2018 WSOP Event 23: Brian Rast Wins Fourth Bracelet in 2-7 Lowball Championship, Brunson 6th
When the final day of Event #23: $10,000 2-7 Single Draw Championship began, all eyes were on poker legend Doyle Brunson. The icon had already declared it to be his final run at a World Series of Poker gold bracelet, the last chance to add to his lofty career tally of 10.
In the end, Brunson came up short, and a different champion emerged. Perhaps, a fitting one for the occasion. Brian Rast claimed his fourth WSOP bracelet and $259,670 for getting through the field of 95 entrants.
Official Final Table Results
|1||Brian Rast||United States||$259,670|
|2||Mike Wattel||United States||$160,489|
|4||James Alexander||United States||$81,986|
|5||Shawn Sheikhan||United States||$59,669|
|6||Doyle Brunson||United States||$43,963|
|7||John Hennigan||United States||$32,796|
Rast: "He's played high-stakes poker longer than anyone. He's an icon, he's a legend. I could really appreciate from that perspective how special it is."
While Rast has a very, very long way to go until he can measure up to the incredible exploits of "Texas Dolly" — and it may indeed be impossible — his career path doesn't look entirely dissimilar. He's now picked up four bracelets at age 36, including two prestigious Poker Players Championship trophies, and has been a regular participant in some of the biggest live cash games for several years.
He admitted that while the bracelets are special, his main goal in poker is to follow in Brunson's footsteps and become a nosebleed mainstay for decades to come. Brunson himself said his greatest accomplishment in the game has been spending 60 years at the top of the cash food chain.
"It's not easy," Rast said. "Whether or not I win another tournament – I hope to – but that's what I really want to do."
A fast early pace saw Brunson make the unofficial final table and even gain some early momentum and climb into the top half of the counts. At that point, crowds usually reserved for late in the summer in the heat of the Main Event began to gather. Folks on the rail pointed their cameras at Brunson and snapped photos, eager to show friends evidence they watched the living legend in person.
Applause followed each pot Brunson dragged as the crowd tried to will him to write what would have undoubtedly been a poignant moment in poker history.
For Rast, playing with Brunson in the deuce tournament just meant he was playing with tournament chips instead of cash chips. The two regularly battle over limits like $2,000/$4,000 and $3,000/$6,000. However, Rast still appreciated the magnitude of playing a part in poker history.
"I could still take a step back and appreciate from the poker world's perspective," he said. "He's played high-stakes poker longer than anyone. He's an icon, he's a legend. I could really appreciate from that perspective how special it is."
Brunson even doubled through Rast at one point, with Rast breaking one of his personal rules: don't wish any opponents good luck at a final table. Rast finds the practice a little disingenuous but said for Brunson; he had to make an exception.
Brunson climbed up to third in chips with seven left but appeared to hit a wall. More aggressive, younger opponents, Rast and Dario Sammartino took command of the table. After bleeding chips for a while, Brunson got the last seven big blinds in drawing to an eight-six against the ten-nine draw of James Alexander. The icon was outdrawn for the final time at the Rio when he pulled a king and Alexander made his hand with a deuce.
Rast and Sammartino appeared to be a cut above their remaining competitors. However, three-handed, they butted heads, and Rast made a big call with a king-ten after drawing two against one, taking down the pot to reduce Sammartino to the short stack.
Mike Wattel then laddered past the Italian but never appeared to pose a serious threat to Rast's chip lead and got ground down after a lengthy heads-up match that involved mostly small-pot poker.
"I caught someone snowing. I picked off bluffs. I definitely got more bluffs through than got called."
Rast's cash game experience — 2-7 single draw is a regular part of the mixes he plays — has made a world of difference when comparing this 2018 run to a fourth-place finish in this same event in 2014. At that time a relative novice, cutting his teeth against the best in the world in nosebleed cash games has hardened him into tempered steel that can cut through even a tough lineup.
"There were multiple hands where I felt like I had pretty good reads," he said. "I caught someone snowing. I picked off bluffs. I definitely got more bluffs through than got called.
"I felt like I had a very good sense of what was going on. At this point, I'm a good enough no-limit single draw player to really apply it to specific situations and know what to do with specific hands."
While bracelets remain secondary to Rast's stated goal of cash game dominance, he admitted there's still something special about a big tournament run.
"I definitely get a little more of a rush here, at the final table of a tournament," he said.
It's that rush that will keep Rast returning to the Rio for more bracelet events. And it's that hunger to continue to succeed in the big cash games that keeps Rast motivated to keep working on his craft. As long as he keeps battling with the world's best, he'll remain a force wherever he chooses to play.
While one legend rode off into the tournament sunset on Tuesday night, perhaps an emerging one wrote the next chapter in his story.
