Fort Lauderdale, Florida's Brian Hastings collects fourth career WSOP bracelet and $233,202 in mixed-games triumph

14 July 2018 (Las Vegas) – Ft. Lauderdale, FL's Brian Hastings has won his second lifetime World Series of Poker gold bracelet by triumphing in Event #76 of the 2018 WSOP, $3,000 H.O.R.S.E.

Hastings earned $233,202 for the triumph, boosting his career WSOP winnings to $2,271,508. Hastings posted his 34th career WSOP cash with the win.

Hastings had to come from well behind during heads-up play against New York's Andrew Brown to claim the victory. Brown, a noted Omaha and H.O.R.S.E. player and a prior bracelet winner himself, settled for runner-up money of $144,128.

Brisbane, Australia's Tim Marsters took third place in this H.O.R.S.E. event, cashing for $97,340. It's the largest-ever WSOP payday for Marsters, who posted just his fourth career WSOP cash.

Four-time bracelet winner Jeff Madsen finished fourth, earning $67,121, while veteran Vegas pro Lee Markholt took fifth for $47,275.

Hastings finished off his comeback win against Brown in a hand of Omaha hi-lo. Brown was down to his last 300,000 and the chips went in pre-flop. Brown had     , while Hastings had     . The flop hit Hastings hard, bringing     and assuring a hi-only pot. The   turn gave Brown a pair and outs to a flush, but the   river improved Hastings to two pair instead, wrapping up the comeback win.

“I feel amazing,” said Hastings, about securing his fourth career bracelet. “It's my last event, after playing all summer. I've had a few runs, but nothing quite close to this.”

The final table's story, of course, was Hastings' heads-up comeback. As he described it, “I came into heads-up play with a four- or five-to-one disadvantage against Andrew. He's a tough player, and luckily, the cards ran my way during heads-up. I had a few key hands and was able to get back in it, and eventually take over and win.”

Hastings ramped up the aggression, too, just in time to catch the rush. “I always play differently heads-up than I would with more people in the game. I play more aggressively, play more hands, try to defend properly and make sure I'm not getting run over.”

He also indicated things have changed for him in recent years. “I'm just at a different point in my life right now. I'm getting married this year” – his wife-to-be, Sonya, was present at the final-table rail – “and I'm looking to buy a house in the next year or two. This'll go a long way towards that.”

Nineteen players returned for the final day of play in Event #76: $3,000 H.O.R.S.E., and it took roughly half the day's play to be winnowed down to an official eight-player final table.

First to leave the official final was France's Bruno Fitoussi, in an Omaha hi-lo hand. Fitoussi was all in before the flop with     , facing off against Lee Markholt, who held     . The board ran out        , giving Markholt two pair with no low available, and giving Fitoussi eighth-place money of $15,849.

Las Vegas pro and three-time bracelet winner Dutch Boyd exited next, collecting $25,040 for seventh. Boyd's run ended in a razz hand against Marsters, which started with Boyd opening, Marsters completing, and Boyd then re-raising all in. Boyd started with A-9-3 and then drew 2-A-J-3 for a jack-low, but his hand was dead by sixth street against Marsters, who started with 7-6-2, then pulled 8-5-6-Q for the eight-low and the knockout.

New Jersey's Hye Park busted soon after, cashing for $34,027 after losing the last of his chips in a hold'em hand against Madsen. The hand began with Park raising from the button and Jeff Madsen calling from the big blind, with the two then seeing a     flop. Madsen checked, Park bet, Madsen called, and the turn brought the  . Madsen checked again, Park bet his last 95,000, and Madsen called. Park had    for a pair and the flush draw, but Madsen was ahead with    for two pair, and the blank   river ended Park's run.

Next out was another Vegas pro, Lee Markholt, who was also eliminated in a limit hold'em hand. This hand began with Brian Hastings opening from the cutoff and Markholt calling from the big blind. The flop came    ; Markholt checked, Hastings bet, Markholt check-raised and Hastings called. Markholt bet his last 65,000 on the   turn, and Hastings thought it over before calling. Markholt   , while Hastings' call with    was good. The   river missed Hastings again, sending him to the cashier.

Jeff Madsen's elimination occurred a short while later, while Brown dominated most of the action and built a large lead. Madsen, the four-time bracelet winner who splits much of his time between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, was down to scraps when he moved all in in another hold'em hand with   . Hastings found   , called, and picked up the knockout when the board ran out        .

That set up a battle of short stacks between Hastings and Marsters, to see who would square off against Brown for the win. Hastings eventually took the last of Marsters' chips in an Omaha hi-lo hand. Marsters was all in on the turn with the board showing      ; Marsters showed     , while Hastings had     . Hastings had locked the high half with a straight, and Marsters needed something low and new just to grab a quarter of the pot. Instead the   paired the board, giving Hastings the scoop and the knockout.

That set up the duel between Brown and Hastings, which began with Brown well ahead and seemingly on the verge of closing it out. Instead, though, the cards ran Hastings' way over the final half hour of play.

Event #76, $3,000 H.O.R.S.E., attracted 354 entrants, building a $955,800 prize pool. 54 players cashed, with a min-cash worth $4,462.

Other Notables:
Among those cashing in Event #76 were John Hennigan (11th, $11,456), Carol Fuchs (12th, $11,456), Ray Henson (13th, $9,260), Tony Ma (17th, $6,524), Jeff Lisandro (18th, $6,524), Philip Hui (20th, $6,524), James Chen (21st, $6,524), Eli Elezra (24th, $6,524), and Dan Heimiller (26th, $5,694).

Click here for Full Results.
Click here for live updates from Event #76.

Final Table Payouts (POY points in parentheses):

1st: Brian Hastings, $233,202 (994.37)
2nd: Andrew Brown, $144,128 (497.18)
3rd: Tim Marsters, $97,340 (447.46)
4th: Jeff Madsen, $67,121 (397.75)
5th: Lee Markholt, $47,275 (372.89)
6th: Hye Park, $34,027 (348.03)
7th: Dutch Boyd, $25,040 (298.31)
8th: Bruno Fitoussi, $18,849 (273.45)