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2016 47th Annual World Series of Poker

Saturday, July 02, 2016 to Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Event #55: $50,000 Poker Players Championship

download official report     download official winner photo
  • Buy-in: $50,000
  • Prizepool: $4,176,000
  • Entries: 91
  • Remaining: 0
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EVENT UPDATES

07/07/16 03:09:35 AM PST
 
BRIAN RAST WINS $50,000 BUY-IN POKER PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP
 

Brian Rast is the winner of the 2016 Poker Players Championship.

The 34-year-old professional poker player now residing in Las Vegas, NV added his name to an elite legacy of icons which currently includes Freddy Deeb, Scotty Nguyen, David Bach, Michael Mizrachi, Matthew Ashton, Johnny Hennigan, Mike Gorodinsky, and the late Chip Reese, who has become the tournament’s revered patriarch.  However, after tonight, he’s now even done one better than those on that list -- except for one player.

With this astounding comeback victory in one of the game’s most anticipated annual gatherings, Rast became only the second player in history to win the Poker Players Championship twice, after Michael "the Grinder" Mizrachi first accomplished the feat in 2010 and 2012.  Rast’s wins have come in 2011 and now again in 2016.

The $50,000 buy-in tournament featuring a wide mix of games was played over five days and nights and concluded on the ESPN main stage at the Rio in Las Vegas in front of a packed house of spectators, as well as a worldwide viewing audience online at WSOP.com.

Rast collected $1,296,097 in prize money, making this triumph both the toughest and most satisfying win of his career -- both monetarily and certainly in terms of personal accomplishment.  This marked his third career gold bracelet victory, after winning his first title in 2011, playing in a $1,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha event and then winning the PPC that same year.  This was also his 29th career series cash.  The prize money won tonight catapulted him across the $5.5 million mark in lifetime WSOP earnings.

“This final table was really tough,” Rast said in a post-tournament interview.  “I was really low on chips for a lot of it.  The heads up match was a really long battle.  And, it was definitely satisfying.  I would agree it was both my toughest and most satisfying win.”

On the other side of the emotional spectrum, Rast's win dealt a difficult blow to Justin Bonomo, who had already come close a number of times at this year's series to winning what would have been a second WSOP title.  He finished 2nd once and 3rd twice over the past month.  Now, with this deep run, Bonomo has two 2nds and two 3rds.  With yet another impressive showing Bonomo has jumped to second place in the 2016 WSOP “Player of the Year” race, but is still well behind current leader, Jason Mercier.

As was expected by just about everyone, the list of players that cashed included a virtual “Who’s Who” of poker.  Mike Gorodinsky, the PPC defending champion, finished in 13th place.  Two-time PPC winner Michael “The Grinder Mizrachi” had the chip lead for a time on the final day, but finished fourth.  Then, there was Robert Mizrachi, coming in 14th place, and Daniel Negreanu finishing 12th.  This was a loaded field indeed, making it arguably the most prestigious of any tournament on the annual calendar for professional poker players.

“I really didn’t play perfect all the way through – there were some times when I didn’t play well.  I played really bad the first level of Day Three – I wasn’t warmed up yet,” Rast said.  “But this tournament, with the structure, it’s very long and it’s very forgiving because of how many chips you get.  I was really, really happy with how I played, and happy how I played at the final table.”

Bonomo seized the chip lead on the third of the five playing days and garnered much of the public’s attention, although with Mizrachi and Rast still in the field, there was plenty of excitement to go around.  However, for Bonomo the hard road to an unfulfilled victory took a few unexpected turns and hit some speed bumps along the way, ultimately ending up in another close call without capturing the bracelet. 

Bonomo lost the chip lead when play was down to five players.  That’s when Michael Mizrachi seemingly took command for a short time.  However, the two-time winner of this event lost a few big pots to Bonomo and by the time play was three-handed, the Colorado-based poker pro was not only the chip leader but also seemingly in total command of the final table. 

Once Eric Wasserman's good fight came to an end as the third-place finisher, that put Bonomo up against the formidable Brian Rast, who had closed this same deal before five years earlier.  Rast overturned a 4 to 1 chip disadvantage and took the lead for a time.  However, Bonomo roared back and seized command in a see-saw battle which left most of the poker world on the edge of their seats.  The two experienced foes battled back and forth for nearly three hours before the final hand was dealt out.

