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Brian Rast Wins 2016 World Series of Poker $50,000 Poker Players Championship

34-Year-Old Poker Pro Wins Prestigious Event For Second Time, Earning Third Bracelet and $1,296,097


Brian Rast has become only the second player in history to win the World Series of Poker $50,000 Poker Players Championship eight-game mixed event twice. Rast, who won the event for the first time in 2011, defeated a field of 91 players in the 2016 running of this tournament to win his third WSOP gold bracelet and the massive $1,296,097 first-place prize.

“This is what I have chosen to do with my life,” Rast told after the win. “I would be dishonest if I were to say that I haven’t thought about my place in the game. I could have done a lot of things with my life when I was in my early twenties. I chose poker. And I do care. I don’t care what other people in the world think, but I care what other poker professionals think. I take poker seriously and where my legacy is and how my peers think of me is a measure of professional respect. What I was able to do today was really special.”

Rast joins Michael Mizrachi as a two-time champion of what many players consider one of the most prestigious tournaments in poker. Rast’s name will now appear twice on the David “Chip” Reese Memorial Trophy, which was named after the late winner of the inaugural running of this tournament in 2006. Reese passed away in 2007.

Mizrachi came close to winning the event for a third time himself this year, ultimately finishing in fourth place for $380,942.

The six-handed final table began with Justin Bonomo as the chip leader, and although he did not eliminate a single player along the way, Bonomo did extend that lead over the first half of the final table. At one point during three handed play Bonomo held more than three quarters of the chips in play and it looked as if he was going to run away with the title. Rast was able to mount a comeback and then eliminate Eric Wasserson in third place ($545,772), setting up a heads-up clash with Bonomo.

Bonomo held a 5-to-3 chip advantage as play began but the two battled for several hours, with multiple lead changes along the way. The final hand came down in no-limit hold’em, with Rast just having Bonomo covered. With blinds of 80,000 – 160,000 and an ante of 40,000 Bonomo raised to 400,000 from the button and Rast called from the big blind. The flop came out ASpade Suit10Diamond Suit5Club Suit and Rast check-called a 350,000 bet from Bonomo.

Justin BonomoThe turn brought the AClub Suit and Rast checked only to have Bonomo cut out a huge bet of 2.2 million. Rast gave it plenty of thought before making the call. The KSpade Suit on the river completed the board and Rast checked for a third time. Bonomo moved all in for 7,815,000 and Rast instantly called with the ADiamond Suit10Spade Suit for a full house. Bonomo had rivered the straight with the QClub SuitJSpade Suit but it wasn’t enough and he was sent to the rail in second place, earning $801,048 at his fourth final table of the 2016 WSOP.

Bonomo also earned 765 Card Player Player of the Year points. With seven total final tables, two titles and $2,420,823 in year-to-date earnings for 2016 Bonomo has climbed into the outright lead in the POY race with 4,470 total points.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded to the final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Brian Rast $1,296,097 918
2 Justin Bonomo $801,048 765
3 Eric Wasserson $545,772 612
4 Michael Mizrachi $380,942 459
5 Lamar Wilkinson $272,558 383
6 Ray Dehkharghani $200,027 306

Winner photo courtesy of the WSOP.

For more coverage from the summer series, visit the 2016 WSOP landing page complete with a full schedule, news, player interviews and event recaps.