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2023 54th Annual World Series of Poker The Official WSOP Live Updates

Sunday, June 18, 2023 to Thursday, June 22, 2023

Event #43: $50,000 Poker Players Championship

download official winner photo
  • Buy-in: $50,000
  • Prizepool: $4,727,250
  • Entries: 99
  • Remaining: 0

EVENT UPDATES

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Thursday, June 22, 2023 7:27 PM Local Time
Brian Rast Wins $50,000 Poker Players Championship For the Third Time ($1,324,747)

Brian Rast

The 2023 World Series of Poker has awarded one of the most prestigious bracelets at the Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas. Out of a field of 99 entries in Event #43: $50,000 Poker Players Championship, American poker pro Brian Rast has capped off a dominant Day 5 performance to claim his third Poker Players Championship and sixth career WSOP bracelet.

Rast defeated British businessman Talal Shakerchi in a very brief heads-up encounter that lasted just five hands, with Rast sealing his victory by making an eight-seven in Razz on the final hand.

Unlike in the previous years, the final day lasted fewer than five hours and went from four hopefuls to a winner in fewer than one dozen hands in quite remarkable fashion. The top two finishers shared the largest portion of the $4,727,250 prize pool with Rast banking a top prize of $1,324,747.

Shakerchi had entered the day as the chip leader, but his stack plummeted quickly before he was able to rebuild and make it to heads-up play where he entered at a five-to-one deficit. His third deep run during the ongoing 2023 WSOP in Sin City came with a consolation prize of $818,756.

Rast eliminated each of his previous three final-day opponents, then made quick work of Shakerchi as well to become just the 19th player in World Series of Poker history to win a sixth bracelet. His impressive poker resume prior to the event already merited an introduction into the Poker Hall of Fame (HOF), for which he is currently nominated once again, and Rast made a strong case that it will be just a matter of time.

He also becomes just the second player, along with Michael Mizrachi, to win the Main Event of mixed game players for the third time.

Final Table Result Event #43: $50,000 Poker Players Championship

PlaceWinnerCountryPrize (in USD)
1Brian RastUnited States$1,324,747
2Talal ShakerchiUnited Kingdom$818,756
3Matthew AshtonUnited Kingdom$573,679
4James ObstAustralia$411,824
5Kristopher TongUnited States$303,071
6Phil IveyUnited States$228,793
7Ray DehkharghaniUnited States$177,294

Winner Reaction

Rast immediately jumped on the phone to share the good news with his wife in Brazil and was still pumped with emotions when the first rush of victory had settled. There now appears little debate that he will at some point be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame and he certainly let his performance at the tables speak once again to further cement his status as one of the best mixed game players.

"I mean, listen, I have my opinion but the truth is, is the people that vote on are in the Hall of Fame. So what I think doesn't matter, you know, my job is to come to the poker table and play when I want to and compete and we'll let the people in the poker hall of Fame make that decision and, you know, I just keep doing what I do and we'll see what they say," Rast clarified in the winner interview.

The monetary aspect for the seasoned high-stakes cash game player was not on the back of the mind nor was the repeat nomination for the Hall of Fame either that came through before the start of play, as he "rather just cleared all that nonsense out".

Rast, however, appeared overjoyed from emotions just moments after his triumph and that also resonated with his feelings when the adrenaline had worn down a few minutes later.

"I mean, the most emotional maybe was after I won my first PPC, which was like my first major tournament I ever won. Maybe a little more emotional after this one than the second one. I don't know, this one just, you know, it just, it just meant a lot, like I'd say, in like 16, 17 and 18, I was playing everything all the time," Rast added.

The last victory during the WSOP came back in 2021 when he took down Event #51: 6-Handed No-Limit Hold'em, and since then he reached another four final tables but came short of the sixth title. His latest milestone increased the tally to half a dozen and he did so against some of the toughest competition in the mixed game scene.

"Another thing is like, maybe as I've gotten a little bit older, I've kind of learned, like you really have to enjoy it when things work out because it doesn't happen all the time."

Brian Rast
Brian Rast

Throughout the tournament, Rast appeared laser-focused and clarified that he didn't make any major adjustments on such a high level when facing "some of the very best guys" in the world of poker the last couple of days.

"I do think I made some headway with it is, you know, it takes a lot of concentration but, like, really watching a lot of hands, like, even when I'm not in it, trying to pick up reads on people. And, you know, I do think that there were a number of times throughout this tournament and even against some of the world's best players, I felt very comfortable with a lot of my reads."

