WSOP 2021: Brian Rast Wins His Fifth Bracelet In Event #51, India’s Neel Joshi Finishes ITM  

Only 41 players returned for their shot at the WSOP bracelet and the top prize of $474,102 on Day 2 of the WSOP 2021 Event #51: $3,000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em. It took a little under four hours for the field to whittle down to the final table. Brian Rast began the final table as a chip leader and single-handedly eliminated all but one player to win his fifth WSOP bracelet and $474,102. With his latest victory, Rast became the 11th player in WSOP history to take down five WSOP bracelets.

Talking about his win, the 39-year-old poker pro said, “Honestly, it’s mixed emotions, the biggest one is relief…Things have been changing in my life. Since COVID, it’s the least I’ve played poker since I started. So, coming back to this WSOP, it’s like, I really haven’t played much for almost a year and a half. This was like a challenge. This WSOP is more like playing for the competitive spirit of it, and it was cool because I’ve played poker for a lot of money, and this is a decent chunk for only putting up $3k. But that said, the thing that really got me fired up about this is the competitiveness of doing it.”

“I turn 40 in a couple weeks, and it was on my mind to make the Poker Hall of Fame. I think I have a pretty good claim. I’ve played the biggest cash games in the world for over a decade, and I’ve done a lot in tournaments as well. I just don’t think there are too many people. I wanted to come back here this year to the WSOP and show myself that I can still play great poker and be around and enjoy it …”, Rast added

Rast topped a strong field of 997 entries that created a $2,661,990 in the final prize pool. The top 150 players were paid out, with the former bracelet champion John Racener (16th for $24,160), Winamax Team Pro Romain Lewis (24th for $19,187), bracelet holders Sejin Park (31st for $12,826) & Event #46 champion Chad Norton (34th for $12,826) being notable ITM finishers among them. 

Team India

From Team India, this year’s WPT India Mini Highroller champion Neel Joshi was the only Indian to post a score. Joshi, who cashed Event #43 of the series earlier, placed 141st for $4,814 (INR 3.60 Lac).

Final Table Action  

All eyes were on Brian Rast and he came out to the expectations. He entered the final table with a commanding chip lead and extended it even further by scoring the first elimination in Francisco Benitez, who jammed with A-Q and Rast called with 7-6 suited and hit a pair of sevens to win the pot. A little later, the start-of-day chip leader Jun Obara moved all-in with 7-5 and was called by Nick Yunis who took down the pot with a king-high straight. Yunis Nick followed him in fourth place.

The next player to fall was Tuan Phan. He was down under five big blinds and shoved Q-J and Rast called with 5-4. Rast made a straight on the river to bust Phan in third place ($210,913) to enter the heads-up with a 5-1 chip advantage against John Gallaher. The heads-up ended quickly. On the final hand, Gallaher ran his Qd-10h into Ks-10d of Rast. The board ran out Js Jc 6h 10s 3d, giving the title to Rast. Rast earned the $474,102 top prize, while Gallaher settled for $293,009 as a runner-up.

Final Table Payouts (USD)

  1. Brian Rast – $474,102
  2. John Gallaher – $293,009
  3. Tuan Phan – $210,913
  4. Nick Yunis – $141,478
  5. Jun Obara – $100,827
  6. Francisco Benitez – $73,107