In this Series
- 1 2018 WSOP Event 1: Jordan Hufty Wins First WSOP Gold in $565 Casino Employees
- 2 2018 WSOP Event 2: Elio Fox Wins First Ever WSOP $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty for $393,693
- 3 2018 WSOP Event 3: Joe Cada Wins 2018 WSOP $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em SHOOTOUT for $226,218
- 4 2018 WSOP Event 4: Julien Martini Wins $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better ($239,771)
- 5 2018 WSOP Event 5: Nick Petrangelo Wins WSOP $100,000 No-Limit Hold'em High Roller ($2,910,227)
- 6 2018 WSOP Event 6: Jeremy Perrin Wins The GIANT Turning $365 Into $250,966
- 7 2018 WSOP Event 7: Roberly Felicio Wins the 2018 WSOP COLOSSUS for $1,000,000
- 8 2018 WSOP Event 8: Johannes Becker Wins $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball ($180,455)
- 9 2018 WSOP Event 9: Paul Volpe Wins Third WSOP Bracelet in Omaha Hi-Lo Championship
- 10 2018 WSOP Event 10: William ‘Twooopair’ Reymond Wins $365 WSOP.com ONLINE Event ($154,996)
- 11 2018 WSOP Event 11: Tim Andrew Triumphs in the $365 PLO GIANT for $116,015, Mizrachi Fifth
- 12 2018 WSOP Event 12: Jeremy Harkin Wins $1,500 Dealer's Choice for $129,882
- 13 2018 WSOP Event 13: Benjamin Moon Wins $1,500 Big Blind Antes for $315,346
- 14 2018 WSOP Event 14: Daniel Ospina Wins First Bracelet for Colombia in 2-7 Lowball Draw
- 15 2018 WSOP Event 15: Andrey Zhigalov Wins $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. for $202,787
- 16 2018 WSOP Event 16: Justin Bonomo Wins Second WSOP Bracelet in $10K Heads-Up Championship
- 17 2018 WSOP Event 17: Ognyan Dimov Wins Third Bracelet for Bulgaria in Event #17 ($378,743)
- 18 2018 WSOP Event 18: Adam Friedman Wins Second Bracelet in $10K Dealer's Choice
- 19 2018 WSOP Event 19: Craig Varnell Wins $565 Pot-Limit Omaha ($181,790)
- 20 2018 WSOP Event 20: Jeremy Wien Conquers $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em for $537,710
- 21 2018 WSOP Event 21: Arne Kern Wins $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em MILLIONAIRE MAKER ($1,173,223)
- 22 2018 WSOP Event 22: Philip Long Wins $1,500 Eight Game Mix ($147,348)
- 23 2018 WSOP Event 23: Brian Rast Wins Fourth Bracelet in 2-7 Lowball Championship, Brunson 6th
- 24 2018 WSOP Event 24: Michael Addamo Wins Event #24: $2,620 MARATHON No-Limit Hold'em
- 25 2018 WSOP Event 25: Benjamin Dobson Wins First WSOP Gold in $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo
- 26 2018 WSOP Event 26: Filippos Stavrakis Dedicates WSOP PLO Bracelet ($169,842) to His Brother
- 27 2018 WSOP Event 27: John Hennigan Wins 2018 WSOP $10K HORSE for Fifth Bracelet and $415K
- 28 2018 WSOP Event 28: Fortunate River Gives Gal Yifrach First WSOP Bracelet & $461K Prize
- 29 2018 WSOP Event 29: Hanh Tran Wins First WSOP Bracelet in $1,500 2-7 Triple Draw ($117,282)
- 30 2018 WSOP Event 30: Ryan Bambrick Wins First Gold Bracelet in Dominating Fashion
- 31 2018 WSOP Event 31: Steven Albini Wins $1,500 Stud to Deny Jeff Lisandro 7th Bracelet
- 32 2018 WSOP Event 32: Matthew Davis Tops Biggest Seniors Event Ever to Win $662,983
- 33 2018 WSOP Event 33: Michael Mizrachi Wins His Third Poker Players Championship Title
- 34 2018 WSOP Event 34: Robert Peacock Wins First WSOP Gold in $1,000 DOUBLE STACK
- 35 2018 WSOP Event 35: Yueqi Zhu Claims First WSOP Gold in $1,500 Mixed Omaha
- 36 2018 WSOP Event 36: Farhintaj Bonyadi Wins Event $1,000 Super Seniors ($311,451)
- 37 2018 WSOP Event 37: Eric Baldwin Wins Second Bracelet, Dedicates it to His Father
- 38 2018 WSOP Event 38: Yaniv Birman Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet in $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship ($236,238)
