Brian Rast is an American poker player and winner of five World Series of Poker bracelets.
He is one of only two players to have won the $50,000 Poker Players Championship on two occasions, doing so in 2011 and 2016 for combined cashes of over $3,000,000.
Rast was born in 1981 in Denver, Colorado. He then moved to Poway, California where he graduated the Poway High School in 2000. After finishing High School Rast entered Stanford University, but dropped out rather soon in order to seek career as a professional poker player.
Rast's passion for poker came in 2003 after he saw the best-known poker-themed movie “Rounders” starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton.
Rast at the World Series of Poker
After cashing at the WSOP for the first time in 2005, it wasn't until 2011 that Rast really hit his stride at the festival. He cashed just three times, but won two bracelets. His first came in the $1,500 Pot Limit Hold'em after defeating Allen Kessler heads-up.
Later that same year he triumphed in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, defeating Phil Hellmuth heads-up to win the prestigious event for $1,720,328.
The following year, in 2012, Rast finished sixth in the inaugural $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop for $1,621,333. Another seven-figure score came in 2013 with victory in the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic $100,000 High Roller.
Rast was making a name for himself in the High Roller community, with several six-figure cashes in Bellagio and ARIA High Roller tournaments. In 2015, he final-tabled the Aussie Millions Main Event before going on to win the inaugural Super High Roller Bowl for $7,525,000.
In 2016, Rast won the $50,000 Poker Players Championship again, joining Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi as the only two-time champions of the event.
A fourth bracelet came in 2018 in the $10,000 2-7 Lowball Championship, and after a fourth in 2021 in Event #51: $3,000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em Rast was building up a Hall of Fame-worthy poker resume, something even Rast himself admits.
“I turn 40 in a couple of weeks and it was on my mind to make the Poker Hall of Fame," Rast told PokerNews after his fifth WSOP bracelet. "I think I have a pretty good claim. I’ve played the biggest cash games in the world for over a decade and I’ve done a lot in tournaments as well. I just don’t think there are too many people. I wanted to come back here this year to the WSOP and show myself that I can still play great poker and be around and enjoy it and hopefully add more.”