The gratification of competing in high stakes and various mixed games has become apparent for the now six-time WSOP bracelet winner, who can certainly be expected again at the tables of the Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas in the following days and weeks.

"I'm going to keep playing. And for me, the World Series of Poker has kind of become my favourite thing. And why is that because I play all the games."

Action of the Final Day

Five players returned to their seats in the mothership and Talal Shakerchi was leading the way in pursuit of a potential maiden WSOP gold bracelet. The British businessman pulled further ahead in the opening stages only to drop to the bottom of the leaderboard with just a single big bet. Two double ups later, Shakerchi was suddenly back in the mix while Brian Rast was the commanding chip leader.

Shakerchi pulled all the way back into second place only to lose a bigger pot to Rast in 2-7 Triple Draw, who then cemented his lead in rather ordinary fashion. With nine different variants in the mix, it was the Cadillac of poker that got the chips into the middle. Kristopher Tong puts his hopes on pocket nines while Rast had ace-king suited. Two clubs on the flop were followed by an ace on the turn and there was no miracle escape for Tong anymore thereafter.

Obst was scooped by Rast in an Omaha Hi-Lo hand to bow out right after as three-handed play commenced with two-time PPC champion Rast holding more than four times as many chips as second-placed Shakerchi. Rast extended his run-good by scooping another pot to send Ashton to the rail and in a matter of minutes, the field went from four hopefuls to the final two.

Heads-up play commenced with a lead of more than five-to-one for Rast and they chopped twice before Rast earned yet another scoop to gain an even more overwhelming lead. Ultimately, the unstoppable wrecking ball swung a final time when Rast received a favourable runout in the second hand of Razz, concluding the short-lived heads-up duel with Shakerchi after a mere five hands.

The victory came in seemingly record fashion as Rast never looked back once he took over the top spot from Shakerchi, but he was certainly aware it wasn't just the skill but also the run-good when it mattered the most during the final stages which contributed to the final outcome as he was "hit by the deck".

That concludes the PokerNews coverage of Event #43: $50,000 Poker Players Championship and the second half of the annual summer camp is slowly gearing up for what many expect to be a record-breaking WSOP Main Event in July 2023.

The Winners of the WSOP Poker Players Championship

YearEntriesPrize PoolWinnerPrize (in USD)
202399$4,727,250Brian Rast$1,324,747
2022112$5,362,000Dan Cates$1,449,103
202163$3,016,125Dan Cates$954,020
201974$3,552,000Phillip Hui$1,099,311
201887$4,176,000Michael Mizrachi$1,239,126
2017100$4,800,000Elior Sion$1,395,767
201691$4,176,000Brian Rast$1,296,097
201584$3,696,000Mike Gorodinsky$1,270,086
2014102$4,896,000John Hennigan$1,517,767
2013132$6,336,000Matthew Ashton$1,774,089
2012108$5,184,000Michael Mizrachi$1,451,527
2011128$6,144,000Brian Rast$1,720,328
2010116$5,568,000Michael Mizrachi$1,559,046
200995$4,560,000David Bach$1,276,806
2008148$7,104,000Scotty Nguyen$1,989,120
2007148$7,104,000Freddy Deeb$2,276,832
2006143$6,864,000Chip Reese$1,716,000
Thursday, June 22, 2023 7:19 PM Local Time
Talal Shakerchi Eliminated in 2nd Place ($818,756)

Talal Shakerchi

Razz

Talal Shakerchi:    /      /  
Brian Rast:    /      /  

Talal Shakerchi completed and called a raise by Brian Rast. On fourth street, Shakerchi bet and Rast raised to earn a call from his opponent.

The bet by Rast on fifth street was called by Shakerchi, and they then got it in after sixth street when Rast paired his open eight.

Rast peeled a seven to improve while another high card for Shakerchi ended yet another close call for the British businessman.

Brian Rast29,700,0002,150,000
Talal Shakerchi0-2,150,000
Thursday, June 22, 2023 7:13 PM Local Time
Rast on the Verge of Victory

Omaha Hi-Lo

Brian Rast raised on the button with the      and Talal Shakerchi defended the      in the big blind. Shakerchi bet his top two pair on the     flop and Rast called to do so again on the   turn. The   river was checked by Shakerchi and Rast bet, Shakerchi called and was scooped again to drop below four big bets.

Brian Rast27,550,0002,400,000
Talal Shakerchi2,150,000-2,400,000
Thursday, June 22, 2023 7:10 PM Local Time
Shakerchi Saved by the River

Omaha Hi-Lo

Talal Shakerchi raised with      and got three-bet by Brian Rast with     .

