$50K Update: Rast takes it down
The first time Brian Rast had his named engraved on the Chip Reese memorial trophy, he had to do it the hard way, coming back from a large chip deficit to defeat none other than Phil Hellmuth. This time, he also had to win it the hard way, but that’s simply because this is the $50K Poker Player’s Championship; and there is no other way to win it.
The field of 91 players was bursting at the seams with poker royalty, and while it would be impossible to name them all, the following luminaries were present: Daniel Negreanu, Scotty Nguyen, Jason Mercier, Justin Bonomo, Phil Hellmuth and both Mizrachi brothers. Michael Mizrachi was bullish in his challenge to win an unprecedented third Poker Player’s Championship, and carried strong stacks forward at the end of each day. Justin Bonomo was even more impressive, bagging up the chip lead at the end of day two, three, and four. But crucially, not five.
The final table saw Mizrachi begin proceedings close behind Bonomo, with Brian Rast quietly lurking with a medium stack. While Bonomo enjoyed a comfortable start, Mizrachi was busier, taking the chiplead and at one point threatening to pull away from the field. Eventually though, momentum swung heavily against the formidable Michael Mizrachi, and he crashed out in 4th place. Eric Wasserson may not be a well known pro, but he has been grinding the mixed game tables for years, and was rewarded with a 3rd place finish here for $545,772. Justin Bonomo and Brian Rast squared off for the title, and crushingly for him, it was Bonomo who was left with a head full of broken dreams and a pocket full of cash; not for the first time this series. He has now had two 2nds and two 3rds this summer.
Brian Rast is a name that first came to the foreground in 2011 when he managed to fend off a determined Phil Hellmuth in winning the $50K Poker Player’s Championship. He also claimed his first career bracelet earlier in that series when he won the $1,500 Pot Limit Holdem event. In the years since, it is not only at the WSOP that he has seen success, as Rast also took 1st in the $500K Super High Roller Bowl last year for $7,525,000, along with 1st in the WPT $100,000 High Roller in late 2013 for $1,083,500. His six figure scores are so numerous, that they couldn’t possibly all be mentioned here, but Brian Rast has continually proved himself able to defeat the world’s best in huge buy in tournaments, whether in Holdem, or mixed game formats. In addition to that, he is known to be a key player in the largest cash games on the planet, and was seen attending them in Manila earlier this year.
|1||Brian Rast||Las Vegas, NV||$1,296,097|
|2||Justin Bonomo||Glendale, CO||$801,048|
|3||Eric Wasserson||Penn Valley, PA||$545,772|
|4||Michael Mizrachi||Hollywood, FL||$380,942|
|5||Lamar “Wil” Wilkinson||Pacheco, CA||$272,558|
|6||Ray Dehkharghani||Leawood, KS||$200,027|
With the excitement surrounding the $50K event, it would be easy to forget that other bracelet events have been taking place this week. New champions have been crowned, and they include Andrew Lichtenberger who won the $3K Holdem event, overcoming a field of 1,125 players to take home $569,158. Allan Le took down the $1,500 Mixed Omaha event for $189,223 and David Peters won the $1,500 NLH for $412,557. Most of this year’s WSOP may now be in the books, but there are still a few major events to come, including the $25K PLO which is currently underway, the $111,111 One Drop event and of course, the Main Event.