cash is nearly twice as large as that prior lifetime best.

California's Lambard closed out the victory by eliminating French native Johan Guilbert. The 30-year-old Guilbert, originally from Sarreguemines, France and now a resident of Malta, earned $128,042 in what was also a career-best live cash. Third place went to China's Weiyi “Wayne” Zhang, who pocketed $92,625.

New York's Lichtenberger came up short here, but collected $67,706. Slovenia's Jan Lakota took fifth for $50,016 in his first-ever WSOP cash.

Lambard is the former owner of an LA-area construction firm who sold his business and became a full-time poker pro a decade ago. He's played poker for far longer than that, though, having been taught the game at a young age by his father and then playing for decades in LA card rooms. Lambard even cites poker legend Bobby Hoff as being his mentor.

He's also mostly a cash-game player, though he considers tourneys “fun” and plays them on occasion, none bigger, as it turned out, than his Event #36 win.

Lambard consiers himself an “instinct player”, as opposed to the “playing by matrices” proobabilities approach he believes many modern players follow. “I just go with the feel. I'm old school."

Lambard had no specific plans for how to attack a final table that featured several prominent pros including Bonomo and Lichtenberger. “I just followed a general basic strategy: play tight early, then when you get down to five- or six-handed, open up. Establish a tight image early on. I noticed some of the other guys tried to accumulate chips early on, but when it's nine- or ten-handed, it's pretty ABC.”

He still claimd some unusual play, however, as he described his poker background. “I know poker's changed. It's kind of evolved a new 'solve' theory, bet sizing and everything, but I do everything off, unorthodox. Old school is all I know, so that's what I bring back.”

Lambard plans to play a mix of cash games and tourneys throughout the rest of the series, likely including the Main Event.

Ten players returned for the third and final round in this shootout event, with each player starting with roughly 600,000 in chips. The first to bust was the most famous player in this final, Justin Bonomo, who hit the rail in tenth after losing an all-in race with    against UK player Ben Farrell's   . Farrell connected with the     flop and stayed ahead as the   turn blanked and the   river gave him a Broadway straight and the knockout.

One of the more active players early on, Martin Zamani, bounced up and down in the counts but busted after he ran his    into Jan Lakota's    for most of his stack, then couldn't connect in a final pot when his    went up against Lambard's   . Lambard made quads on a         runout, leaving eight players in the running.

Adrian Delmas lost a virtual race for his tournament life to bust in seventh. Delmas moved all in for 385,000 over a Weiyi Zhang open, and after some thought, Zhang called. Delmas had    to Zhang's   , but Zhang picked up the knockout as the board came        .

The final was trimmed to six soon after with the exit of another prior bracelet winner, Romania's Alexandru Papazian, another prior bracelet winner, was down to just 70,000 when he moved all in with   . Ben Farrell isolated with   , and Farrell's hand won out as the board brought        .

Farrell was still below par despite the knockout, and he busted in sixth ten hands later. Under the gun, Farrell shoved for 450,000 with    and Lambard called with   . Farrell hit the     flop to move closer, but the turn was a blank   and Lambard caught the   on the river for a set of jacks and another elimination.

The final's rapid pace continued when Slovenia's Jan Lakota busted 13 hands later. Lakota was all in with    against Lambard's   , but Lambard stayed hot and caught three spades on the         board for another knockout, his third of the final.

Andrew Lichtenberger was in a strong third-place position after Lakota's ouster, but he was out as well just four hands later. Lichtenberger lost most of his chips to Zhang in a flush-over-flush hand, then lost the rest of his chips to Zhang as well when his last stand with    ran into Zhang's waiting   . A     flop missed both players, but an   turn locked the hand for Zhang, and a meaningless   river officially ended Lichtenberger's final table.

Zhang held the lead as three-way action began, but Guilbert quickly took down a couple of pots against Zhang to take the lead. The three players parried for a short stretch of hands that left the players' stacks closely bunched, and then Lambard doubled through Zhang in a key hand that left Zhang short, spiking a six on the river to make a full house and top Zhang's trip sevens. Zhang doubled once but bowed out when his    never caught up to Lambard's    on a dry         runout.

Lambard began heads-up play against Guilbert with more than a 2:1 edge, then expanded the gap, though Guilbert doubled up to nearly square the battle. Then Lambard pulled off a major bluff on a paired board to regain control, and the event came down to a race one hand later, pitting Lambard's    against Guilbert's   . Guilbert caught extra outs through the turn, with the board then showing      , but the   river missed Guilbert and gave Lambard the shootout title.

Event #36, $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout, drew 313 entries to create a $845,100 prize pool. 40 players cashed and each player who won a first-round shootout was guaranteed $6,099.

Among those who won their first round but were eliminated in Round 2 were Dario Sammartino, James Obst, Jesse Sylvia, Rainer Kempe, Taylor Paur, Jeremy Wien, Kristen Bicknell, Ryan Leng, Eric Froelich, and Maurice Hawkins, each of whom received the $6,099 minimum payout.

Click here for Full Results.
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Final-Table Payouts:

1st: David Lambard, $207,193
2nd: Johan Guilbert, $128,042
3rd: Weiyi Zhang, $92,625
4th: Andrew Lichtenberger, $67,706
5th: Jan Lakota, $50,016
6th: Ben Farrell, $37,342
7th: Alexandru Papazian, $28,182
8th: Adrien Delmas, $21,501
9th: Martin Zamani, $16,586
10th: Justin Bonomo, $12,937