The flop came    , giving Shakerchi a set of sevens, while Rast held the ace-high flush and nut-low draws.

Shakerchi called a bet from Rast and the   came on the turn, bringing Rast everything he needed to drag a potentially critical pot.

Rast bet and Shakerchi called, needing to fill up on the river. Fortunately for him he did, as the dealer put the   down on the river.

Rast and Shakerchi would then exchange three bets each before turning their cards over and revealing the dramatic chop of the pot.

Brian Rast25,150,000-50,000
Talal Shakerchi4,550,0000
Thursday, June 22, 2023 7:04 PM Local Time
Talal Shakerchi - Brian Rast Heads Up

Talal Shakerchi - Brian Rast

Talal Shakerchi - Brian Rast
Talal Shakerchi - Brian Rast
Playtika - Jason Alexander
Thursday, June 22, 2023 7:01 PM Local Time
Matthew Ashton Eliminated in 3rd Place ($573,679)

Matthew Ashton

Omaha Hi-Lo

Talal Shakerchi raised on the button with the      and Brian Rast called out of the small blind with the     . Matthew Ashton in the big blind made it three ways with the      and they headed to the     flop.

Rast bet and Ashton raised, Shakerchi called the raise for Rast to then make it three bets for 750,000 total. Ashton called all in and already had a stoic expression on his face even before Shakerchi had tossed in calling chips.

The   turn gave Rast gin and he bet, Shakerchi called before they headed to the   on the river. Another bet by Rast was called by Shakerchi with the nut low, who received just one quarter of the pot as Rast had the seven-high straight and same nut low. Ashton was denied a shot at a second Poker Players Championship title and had to settle for a consolation prize of $573,679.

Heads-up play will get underway in a few minutes from now with a commanding lead for Rast over Shakerchi.

Matthew Ashton
Matthew Ashton
Brian Rast25,200,0002,175,000
Talal Shakerchi4,550,000-825,000
Matthew Ashton0-1,300,000
Thursday, June 22, 2023 6:57 PM Local Time
James Obst Eliminated in 4th Place ($411,824)

James Obst

Omaha Hi-Lo

With just 125,000 after losing the previous hand, James Obst put it in on the button with     . He was then raised by Talal Shakerchi in the small blind with     . Brian Rast called in the big blind with     .

The flop came     and Shakerchi bet with Rast making the call.

On the   turn, both players checked to the   river, leaving Obst dead as Rast held two pair, queens and tens.

The players checked, and another pot was shipped to Rast, while Obst headed to the payout desk to claim his fourth-place winnings of $411,824.

James Obst
James Obst
James Obst
James Obst
Brian Rast23,025,000875,000
Talal Shakerchi5,375,000-750,000
Matthew Ashton1,300,0000
James Obst0-125,000
Thursday, June 22, 2023 6:53 PM Local Time
Rast Hits the River to Scoop Pivotal Pot

Brian Rast

Omaha Hi-Lo

First to act, Brian Rast raised with the      and Matthew Ashton three-bet on the button with the     . James Obst in the small blind double-checked his remaining short stack and then called with the     , Rast also came along.

Three ways to the     flop, all players checked and that led to the   on the turn. Obst now bet his nut flush and low draw, earning calls from Rast with two pair and low draw while Ashton also stuck around with his naked pair of aces.

The   fell on the river and Obst bet for Rast to raise, forcing out Ashton and earning a sigh-call from Obst to leave two opponents on the verge of elimination.

Brian Rast22,150,0003,875,000
Talal Shakerchi6,125,000-125,000
Matthew Ashton1,300,000-1,250,000
James Obst125,000-2,500,000
Thursday, June 22, 2023 6:46 PM Local Time
Shakerchi Moves Up

Seven Card Stud

Talal Shakerchi:   /    
Matthew Ashton:   /     - folded sixth street
James Obst:   /  - folded bring-in

After talal Shakerchi completed James Obst's bring-in, Matthew Ashton again made it two bets to go with three to a flush. Obst folded and Shakerchi again called.

On fourth street, Shakerchi picked up a card that Ashton could have used and the players both checked.

Fifth street saw each player pick up sevens, which paired Ashton to give him the lead. The players checked again to get to sixth street where Shakerchi paired his jack to make the best hand.

This time after a check from Ashton, Shakerchi now bet and Ashton folded, sending Shakerchi more firmly into second place.

