WSOP: Brian Rast Defeats Justin Bonomo for Second $50K PPC Title

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The 2016 World Series of Poker could have sold some expensive seats in the Amazon Room as the final table of the $50,000 Poker Players Championship crowned a repeat champ, though not the one many expected. The $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller Day 1 field watching the final table while the rest of the Rio was partying it up in the $1,000 Tag Team event.

Brian Rast Wins $50,000 Poker Players Championship for 2nd Time, 3rd Bracelet

Brian Rast became the second person to win the Chip Reese Trophy twice.
Brian Rast believed in himself, put his money where his mind was – booking additional action on himself – and entered the final table middle of the pack in chips. Rast got short as Justin Bonomo looked to have all the momentum in the world, played his way back to even and won his second PPC bracelet in a blockbuster hand.

Rast pushed his WSOP earnings past $5.5 million at a final table that featured a Mixed Game format.

“I ran good but this gives me a little validation,” he said. “I felt a little slighted by some the lines against me and took more action on myself, so it’s nice to get to punish too.”

“This says I know how to play Limit and I can play all the games,” he added. “The first (PPC win) was my first major win and the rush that went with that I’ll never top in my poker career.”

“There were a lot of crazy ICM situations at the final table,” Rast said. “I was short and had to pick spots and ladder up. I started making a run at three-handed.”

The final hand came during a round of No Limit Hold’em and around ten big blinds separated Bonomo and Rast. Bonomo opened, Rast called and the flop came AsTd5c. Rast check-called 350,000, the turn came Ac and Rast checked again. Bonomo bet 2,200,000, Rast called after some thought and the river came Ks. Rast checked a third time, Bonomo moved all in and Rast called after re-checking his hole cards.

Bonomo turned up QcJs for Broadway but Brian Rast tabled AdTs for the full house. Bonomo threw his hands in the air with a heavy breath and Rast became the second player to win the event twice.


Final Table Payouts

  1. Brian Rast – $1,296,097
  2. Justin Bonomo – $801,048
  3. Eric Wasserson – $545,772
  4. Michael Mizrachi – $380,942
  5. Wil Wilkinson – $272,558
  6. Ray Dekharghani – $200,027

Marius Gierse Leads 47 Players to Day 3 in $5,000 No Limit Event

Day 2 of the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em event began with 359 survivors playing for the 130 spots that made the money. A full ten levels later 47 players remain and Marius Gierse holds an average stack-lead over second place Jordan Knackstedt.

Ismael Bojang, Byron Kavorman and Fedor Holz return with healthy stacks while Andy Hwang, Isaac Baron and Chris Hunichen will have a steeper hill to climb on Thursday.

Zvi Stern, Tom Marchese, Tom Middleton, David Vamplew and former Main Event champs Ryan Riess and Martin Jacobson all made deep runs in the 863 entrant field.

Day 3 has cards in the air at noon and the field will play down to a final table before bagging and tagging. They’ll return for a final table on the ESPN Feature Table stage and play for $800,586 and the bracelet.

Top Ten Chip Counts

  1. Marius Gierse – 1,496,000
  2. Jordan Knackstedt – 1,013,000
  3. Yue Du – 902,000
  4. Kane Kalas – 863,000
  5. Matt O’Donnell – 853,000
  6. Dominik Nitsche – 734,000
  7. Javier Gomez – 687,000
  8. Upsheka De Silva – 661,000
  9. Justin Adams – 650,000
  10. Georges Georgiou – 646,000

John Monnette Looking for Fifth Final Table of Summer in $1,500 Stud Hi-Lo

The final Stud event of the 2016 WSOP drew 521 entries, brought 124 of them to Day 2 and full day of action left 14 players remaining with John Monnette looking for his 5th final table of the summer.