The ultimate moment of triumph came when Rast scooped the final pot of the tournament with a full house – aces full of tens against Bonomo holding a straight, who finished as the runner up.  His consolation prize amounted to $801,048.

Rast’s victory was made all the sweeter by having his father as a spectator.  He’s been at the final table for all three of his son’s gold bracelet victories.

“Tournament wins are what everyone sees, and I get that,” Rast said.  “They are something you can look at.  But for me, it’s more about the other things.  But I understand that’s what the public looks at.  From that standpoint, it’s cool.”
Rast went on to explain that he values success in both tournaments and cash games as being important when judging a historical legacy.

“For me I play so much poker, I play for really high-stakes all the time.  So, I’m not always playing tournaments -- I’m mostly a cash game player.  But since I play the biggest cash game limits in almost every game, I think that does say something professionally.  Tournament results have a lot of luck involved.  I was blessed to run really good in events that were so big.  There are plenty of other great players who weren’t as fortunate.  While I feel I played well, that’s not all of that and I realize it."

This prestigious tournament is now in its 11th year.  The inaugural PPC was won by the late poker legend Chip Reese who died in 2007.  The trophy presented each year is named in his honor.  The winner gets to keep possession of the trophy until the following year when the prize is passed along to the new champion.

With this impressive victory, Rast’s profile as one of the poker greats now appears cemented in history.

“This is what I have chosen to do with my life,” Rast said.  “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 20s.  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.”

The PPC tourney has changed in format over the years.  It has included a mix of games.  This year, the tournament was played six-handed.  The PPC included a rotation of games – including Seven-Card Stud, No-Limit Hold’em, Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split, Omaha High-Low Split, Pot-Limit Omaha, Limit Hold’em, and Razz.
This grueling tourney which took more than 50 playing hours to complete attracted 91 entrants, which created a prize pool totaling $4,176,000.  The top 14 finishers collected prize money.

Aside from the winner, here’s a brief report of the other top finishers who made the final table:

Second Place:  Justin Bonomo, from Glendale, CO cashed yet again, posting his fourth top-three finish of the summer.  Bonomo has finished in-the-money 40 times in WSOP events and now has more than $3.5 million in career earnings.  His payout came to $801,048.

Third PlaceEric Wasserson, from Penn Valley, PA posted his best payout at the series, as third place paid $545,772.  Wasserson previously finished second in an event in 2014.  This marked Wasserman’s 20th time to cash at the series and seventh in-the-money finish this year.

Fourth Place:  Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, from Hollywood, FL put up a noble fight in his attempt to join only four other players who have won the same event at least three times.  He had the chip lead when play was four-handed, but then ran cold late in the tournament.  Mizrachi, the owner of three gold bracelets, now has more than $7.2 million in WSOP earnings.  He cashed for $380,942.

Fifth Place:  Wil Wilkinson, from Pacheco, CA is the owner of the California Grand Casino.  He’s been a fearless supporter of the game for many years and plays occasionally in WSOP events.  This marked his 15th time to cash at the series.  It was also his second final table of the summer, after coming in 3rd place in the $10K Triple-Draw Lowball event.  With the $272,558 he collected for this tournament, Wilkinson’s career earnings at the series now exceed $1 million.

Sixth Place:  Ray Dehkharghani, from Leawood, KS won his gold bracelet earlier this year in the $10K Razz Championship.  This marked his second final table appearance of the summer, and second time to cash for more than six figures.  With the $200,027 Dehkharghani raked in from this tournament, along with his win earlier, the Kansan now has close to half a million in prize money earnings for 2016.  This was Dehkharghani’s 18th time to cash in a WSOP event.

This was the 55th official event on this year’s schedule.  This leaves 14 gold bracelet events still to go at the 2016 WSOP.

07/07/16 01:05:46 AM PST
 
Brian Rast Wins $50,000 Poker Players Championship for $1,296,097
 


Brian Rast - Champion

No-Limit Hold'em

Justin Bonomo raises to 400,000 on the button and Brian Rast calls in the big blind.

The flop falls     and Rast checks. Bonomo continues for 350,000 and Rast calls. Fourth street pairs the board with the   and Rast checks a second time. Bonomo thinks for a moment before betting 2,200,000.