Brian Rast18,275,000-350,000
Talal Shakerchi6,250,000600,000
James Obst2,625,000350,000
Matthew Ashton2,550,000-600,000
Thursday, June 22, 2023 6:37 PM Local Time
Two In Quick Succession For Shakerchi

Seven Card Stud

Talal Shakerchi:    /   
Brian Rast:    /    folded on fourth street

Talal Shakerchi completed with an ace and Brian Rast raised for Shakerchi to call. On fourth street, Shakerchi check-raised and Rast folded.

Brian Rast:    /      /  
Talal Shakerchi:    /      /  

Rast then completed with an eight showing and Shakerchi called. Fourth street saw Rast bet and Shakerchi check-called as Rast bet again on fifth street with his ace, Shakerchi called. Sixth street continued the betting lead of Rast with Shakerchi coming along and the final street was bet once more by Rast.

Shakerchi called with his pair of kings and dragged in the second pot in a row.

Brian Rast18,625,000-3,025,000
Talal Shakerchi5,650,0003,825,000
Matthew Ashton3,150,000-525,000
James Obst2,275,000-275,000
Playtika - Jason Alexander
Thursday, June 22, 2023 6:33 PM Local Time
Ashton Shortens Shakerchi Again

Talal Shakerchi:   /    / 
Matthew Ashton:   /    / 
James Obst:   /  - folded bring-in

After Talal Shakerchi completed James Obst's bring-in, Matthew Ashton made it two bets to go with three to a flush. Obst folded, but Shakerchi called.

On fourth street, Shakerchi check-called a bet from Ashton to see fifth street, which paired each player with Shakerchi holding the better pair of jacks.

The players checked, and on sixth Shakerchi led right out with a bet which Ashton called.

Seventh street saw Ashton improve to two pair, sevens and fives, to make the best hand and after Shakerchi checked, the 2013 PPC champ checked back to take the pot and leave Shakerchi under two million again.

Brian Rast21,650,000-50,000
Matthew Ashton3,675,0001,475,000
James Obst2,550,000-125,000
Talal Shakerchi1,825,000-1,300,000
Thursday, June 22, 2023 6:26 PM Local Time
Kristopher Tong Eliminated in 5th Place ($303,071)

Kristopher Tong

No-Limit Hold'em

Brian Rast opened to 300,000 on the button and then called the shove by Kristopher Tong out of the big blind for 3,200,000 total.

Kristopher Tong:   
Brian Rast:   

The     flop gave Rast a lot more equity and the   turn left Tong with just two outs. No miracle escape came on the   river and Tong had to settle for fifth place, which came with a payday of $303,071.

Brian Rast21,700,0003,500,000
Talal Shakerchi3,125,0000
James Obst2,675,0000
Matthew Ashton2,200,00075,000
Kristopher Tong0-3,575,000
Thursday, June 22, 2023 6:20 PM Local Time
Tong Takes Two Pots in Quick Succession

No-Limit Hold'em

Brian Rast raised to 300,000 with the    and then folded when Kristopher Tong jammed for 2,200,000 with the   .

Soon after, both clashed again with Tong raising the    for 400,000. Rast defended the big blind with the    and neither player hit anything on the     flop. Rast checked and Tong bet 350,000 to win the pot.

Brian Rast18,200,000-850,000
Kristopher Tong3,575,0001,000,000
Talal Shakerchi3,125,000750,000
James Obst2,675,000-450,000
Matthew Ashton2,125,000-450,000
Thursday, June 22, 2023 6:17 PM Local Time
Rast Approaching Twenty Million

James Obst raised on the button with       and got a call from Brian Rast in the big blind with      . Rast drew two while Obst only took one.

Rast checked after he made      , while Obst held       and bet. Rast then check-raised his eight which drew a call from Obst, who drew one after Rast stood pat.

Rast bet his eight, and Obst peeked at      , still needing to improve, but he called the bet to try and do so.

Rast remained pat before Obst took his card, making       on the end. Rast checked, as did Obst, and Rast's stack neared 20 million with the win.

Brian Rast19,050,0001,625,000
James Obst3,125,000-1,500,000
Matthew Ashton2,575,0000
Kristopher Tong2,575,0000
Talal Shakerchi2,375,000-125,000
Thursday, June 22, 2023 6:09 PM Local Time
Rast Runs Well to Cut Down Shakerchi's Momentum

Brian Rast

Limit 2-7 Triple Draw

Brian Rast raised it up with the       and Talal Shakerchi defended the      . Both discarded two and Rast ended up with the       while Shakerchi made the       after the first draw already.

