Brian Hastings came into the summer full of confidence, and accordingly bet big on himself, accepting a heap of bracelet and performance bets while also buying himself in the $25K Fantasy Draft. That confidence paid off in a big way Saturday night as he took down Event #27: $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Championship for $239,518 and his second gold bracelet.
“Given the fact that it's a game that some people say is an older generation's game and isn't played as much these days, I take a lot of pride in it,” he said. “I think stud high is one of my better games. I think I played great throughout the tournament. It means a lot to win this one.”
It means a lot to more than just Hastings as well. His well-documented series of WSOP prop bets included action on himself at 3.3-1 to take down a bracelet. Plenty of people – whom Hastings wouldn't out in his interview – are going to lose a pile of cash after his win. Hastings wouldn't specify the amount but said he will be collecting “more than twice first place money.” Surprisingly, he didn't receive any buyout offers.
“I came into the summer with high expectations, obviously,” he said. “I worked on my game a lot in the last year, and I also have a great girlfriend who I started dating six months ago. I just thought I was in a really good place where I could come here every day and play my A-game.”
Hastings came into Day 3 as the prohibitive favorite, bringing more than a quarter of the chips in play into the final table. Dan Kelly gave him an early scare, pulling about even for a bit, but by the time Max Pescatori (eighth place), Mikhail Semin (seventh), and Harley Thrower (sixth) fell, Hastings had retaken command with half the chips in play. Oxana Cummings went out fifth to a Hastings flush, and then Chris George busted fourth.
It looked like Kelly and Scott Clements were playing for second when Hastings held about 2.4 million of the roughly 2.7 million in play with limits of 25,000/50,000. However, Clements doubled up twice and then eliminated Kelly with a king-high straight on sixth street, setting up a heads-up match in which he had a puncher's chance only down about 2-1.
Hastings took a crucial pot in which Clements completed with a , Hastings raised with , and Clements three-bet. Hastings caught another eight on fifth and Clements called him down, losing to three eights. Hastings didn't let up from there and finished Clements early in the next level with two flushes.
Final Table Results
|1||Brian Hastings||Hanover Township, PA||$239,518|
|2||Scott Clements||Mount Vernon, WA||$148,001|
|3||Dan Kelly||Potomac, MD||$92,691|
|4||Chris George||Croton On Hudson, NY||$67,114|
|5||Oxana Cummings||Weston, MA||$52,453|
|6||Harley Thrower||Cumming, GA||$41,829|
|7||Mikhail Semin||Moscow, Russia||$33,967|
|8||Max Pescatori||Milan, Italy||$28,031|
According to Hastings, it was the culmination of a lot of work on his stud game.
“I played online first, and I play in a game in Florida that Cory Zeidman organizes,” he said. “It used to be a game I felt kind of lost in, and I figured out a lot in the last few years.”
He cited playing plenty of hands in the game, which runs twice a week, and doing work away from the table running equity calculations on stud hands.
“I'm sure a lot of people in this tournament would think I made some very loose calls on third street,” he said. “I think they're correct, and a lot of people don't, and I think that's a result of work away from the table.”
Those who feel Hastings has holes in his game are welcome to take his side action in the future, as Hastings said he had one piece of advice for those looking to book against him.