A loaded field features Jameson Painter, Calvin Anderson, Bryan Devonshire, Michael Ross and Brandon Shack-Harris. Phillip Hui, Paul Sokoloff and Jimmy Fricke all made deep runs but fell short of Day 3. Daniel Negreanu, Chris Klodnicki, Ben Yu and Mike Leah min-cashed in the event.

Play resumes at 2 PM and though the pace of Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo is deliberate, they should crown a winner by day’s end.

Top Ten Chip Counts

  1. David Prociak – 701,000
  2. John Monnette – 420,000
  3. Al Barbieri – 382,000
  4. Jameson Painter – 379,000
  5. Gaurav Kalro – 375,000
  6. Calvin Anderson – 347,000
  7. Bryan Devonshire – 243,000
  8. Michael Ross – 214,000
  9. Phillip Penn – 184,000
  10. Louis Russo – 163,000

First $1,000 Tag Team No Limit Hold’em Event Draws 836 Teams

Team events are not new to the WSOP, Doyle Brunson won a Mixed Doubles event bracelet, but the Tag Team format is new. A player had to register as captain and each teammate had to play at least one round of blinds before the end of registration to be considered official.

The event drew 836 teams and 130 remain but it’s anyone’s guess as to how many players are actually still in the event. A team captained by Vladimir Geshkenbein leads the field with 100,000 but those captained by Mike Leah and Alex Bolotin also landed in the top ten.

Andy Philachack, Huy Nguyen, James Dempsey, Ben Yu, Cory Waaland, Conor Drinan. Leo Wolpert and Doug Polk all advanced to Day 2. Brian Rast won $1.3 million in the PPC and recorded a cash in the Tag Team event as part of a team with Jeff Gross and Antonio Esfandiari.

Each teammate will receive a cash in the event for the amount divided evenly among all members regardless of time played. The field generated a $776,700 prize pool, five-figure payouts start at the final table and the winning team earns $153,358.

Top Ten Chip Counts (Team Captain listed)

  1. Vladimir Geshkenbein – 100,000
  2. Nick Yunis – 98,300
  3. Mike Leah – 91,400
  4. Nicolas Fischer – 82,700
  5. Alex Bolotin – 81,500
  6. Akash Malik – 79,200
  7. Chris Lindh – 78,100
  8. DNR – 74,400
  9. Matthew Leecy – 68,500
  10. Jeremy Joseph – 65,300

Michael Huntress Tops Elite Field in $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller

The $25,000 High Roller event always draws players we’re not used to seeing at the WSOP and this summer the event is Eight Max Pot Limit Omaha. It drew 163 entrants and 95 players advanced, but registration remains open until the start of Day 2. Michael Huntress is the first of three huge stacks with Ludovic Geilich and Cary Katz also sitting comfortably.

Dan Shak, Josh Pollock and Ryan D’Angelo all bagged up top ten stacks with Paul Volpe, Galen Hall, Max Silver, Christian Harder and Dan Smith all ending with above average stacks. George Danzer, Daniel Negreanu, Joe Hachem, Joey Ingram and Scott Seiver return with short stacks.

The prize pool swelled to over $3.8 million but will most likely go up with a few stragglers deciding to join the field late.

Isaac Haxton, Mohsin Charania, Talal Shakerchi, Mike Gorodinsky, Anthony Zinno, Phil Galfond, Ben Lamb and Scott Clements are among the players eliminated on Day 1.

Top Ten Chip Counts

  1. Michael Huntress – 685,000
  2. Ludovic Geilich – 663,000
  3. Cary Katz – 576,500
  4. Joshua Ladines – 452,000
  5. Dan Shak – 450,500
  6. Josh Pollock – 396,000
  7. Arie Miller – 388,000
  8. Dmitry Savelyev – 386,500
  9. Sean Winter – 383,500
  10. Ryan D’Angelo – 369,000

Main Event Madness Creeping Up

The Rio’s hallways come to bursting point as the Main Event draws near and the crowds will love Thursday’s schedule of $1,000 No Limit Hold’em at 11 AM PT and the $3,000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo event in the afternoon.