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2011 42nd Annual World Series of Poker

Thursday, June 09, 2011 to Saturday, June 11, 2011

Event #15: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em

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  • Buy-in: $1,500
  • Prizepool: $1,032,750
  • Entries: 765
  • Remaining: 0
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06/12/11 01:23:21 AM PDT

Brian Rast -- Champion!

Day three of $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em event began with 10 hopefuls all vying for a coveted World Series of Poker bracelet – and the $227,232 first-place prize that goes along with it. After a fairly slow start, eliminations ran rampant, with Ali Eslami, Mika Paasonen, Daisuke Endo and Dajuan Whorley all being sent to the rail within a half hour of each other. When the dust cleared, it was Allen Kessler and Brian Rast who were left to duke it out for the right to be called "champion." After a short heads-up battle, it was the online cash-game grinder Brian "tsarrast" Rast who came out on top.

Day one saw 765 players register in an attempt to prove their poker skill. An onslaught of talent could be found at every turn, including Annette Obrestad, Gavin Smith, Tom Dwan, Liv Boeree, Faraz Jaka, Jeff Madsen, Dwyte Pilgrim, Kathy Liebert and Humberto Brenes – just to name a few. At the end of the day, however, it was WSOPE Main Event third-place finisher Ronald Lee who topped the field with 122,700, which would serve him well on his way to an oh-so-close WSOP bracelet.

The journey to the final table on day two was far from easy, as there seemed to be a well-respected poker pro around every corner no matter how many people were sent to the rail. Among them included John Dolan (71st), Joe Sebok (60th), Hoyt Corkins (49th), John Racener (39th), James Carroll (23rd), Randall Flowers (19th) and Christian Harder (17th) – all of whom went deep enough to cash for their efforts, despite missing the final table. It was Rast who secured the chip lead going into day three, having amassed a whopping 1,081,000, or, just over 30 percent of the total chips in play.

When day three began, many of the remaining players began the day short-stacked, which may explain the relatively short duration of the final table – six hours.

When the heads-up battle began, Rast had a slight chip lead over Kessler, which he used to make moves and apply constant pressure. In one hand that showed Rast's poker prowess. Rast opened to 70,000 from the button and got a call from Kessler. The flop came     and Kessler checked to Rast, who c-bet to 80,000. Kessler responded by making it 180,000 and, undeterred, Rast quickly reraised to 390,000, which got a muck from Kessler. Rast tabled    for jack-high, leaving Kessler puzzled.

For Rast, this win adds to an already impressive poker resume, which includes over $700,000 in lifetime tournament winnings prior to winning this event. This win also represents Rast's first WSOP bracelet – not bad for a guy who had to be convinced by good buddy and fellow poker pro Antonio Esfandiari to actually register for the event.

Final Table Payouts

1stBrian Rast$227,232
2ndAllen Kessler$140,309
3rdDajuan Whorley$91,212
4thDaisuke Endo$66,994
5thMika Paasonen$49,902
6thAli Eslami$37,654
7thJohn Gordon$28,741
8thTed Lawson$22,183
9thRonald Lee$17,298

Congratulations to Brian Rast and all other players who managed to cash in this event. Remember to follow PokerNews for coverage of the other events going on at the Rio, including Event #19: $2,500 Limit Hold'em / Six Handed and Event #18: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em – both of which started today.

06/12/11 12:34:57 AM PDT

Allen Kessler - 2nd Place

From the button, Brian "tsarrast" Rast opened to 90,000 and Allen Kessler made the call to see a     flop fall.

Kessler tapped the table before Rast pushed out a 90,000-chip continuation-bet only to have Kessler three-bet to 200,000.

Pausing for a few moments, Rast bumped it to 500,000 only to have Kessler announce all in for 1,440,000 in chips. Rast instantly made the call and stood up and flashed his cards to his railbirds that included Antonio Esfandiari and Rast's parents and other family members.


With Rast having flopped the second nut flush (behind the steel wheel), he would still need to fade any five or three falling to have Kessler take a massive lead in the heads-up battle.

As Kessler remained seated, he pointed three fingers at the board signaling his desire for a three-ball to spike, but when the   landed on the turn, Kessler would be left with just four outs between him and a near-certain bracelet.

Unfortunately for Chainsaw, the river would fall the   to end Kessler's tournament in second place for a $140,309 payday as Rast is crowned the Event #15 Champion!

06/12/11 12:22:45 AM PDT

Allen Kessler opened his button for 90,000 only to have Brian Rast cut out a three-bet of just 215,000. Kessler swiftly made the call as the flop fell    .

Rast paused momentarily before leading out for 160,000 to force a fold from Kessler.

06/12/11 12:20:20 AM PDT

Allen Kessler

Allen Kessler bumped it to 90,000 from the button and Brian Rast made the call to see a     flop land.

Rast led for 105,000 but Kessler cut out a two-bet of 250,000 as Rast swiftly folded.