Rast goes into the tank for about 90 seconds before calling. The   finishes the board and Rast checks one last time. Bonomo announces all-in for 7,815,000 and Rast immediately calls, having Bonomo covered.

Bonomo shows    for a Broadway straight, but it's no good against Rast's    for aces full of tens. Rast's rail erupts with cheers as Rast becomes the second-ever two-time Poker Players Championship winner, following in the footsteps of this year's fourth-place finisher Michael Mizrachi.

Bonomo finishes as the runner-up and will take home a payday of $801,048. This is the fourth top-three finish of the summer.

Brian Rast - 2016 Poker Players Champion for $1,296,097
Justin Bonomo - Eliminated in 2nd place ($801,048)


Justin Bonomo Finishes as Runner-Up

07/07/16 12:54:02 AM PST
 
"Nice Check" From Justin Bonomo
 

No-Limit Hold'em

Justin Bonomo raises to 400,000 on the button, and Brian Rast defends his big blind.

The flop is    . Rast leads out with a bet of 450,000, and Bonomo calls. Both players check the   turn. The river is the  , putting a straight on board. Rast checks, and Bonomo considers for a few extra seconds before checking behind.

"Nice check," Rast says, showing   . He wins the pot with a nine-high straight, inching back into the chip lead once again.

Brian Rast - 12,190,000
Justin Bonomo - 10,560,000

07/07/16 12:46:58 AM PST
 
Justin Bonomo Regains Chip Lead
 

2-7 Triple Draw

Justin Bonomo raises from the button and Brian Rast makes it three bets from the big blind. Bonomo calls. Rast takes two cards at the draw, while Bonomo opts for three.

Both players check the next street and then draw two at the second draw. Rast bets, Bonomo raises, and Rast calls. Rast pulls one new card at the final draw, while Bonomo stands pat.

Both players quickly check and Bonomo fans      . Rast mucks and Bonomo takes the pot. With this win, Bonomo has now regained the chip lead.

Justin Bonomo - 11,900,000
Brian Rast - 10,850,000

07/07/16 12:38:19 AM PST
 
Justin Bonomo Storms Back
 

Limit Hold'em

Justin Bonomo (pictured) raises from the button and Brian Rast calls from the big blind. The flop is     and Rast check-calls a bet from Bonomo. The turn is the   and both players check. The river is the   and Rast check-calls another bet from Bonomo.

Bonomo shows    for jacks and fours, Rast mucks, and Bonomo wins the pot.

The following hand, Brian Rast raises from the button and Justin Bonomo calls from the big blind. The flop is     and Bonomo checks to Rast, who bets. Bonomo check-raises, Rast calls, and the turn is the  . Bonomo bets and Rast folds.

The next hand, Bonomo raises from the button and Rast calls. The flop is     and Rast check-calls a bet from Bonomo. The turn is the   and Rast check-calls another bet from Bonomo. The river is the   and Rast check-calls one last bet from Bonomo.

Bonomo tables    for sevens full of deuces, Rast mucks, and Bonomo wins the pot.

Justin Bonomo - 10,800,000
Brian Rast - 11,950,000

07/07/16 12:31:12 AM PST
 
A Round of Pot-Limit Omaha
 

Pot-Limit Omaha

Hand #1:

Justin Bonomo pots to 480,000 on the button, and Brian Rast folds. Bonomo wins the pot.

Hand #2:

Rast raises to 380,000 on the button, and Bonomo folds. Rast wins the pot.

Hand #3:

Bonomo pots to 480,000 on the button, and Rast folds. Bonomo wins the pot.

Hand #4:

Rast raises to 380,000 on the button, and Bonomo defends his big blind. The flop is    . Both players check, and the turn is the  . Bonomo checks, Rast bets 350,000, and Bonomo folds. Rast wins the pot.

Hand #5:

Bonomo pots to 480,000 on the button, and Rast defends his big blind. The flop is    . Both players check, and the turn is the  . Bonomo checks, Rast bets 750,000, and Bonomo calls. The river is the  , and both players check. Rast shows     , winning the pot with kings up.

Hand #6:

Rast raises to 380,000 on the button, and Bonomo defends his big blind. The flop is    . Bonomo checks, Rast bets 450,000, and Bonomo calls. The turn is the  , and both players check. The river is the  . Bonomo checks, Rast bets 600,000, and Bonomo folds. Rast wins the pot.

