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Benjamin Lin Takes $5K Seven-Card Stud Bracelet

Benjamin Lin Steamrolls Star-"Studded" Final Table at 2006 WSOP


by Alex Baer

$5,000 Seven-Card Stud

Only fifteen of the 183 entrants returned at 4 p.m. to finish out the second and final straight seven-stud event at this year's WSOP. Within these final two tables were some of pokers finest professional players. It seems there was only enough room for some of those pros among the final table's select eight, as pros David Grey and David Singer made early exits. At 7:45 p.m. eight players filled the final table stage to prove their stud prowess. Those fighting for the $855,400 prize pool and gold bracelet were seated:

1. Patrick Bueno - $102,500
2. Benjamin Lin - $251,000
3. Allen Kessler - $108,500
4. Cyndy Violette - $111,500
5. Lupe Munquia - $120,000
6. "Miami" John Cernuto - $75,500
7. Mike Caro - $69,000
8. Shahram "Sean" Sheikan - $72,500

Mike Caro was the first casualty as his wired pair of Kings collided early with Allen Kessler's quad Eights, crippling Caro, who would be eliminated on the next hand in eighth place ($21,385).

Action didn't slow down as short stacks Sean Sheikhan and Patrick Bueno were very active, and Allen Kessler showed down an amazing run of cards where at one point he made trip Aces twice within three consecutive hands. Kessler's cards continued to fall as he cracked Lupe Munquia's split Kings with Eights and Threes to eliminate him in seventh place ($29,939).

Benjamin Lin, who entered the table with a very sound chip lead then took matters into his own hands. Lin eliminated Patrick Bueno sixth ($38,493) and "Miami" John Cernuto fifth ($55,601) on consecutive hands, each time only holding a single pair.

Play proceeded to tighten up considerably after that flurry. After going card dead, Allen Kessler was eliminated in fourth place ($76,986) by Cyndy Violette; his Tens and Fours were bested by her Queens and Jacks. Violette then maintained a blistering aggressive game that saw her squeak past Benjamin Lin in the chip lead for a brief moment. However, the cards began to level out for her, and she was eliminated by Lin's Kings and Sixes. She finished in third place earning $102,648.

Benjamin Lin held more than three-fourths of all the chips in play when heads up play began between him and Sean Sheikhan. Sheikhan mounted a brief comeback, but Lin quickly turned the momentum back in his favor. On the final hand Lin had Sheikhan all-in on third street, holding a (9spade 9diamond)6heart to Sheikhan's (9club 6club)Kdiamond. Lin maintained his lead as he drew an 8club and Sheikhan drew an Aspade. Sheikhan received a brief reprieve as he gained the lead as he drew a Kheart to Lin's 10diamond. On sixth street Sheikhan drew a blank Jclub as did Lin with a 5heart. The river was lights out for Lin as he spiked the 7diamond gutting him a Ten-high straight, and leaving Sheikhan drawing dead. Sheikhan received $171,080 for finishing in second.

Benjamin Lin defeated a final table swimming with great poker minds and talent. He took home $256,620 and a WSOP gold bracelet.

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