Brandon Paster came to Las Vegas with a very specific plan. He was going to play three tournaments and he was going to Electric Daisy Carnival. Apparently, even winning a bracelet isn't going to stop that plan.
The 27-year-old currently residing in Amherst, Massachusetts defeated a tough final table that included a number of Circuit ring winners and the red hot Gabriel Nassif to take the top prize and the biggest score of his career, winning the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event for $264,400. He defeated bracelet winner Marcel Vonk heads-up for the title. Vonk collected $163,625 for the second place showing.
Don't get Paster wrong, winning the bracelet was an amazing experience, but one of Vegas' biggest parties of the year seems like too perfect a way to unwind following three days of competition.
“I am gonna party my face off,” Paster announced shortly after his win. “There is no better way to celebrate a bracelet than EDC. I’m on cloud nine. It’s unreal.” Given that Paster quit the game back in December, it is unreal that just a few months later he is collecting a bracelet in a game he considers to be his best, but one he doesn't get to play as often though. Paster has paid his bills through poker since graduating from William & Mary. He used to put in a lot of hours at the Omaha tables and considered himself a specialist, but now he focuses on No Limit Hold'em tournaments since playing exclusively Omaha is, according to him, not really sustainable.Even though poker pays the bills, Paster is all about experiences and plans to skip the Main Event to take part in a previously-planned three-week long road trip around the United States. He also plans to put his winnings to good use, paying for at least a month living in Amsterdam.Paster's experience at the final table could be summed up with two words: smooth sailing. While everyone else at the table struggled with a short stack, Paster was never low on chips and said it didn't even feel like a WSOP final table.
“I was gifted the best situation possible. I had the most aggressive players all on my right the whole time. I was in a great situation. Other stacks just couldn’t do much against me. I kinda just got to chill and play my hands and I didn’t have to get involved in too many big pots.”
Sure, Paster doesn't plan on rolling this victory into more tournament buy-ins, instead opting to go take in some life experiences. But don't think for a second that this moment in the spotlight isn't something that will rank as one of Paster's best memories for the rest of his life.
“This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Hands down. It hasn’t sunk in yet, but it is. It’s a blessing.”
This final table featured only one bracelet winner, Vonk, and only a couple of players with previous final table experience. One such player was France's Gabriel Nassif, who was at what amounted to back-to-back final tables after taking eighth in the most recent $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event just two days ago.
While the final table had no bracelet winners, it did have a bevvy of ring winners in the form of Matthew Humphrey (4th), Millard Hale (6th), and Kevin Saul (8th).The $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event drew 967 players and produced a $1,305,450 prize pool. The top 117 finishers each earned a payday. Some of the notables who cashed include Jeremy Ausmus (114th), Layne Flack (64th), Taylor Paur (56th), Fabrice Soulier (42nd), and Erick Lindgren (13th). It is also worth noting that Humberto Brenes finished 102nd in this event, marking his eighth cash of the year, which puts him on pace to break the record of 12 cashes in a single year set by Konstantin Puchkov in 2012.Here are the final table results for the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event:1st: Brandon Paster - $264,4002nd: Marcel Vonk - $163,6253rd: Gabriel Nassif - $102,3734th: Matthew Humphrey - $74,3065th: Matthew Dames - $54,8556th: Millard Hale - $41,1217th: Dmitrii Valouev - $31,2788th: Kevin Saul - $24,1119th: Galen Hall - $18,8937