With that pot, Kessler moves to 1,860,000 as Rast slips to 1,585,000 in chips.

06/12/11 12:17:38 AM PDT

Brian Rast opened to 80,000 from the button and Allen Kessler defended his big blind to see a     flop fall.

Kessler proceeded to check-call 75,000 as the   landed on the turn and Kessler checked again.

Rast pushed out 130,000 but Kessler responded by check-raising to 300,000. Rast passed, and Kessler crept in on the Rast chip lead.

06/12/11 12:09:41 AM PDT

On the first hand of play, Allen Kessler gave Brian Rast a walk in the big blind.

Rast would then bump up his button to 80,000 and Kessler would swiftly fold.

06/12/11 12:07:37 AM PDT

Both Brian Rast and Allen Kessler were a little restless during their dinner break, and decided to recommence fractionally early.

The cards are now in the air!

06/12/11 12:06:47 AM PDT
Level: 25 Blinds: 20000/40000 Ante: 0
06/11/11 11:12:18 PM PDT

The two remaining players have decided to take their 60-minute dinner break.

Brian Rast2,040,000-155,000
Allen Kessler1,405,000155,000
06/11/11 11:11:18 PM PDT

Brian Rast opened to 70,000 and Allen Kessler made the call from the big blind to see a     flop fall.

Kessler checked, Rast pushed out 80,000 and Kessler played the check-raise card by making it 180,000. Rast responded with a three-bet to 390,000, and after tanking, Kessler folded.

Rast flashed his    for a bluff and collected the pot.

06/11/11 11:01:42 PM PDT

Allen Kessler made it 65,000 from the button and Brian Rast came along to see a     flop fall.

Both players checked and when the   landed on the turn, Rast check-called an 80,000-chip bet from Kessler before both players tapped the table when the   landed.

Kessler tabled his   , and after Rast flashed an ace also, Kessler was pushed the pot.

06/11/11 10:59:30 PM PDT

Brian Rast

From the button, Allen Kessler opened to 65,000 and Brian Rast made the call before both players checked the     flop.

When the   landed on the turn, Rast led for 95,000 and Kessler made the call to see the   complete the board on the river. Rast pushed out 220,000 and Kessler made the call tabling his   .

Rast however had him bested with his    as he moved to 2,195,000 in chips.

Brian Rast2,195,000585,000
Allen Kessler1,250,000-585,000
06/11/11 10:52:50 PM PDT

Brian Rast entered the pot from the button for 70,000 only to have Allen Kessler three-bet to 210,000 from the big blind.

Rast mucked and Kessler increased his lead.

06/11/11 10:48:08 PM PDT

Allen Kessler opened to 65,000 from the button and Brian Rast made the call to see a     flop fall.

Rast led for 80,000 and Kessler folded.

06/11/11 10:45:36 PM PDT

Allen Kessler

Brian Rast opened the button to 70,000 and Allen Kessler made the call from the big blind before both players checked the     flop.

Kessler fired out 95,000 when the   landed on the turn with Rast making the call as the   fell on the river. Kessler pushed out 150,000 and Rast made the call before folding when Kessler tabled his    for a full house.

As Kessler raked in the pot to move into the chip lead with 1,835,000, Rast slipped to 1,610,000 in chips.

Allen Kessler1,835,000300,000
Brian Rast1,610,000-300,000
06/11/11 10:42:51 PM PDT

With Allen Kessler not liking his button hand, he opted to fold and give opponent Brian Rast a walk.

06/11/11 10:41:12 PM PDT

On the first hand of heads-up play, Brian Rast opened to 70,000 from the button and Allen Kessler kicked his cards to the muck.

06/11/11 10:37:57 PM PDT

With the players taking a short break, here are the heads-up chip counts:

Brian Rast1,910,000-15,000
Allen Kessler1,535,000455,000
06/11/11 10:35:53 PM PDT

Dajuan Whorley - 3rd Place

Allen Kessler entered the pot from the button with a raise to 70,000 and Dajuan Whorley defended his big blind to see a     flop fall.

Whorley checked and Kessler fired out a continuation-bet of 80,000 only to have Whorley check-raise to 175,000. Kessler moved all in and Whorley made the call for roughly his 300,000-chip stack.


With Whorley trailing, the   on the turn saw him gain outs to a jack, ten or nine, but when the river landed the  , Whorley was eliminated in third place for a $91,212 payday, leaving both Kessler and Brian Rast heads up.

06/11/11 10:31:14 PM PDT

Daisuke Endo - 4th Place

From the button, Daisuke Endo moved all in for 100,000 and Allen Kessler made the call from the small blind.


With Kessler in the lead, the     flop would further strengthen his stranglehold in the hand, and when the   and   landed on the turn and river, Endo was sent to the rail in 4th place earning himself a $66,994 payday as Kessler climbs over the 1 million chip mark.