Brian Rast Wins 4th Career Bracelet at 2018 WSOP

Brian Rast Wins 4th Career Bracelet at 2018 WSOP

Brian Rast has overcome a field of 95 players at World Series of Poker Event #23: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship to claim a top prize of $259,670. In so doing, the Las Vegas pro also notched up a fourth career gold bracelet, placing him in a select group of players on the same number of accolades, including the likes of Puggy Pearson, Amarillo Slim, Huck Seed, and Bobby Baldwin.

Rast had to overcome a host of top pros in order to capture his latest bracelet, such as Doyle Brunson, Paul Volpe, and John Hennigan, and after being asked how it felt besting the game’s greats, the 36 year-old pro replied:

“I only play against the best players in the world. I don’t really play any small cash games or even small buy-in tournaments anymore.. So, I mean, a lot of the people who are playing those games there, the big, big cash games are the best players in the world.. Those are the situations I’m in.”

2-7 Lowball Draw Championship

The $10k NL 2-7 Lowball Championship awarded 15 money places, and amongst the players seeing a return on their buy-ins was Benjamin Yu (15th), Paul Volpe (14th), Robert Mizrachi (13th), and Illya Trincher (12th), who all received $14,691 a piece for their deep runs.

Progressing a little further, but ultimately falling short of a final table appearance was Galen Hall (11th), Todd Brunson (10th), and Ray Dehkharghani (9th), who collected $18,955 each. WSOP Circuit ring holder James Alexander then eliminated Farzad Bonyadi in 8th ($24,775) to usher in the final table.

Doyle Announces Retirement

Prior to its commencement, Doyle Brunson said that the event would likely to be the very last of the World Series of Poker that he would ever play. Over the year’s, the 84 year old has won an incredible 10 WSOP bracelets, including recording back-to-back Main Event wins in 1976 and 1977. Doyle’s last accolade came in 2005 after taking down the WSOP $5,000 No Limit Shorthanded Texas Hold’em (6 players) event for $367,800, but in recent times the octogenarian said that he was no longer able to cope with the WSOP’s demanding schedule and marathon sessions.

Furthermore, Doyle’s wife of 56 years, Louise, has been suffering from ill health of late, with Doyle saying that he would stop playing both cash games and tournaments in order to spend more time with her. As he commented:

“I’m going to stop playing completely, but while I might change my mind, I don’t think that I will. This will be the last time that my wife and I have to spend together, and right now, every day that I leave the house I feel guilty.”

Final Table

For his swan song, Doyle Brunson managed to progress all the way through to the event’s final table, where he was also accompanied by a whole host of skilled pros. After Brian Rast eliminated John Hennigan in 7th, James Alexander subsequently brought Doyle’s aspirations to a premature end after knocking him out in 6th, after which Rast commented:

“He’s played high-stakes poker longer than anyone. He’s an icon, he’s a legend.. And you know everyone was pulling for Doyle and I can understand that.. outside of me, I was pulling for Doyle too.”

Next, Brian Rast took care of Shawn Sheikhan in 5th, James Alexander in 4th, and Dario Sammartino in 3rd to force heads-up play against Michael Wattel for the bracelet.


Rast entered the final phase holding an almost 4:1 chip lead over Michael Wattel, a 2-time WSOP bracelet holder whose been playing poker since 1991. Despite staging a comeback in which he almost drew level, however, Wattel fell back to a 2:1 chip deficit when the final hand arose.

Brian Rast raised preflop, before calling an all-in from Mike Wattel following 90 seconds of deliberation. Both players then sat pat, with Wattel’s 10-7-6-4-2 ultimately finishing second best to Rast’s 9-8-7-6-2.

In addition to his 4-WSOP bracelets, Brian Rast now boasts $21,129,935 in live earnings, placing him at number 15 on poker’s ‘All Time Money List’, while Michael Wattel has $2,951,810 in winnings, and is currently Arizona’s third most successful player behind Jacob Balsiger ($5,019,032), and David Baker ($4,288,408).

Final Table Results

1st: Brian Rast $259,670
2nd: Michael Wattel $160,489
3rd: Dario Sammartino $114,023
4th: James Alexander $81,986
5th: Shawn Sheikhan $59,669
6th: Doyle Brunson $43,963
7th: John Hennigan $32,796