Shakerchi bet and Rast raised for Shakerchi to make it three bets, earning a call from Rast. Shakerchi patted while Rast discarded one and Rast instantly got there with the       as they ended up with number two for Rast against the number three of Shakerchi with one draw to go.

Shakerchi bet and Rast raised it up for Shakerchi to call. They patted the final draw and Shakerchi check-called to get shown the bad news, as the setup runout put a major dagger into the sudden rise for

Brian Rast17,425,0003,250,000
James Obst4,625,000-375,000
Matthew Ashton2,575,000250,000
Kristopher Tong2,575,000-375,000
Talal Shakerchi2,500,000-2,750,000
Playtika - Jason Alexander
Thursday, June 22, 2023 6:04 PM Local Time
Shakerchi Gets Healthy Versus Ashton

Talal Shakerchi

Limit 2-7 Triple Draw

Talal Shakerchi raised on the button with       and got called by Matthew Ashton in the big blind with      . Each player then took two cards on the first draw.

Ashton's hand became      , while Shakerchi's was now      . Ashton check-called a bet from Shakerchi and then drew two, while Shakerchi drew one.

Ashton improved to      , while Shakerchi now held      . Ashton then check-called another Shakerchi bet and they each went to the final draw to take one card.

They each made hands, but Ashton's       was crushed by Shakerchi's      . Ashton however bet and was quickly raised by Shakerchi.

Ashton made the call to see the bad news, sending a big pot to Shakerchi who is firmly back in the mix.

Brian Rast14,175,000-375,000
Talal Shakerchi5,250,0002,250,000
James Obst5,000,000375,000
Kristopher Tong2,950,0000
Matthew Ashton2,325,000-2,250,000
Thursday, June 22, 2023 5:54 PM Local Time
Fortunate Draws Secure Double for Shakerchi

Talal Shakerchi

Limit 2-7 Triple Draw

James Obst raised out of the small blind with the       and Talal Shakerchi defended the      .

Obst discarded two and Shakerchi took three, which gave Obst the       and Shakerchi the      . Obst bet and Shakerchi raised for Obst to call.

Obst discarded one and so did Shakerchi, which then gave Obst the       for a straight. Shakerchi had improved to the       and Obst checked, then sigh-called the all-in of Shakerchi.

Obst discarded the eight but it didn't matter anymore as the patted number two of Shakerchi had already locked up the double.

Brian Rast14,550,000-50,000
James Obst4,625,000-1,050,000
Matthew Ashton4,575,000-50,000
Talal Shakerchi3,000,0001,450,000
Kristopher Tong2,950,000-300,000
Thursday, June 22, 2023 5:47 PM Local Time
Obst Gets Ashton to Fold

Stud Hi-Lo

Matthew Ashton:    /      folded on sixth street
James Obst:    /     

James Obst completed and Matthew Ashton as the bring-in called. Obst check-called a bet on fourth street and then bet on fifth street with the ace, earning a call from Ashton. On sixth street, Obst bet with another high-card and Ashton reluctantly folded.

Brian Rast14,600,000200,000
James Obst5,675,0001,125,000
Matthew Ashton4,625,000-1,450,000
Kristopher Tong3,250,000375,000
Talal Shakerchi1,550,000-250,000
Thursday, June 22, 2023 5:33 PM Local Time
Tong Escapes From Major Setback

Stud Hi-Lo

Kristopher Tong:    /      /  
James Obst:    /      /  

Kristopher Tong completed with a suited ace and James Obst raised with split aces for Tong to call. Obst bet fourth street to get called by Tong, who then check-called fifth street. Obst bet sixth and seventh street for Tong to escape from being reduced to just two bets thanks to running low cards for a chop.

Brian Rast14,400,000-125,000
Matthew Ashton6,075,000-50,000
James Obst4,550,000-250,000
Kristopher Tong2,875,000475,000
Talal Shakerchi1,800,000-50,000
Thursday, June 22, 2023 5:30 PM Local Time
A Few More For Rast With an Ace

No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw

Brian rast raised to 350,000 on the button with       and got a defend from Kristopher Tong in the big blind with      .

Tong drew two, while Rast took one.

Tong actually downgraded his hand, ending up with      , while Rast drew an ace, giving him      .

Both players checked and Rast's ace gave him a few more chips.

Brian Rast14,525,000650,000
Matthew Ashton6,125,000-75,000
James Obst4,800,0000
Kristopher Tong2,400,000-575,000
Talal Shakerchi1,850,0000
Playtika - Jason Alexander
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