- 39 2018 WSOP Event 39: Preston Lee Captures $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout Bracelet ($236,498)
- 40 2018 WSOP Event 40: Scott Bohlman Wins WSOP $2,500 Mixed Big Bet ($122,138)
- 41 2018 WSOP Event 41: Robert Nehorayan Wins $1,500 Limit Hold'em for $173,568
- 42 2018 WSOP Event 42: Shaun Deeb Gets Revenge on Ben Yu to Win $25K PLO for $1,402,683
- 43 2018 WSOP Event 43: Timur Margolin Takes Down $2,500 NLHE for $507,274
- 44 2018 WSOP Event 44: Nicholas Seiken Wins $10k 2-7 Triple Draw Championship for $287,987
- 45 2018 WSOP Event 45: Mario Prats Garcia Wins $1,000 Big Blind NLH For $258,255
- 46 2018 WSOP Event 46: David Brookshire Wins WSOP $2,500 Mixed Omaha/Stud Hi-Lo 8 ($214,291)
- 47 2018 WSOP Event 47: Matthew 'mendey' Mendez Wins First WSOP Online PLO Bracelet ($135,077)
- 48 2018 WSOP Event 48: Tommy Nguyen Wins Monster Stack for $1,037,451
- 49 2018 WSOP Event 49: Loren Klein Wins $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship for $1,018,336
- 50 2018 WSOP Event 50: Jay Kwon Wins $1,500 Razz ($125,431)
- 51 2018 WSOP Event 51: Ryan Leng Ships First WSOP Gold in $1,500 BOUNTY ($272,504)
- 52 2018 WSOP Event 52: Scott Seiver Wins $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship ($296,222)
- 53 2018 WSOP Event 53: Couden Tops Elezra, Matusow, Negreanu, and Fitoussi to win $1,500 PLO8
- 54 2018 WSOP Event 54: Portugal's Diogo Veiga Wins $3K Big Blind Antes ($522,715)
- 55 2018 WSOP Event 55: Giuseppe Pantaleo and Nikita Luther Win the $1K Tag Team for $175,805!
- 56 2018 WSOP Event 56: Calvin Anderson Wins His Second Bracelet in the $10K Razz ($309,220)!
- 57 2018 WSOP Event 57: Jessica Dawley Wins the WSOP Ladies Championship for $130,230!
- 58 2018 WSOP Event 58: Tribe Has Spoken: Jean-Robert Bellande Wins First Bracelet for $616K
- 59 2018 WSOP Event 59: Mike Takayama Makes History as the First Filipino to Win a WSOP Bracelet
- 60 2018 WSOP Event 60: Galfond Wins 3rd Bracelet in $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Championship
- 61 2018 WSOP Event 61: Ryan 'Toosick' Tosoc Wins WSOP.com $1,000 Championship ($238,778)
- 62 2018 WSOP Event 62: Galen Hall Wins $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold'em for $888,888
- 63 2018 WSOP Event 63: Chance 'BingShui' Kornuth Wins Second Bracelet in WSOP.com Online High Roller for $341,598
- 64 2018 WSOP Event 64: Matsuzuki Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet in $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo
- 65 John Cynn Wins the 2018 WSOP Main Event for $8,800,000!
- 66 2018 WSOP Event 66: Longsheng Tan Wins $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em for $323,472
- 67 2018 WSOP Event 67: Anderson Ireland Wins $1,500 PLO Bounty for First Bracelet and $141K
- 68 2018 WSOP Event 68: Guoliang Wei Wins Fourth Chinese Bracelet in The Little One for One Drop ($559,332)
- 69 2018 WSOP Event 69: Ronald Keijzer Wins $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed for $475,033
- 70 2018 WSOP Event 70: Yaser Al-Keliddar Wins Event #70: $3K Limit Hold'em 6-Handed for $154K
- 71 2018 WSOP Event 71: Phil Hellmuth Wins 15th Career Bracelet in $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em!
- 72 2018 WSOP Event 72: Jordan Polk Wins $1,500 Mixed NLH/PLO for $197,461
- 73 2018 WSOP Event 73: Denis Timofeev Bests Leo Margets to Win the $1,000 Double Stack Turbo
- 74 2018 WSOP Event 74: Shaun Deeb Wins Second Bracelet of the Summer in $10,000 6-Max ($814,179)
- 75 2018 WSOP Event 75: Joe Cada Wins His Fourth Career Bracelet in The Closer ($612,886)
- 76 2018 WSOP Event 76: Brian Hastings Wins the $3,000 H.O.R.S.E and 4th Bracelet
- 77 2018 WSOP Event 77: Ben Yu Wins Third Bracelet in $50,000 High Roller $1,650,773