It's a good round for Rast. He increases his stack by 2,280,000 over the course of those six hands, and his lead over Bonomo has now grown to more than 3:1.

Brian Rast - 17,700,000
Justin Bonomo - 5,050,000

07/07/16 12:17:01 AM PST
 
Level 27 Structure
 
Game Antes in NLH,
NL 2-7 & Stud
Bring-in or Small Blind Completion 
or Big Blind
Limits
Limit / Flop Games - 150,000
300,000 300,000/600,000
Stud Games 70,000 100,000 300,000 300,000/600,000
NL / PL Games 40,000 80,000 160,000 -


07/07/16 12:16:10 AM PST
 
Level 27 Started
 
Level:27  Blinds:300,000/600,000  
07/07/16 12:05:06 AM PST
 
Break
 

 

The players are in the midst of a 15-minute break.

Brian Rast - 15,365,000
Justin Bonomo - 7,385,000

07/07/16 12:05:02 AM PST
 
Two-to-One For Brian Rast
 

Razz

Justin Bonomo:     /      /  
Brian Rast:     /      /  

Justin Bonomo has the bring-in with an  . Brian Rast completes with a  , and Bonomo calls.

Bonomo has first action on fourth street, and he bets. Rast calls, then takes the lead on fifth street. He bets, and Bonomo calls. That action repeats on sixth street, with Bonomo calling another bet. Rast checks on seventh street, and Bonomo bets. Rast spends more than three minutes considering his options, then calls.

Bonomo is reluctant to show his cards, so Rast takes his cue to table     /     , winning the pot with a nine-low. He's opened up a 2:1 chip lead as the level concludes.

Brian Rast - 15,365,000
Justin Bonomo - 7,385,000

07/06/16 11:57:28 PM PST
 
Brian Rast Extends His Lead
 

Razz

Justin Bonomo:     /     (fold
Brian Rast:     /    

Justin Bonomo brings it in on third street, Brian Rast completes, and Bonomo calls. Rast bets with the better board on fourth street, Bonomo calls, and Rast bets again on fifth street. Bonomo folds.

Brian Rast - 13,600,000
Justin Bonomo - 9,150,000

07/06/16 11:52:18 PM PST
 
Brian Rast Regains Chip Lead
 

Omaha Hi-Lo

Brian Rast raises from the button and Justin Bonomo makes it three bets from the big blind. Rast calls and the flop falls    . Bonomo continues out and Rast calls.

Fourth street brings the   and Bonomo checks. Rast takes this opportunity to bet and Bonomo ditches his hand.

Brian Rast - 12,160,000
Justin Bonomo - 10,590,000

07/06/16 11:45:12 PM PST
 
Big One For Justin Bonomo
 


Justin Bonomo

Seven-Card Stud

Brian Rast:     /      /  
Justin Bonomo:     /      /  

Brian Rast has the bring-in with the  . Justin Bonomo completes with the  , Rast raises, and Bonomo calls.

Both players check fourth street. Bonomo has first action on fifth, and he bets. Rast calls, and they both check sixth street. Rast checks again on seventh street, Bonomo bets, Rast raises, and Bonomo makes it three bets for a total of 1,500,000. Rast calls the extra bet.

Bonomo announces, "Straight," tabling     to prove it. Rast mucks, and Bonomo wins the pot to retake the chip lead once again.

Justin Bonomo - 13,325,000
Brian Rast - 9,425,000

07/06/16 11:41:11 PM PST
 
Small One for Justin Bonomo
 

No-Limit Hold'em

Brian Rast raises to 300,000 from the button and Justin Bonomo calls from the big blind.

They proceed to check down the       board and Bonomo tables    for two pair. Rast mucks.

Justin Bonomo - 10,630,000
Brian Rast - 12,120,000

07/06/16 11:30:08 PM PST
 
Nine-Smooth For Brian Rast
 

2-7 Triple Draw

Justin Bonomo raises the button and Brian Rast calls from the big blind. Both players take three new cards at the draw and check the next betting round.

Rast once again pulls three cards, while Bonomo reduces to two. They both check once more and Rast pulls one card. Bonomo takes two.

