Bell defeats Shak for first bracelet

Erick Lindgren's name was heard on the microphone at the final table for the second day in a row after the completion of Event 46, the $5,000 pot-limit Omaha high-low split tournament. He wasn't part of the actual poker game at all either day, but his presence and support is what meant the most to the two latest champions Gavin Smith and Chris Bell. After Smith won his bracelet in Event 45, he was choked up and immediately thanked "E-Dog" before anyone else. Chris Bell followed suit after his win in Event 46, recognizing Lindgren for being by his side during his tough times.

"I want to thank Erick Lindgren," said Bell. "I would not be in Las Vegas right now, if it weren't for Erick. A lot of people had given up on me the last year or so. But Erick didn't. He's never told me 'no.' He will beg and borrow for his friends. I appreciate him giving me this opportunity. Without a friend like him, I would not be here right now."

Bell had struggled over the past year. Admitting he was broke and that he potentially needed to change careers, he received support both financially and emotionally from Lindgren. He was given another chance at the 2010 WSOP and made the most of it, following his good friend Smith's win by earning his first bracelet, a great payout and a confidence boost. He defeated the 284-player field for an impressive sum of $327,040.

"I think this will give a lot of poker players hope out there," said Bell with a laugh. "If Gavin won one and I won one, then they can win one, too."

To claim the championship, Bell would eliminate Dan Shak who has had a very profitable 2010. Shak earned $202,142 for his finish and now has $1.45 million in tournament winnings on the year. He is currently fifth in the Bluff magazine Player of the Year Race.

Also making the final table was eight-time WSOP champion Erik Seidel, three-time bracelet winner Perry Green and single-bracelet holders Rob Hollink and David Ulliott. Seidel's hopes fell short once again as he finished in fifth place at his second final table of the Series. Green, who hasn't won a bracelet since 1979 would be the first player eliminated in eighth. Hollink would follow him out the door and Ulliott was eliminated by Bell in third place.

The North Carolina native has 14 WSOP cashes, four final tables and $759,183 in earnings. Bell has had considerable success away from the WSOP felt with nearly $1.75 million in winnings. The husband and father of twin girls was happy to share his winning moment with those that surrounded and supported him, especially Smith.

"I wanted Gavin to win more than anybody," he said. "This is something we can talk about the rest of our lives. We will always be friends. When I was playing the other day, I almost could not concentrate because I was paying attention to what Gavin was doing. I know how bad he wanted it. He is such a good guy."

Other notable finishers from Event 46 included Leif Force (sixth), John Cernuto (12th) and Andy Black (15th).

Below are the complete results of Event 46 at the 2010 World Series of Poker:

Event 46: pot-limit Omaha high-low split eight-or-better
Buy-in: $5,000
Entries: 284
Prize pool: $1,334,800
Players in the money: 27

1. Chris Bell ($327,040)
2. Dan Shak ($202,142)
3. Dave Ulliott ($150,925)
4. Joe Ritzie ($113,444)
5. Erik Seidel ($85,800)
6. Leif Force ($65,311)
7. Rob Hollink ($50,014)
8. Perry Green ($38,549)
9. Jeremy Harkin ($29,886)
10. David Nowakowski ($23,318)
11. Cameron McKinley ($23,318)
12. John Cernuto ($23,318)
13. Nathan Wiesner ($18,353)
14. Sergey Altbregin ($18,353)
15. Andy Black ($18,353)
16. David Hunt ($14,455)
17. Felix Gubitz ($14,455)
18. Allen Kessler ($14,455)
19. Dan Heimiller ($11,479)
20. Francis Lincoln ($11,479)
21. Vito Clemente ($11,479)
22. Lee Grove ($11,479)
23. Barny Boatman ($11,479)
24. Barry Greenstein ($11,479)
25. Ville Haavisto ($11,479)
26. Chip Jett ($11,479)
27. Senovio Ramirez ($11,479)