Rast bets the final street and Bonomo raises. Rast calls and Bonomo shows      . Rast has that beat, however, showing       for a nine-smooth.

Brian Rast - 12,310,000
Justin Bonomo - 10,440,000

07/06/16 11:28:34 PM PST
 
Justin Bonomo Rivers a Boat
 

Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo

Justin Bonomo:     /      /  
Brian Rast:     /      /  

Justin Bonomo (pictured) has the bring-in with the  . Brian Rast completes with the  , Bonomo raises, and Rast calls.

Rast has first action on fourth street. He checks, Bonomo bets, and Rast calls. Bonomo takes the lead on fifth street, and he bets. Rast calls that bet, then follow-up bets on sixth and seventh streets.

Bonomo tables    , scooping the pot with fours full of treys. The chip lead continues to swing back and forth with every big pot, and Bonomo is on the good side of this most recent exchange.

Justin Bonomo - 13,600,000
Brian Rast - 9,150,000

07/06/16 11:23:57 PM PST
 
Brian Rast Pulls Slightly Ahead
 

Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo 

Brian Rast:     /      /  
Justin Bonomo:     /      /  

Brian Rast brings it in on third street, Justin Bonomo completes, Rast raises, and Bonomo calls.

Bonomo check-calls bets from Rast the rest of the way before both players check on seventh street.

Bonomo shows     for a pair of jacks, but Rast tables     for fives and deuces to win the pot.

Brian Rast - 11,900,000
Justin Bonomo -10,850,000

07/06/16 11:20:03 PM PST
 
Brian Rast Scoops
 

Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo

Justin Bonomo:     /      /  
Brian Rast:     /      /  

Brian Rast is the bring-in and Justin Bonomo completes. Rast calls and Bonomo earns first action on fourth street. He checks and Rast bets. Bonomo check-raises and Rast calls.

Bonomo retains first action on fifth street and he bets. Rast calls. Bonomo slows by checking sixth street, and Rast takes this chance to bet. Bonomo calls and check-calls one last bet on seventh.

Rast shows     for trip fours and an eight-smooth. Bonomo mucks and Rast scoops the pot.

Brian Rast - 10,250,000
Justin Bonomo - 12,500,000

07/06/16 11:18:06 PM PST
 
A Round of Limit Hold'em
 

Limit Hold'em

Hand #1:

Justin Bonomo raises from the button, and Brian Rast defends his big blind. The flop is    . Rast checks, Bonomo bets, and Rast check-raises. Bonomo folds, and Rast wins the pot.

Hand #2:

Rast raises from the button, and Bonomo defends his big blind. The flop is    . Bonomo checks, Rast bets, and Bonomo calls. The turn is the  . Bonomo checks again, then folds to another Rast bet. Rast wins the pot.

Hand #3:

Bonomo raises from the button, and Rast folds. Bonomo wins the pot.

Hand #4:

Rast raises from the button, and Bonomo folds. Rast wins the pot.

Hand #5:

Justin Bonomo raises from the button, and Brian Rast three-bets from the big blind. Bonomo calls. The flop is    . Rast bets, and Bonomo calls. The turn is the  . Rast checks, Bonomo bets, and Rast calls. The river is the  , and Rast checks again. Bonomo bets, and Rast ponders for close to five minutes before surrendering his cards into the muck. Bonomo wins the pot.

Hand #6:

Brian Rast raises from the button, and Justin Bonomo defends his big blind. The flop is    . Bonomo checks, Rast bets, and Bonomo folds. Rast wins the pot.

The limit hold'em round is essentially a wash. Despite winning four of the six pots, Rast earns a negligible profit of one big bet over the course of those six hands.

Brian Rast - 7,950,000
Justin Bonomo - 14,800,000

07/06/16 11:01:52 PM PST
 
Set of Deuces for Brian Rast
 

Pot-Limit Omaha

Brian Rast raises to 300,000 from the button and Justin Bonomo calls from the big blind.

The flop is     and Bonomo checks to Rast, who continues for 415,000. Bonomo calls.

The turn is the   and both players check.

The river is the  . Bonomo checks, Rast bets 950,000, and Bonomo calls.

Rast shows      for a set of deuces, Bonomo winces when he sees Rast's hand, then he mucks and Rast wins the pot.

Brian Rast - 7,410,000
Justin Bonomo - 15,340,000

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