If there is one thing that has been a constant at the 2021 World Series of Poker, it has been the predominance of veteran poker professionals who have been able to capture bracelets. The top of that list would start with Phil Hellmuth winning his 16th bracelet, but other players such as Anthony Zinno, Chance Kornuth, John Monnette, and Yuval Bronshtein. Add two more players to that select list, as veterans Farzad Bonyadi and Brian Rast earned their latest pieces of jewelry after victories in the Rio.
Farzad Bonyadi Picks Up Fourth Bracelet
The game of Deuce to Seven Lowball is hard enough as it is, but when you go up against 122 of the strongest players in the game in the $10,000 Championship it gets even more difficult. Farzad Bonyadi, who made his first tournament cash back in 1994, was the man who made the best out of the situation in being the last man standing in the event.
Benny Glazer was at the top of the leaderboard when the final eight men came back to the table on Wednesday afternoon for action. Bonyadi was in excellent shape in third place, but there were other men on the table who also had visions of WSOP gold in their eyes. Johannes Becker, Daniel Negreanu, Dustin Dirksen, Julien Martini, Jake Schwartz and Ben Diebold were all primed to make a run for the title alongside Glazer and Bonyadi.
Dirksen made the first noise of the final table, knocking Negreanu out after Negreanu paired a four in his hand to fall to Dirksen’s Jack-low. It was then Becker’s turn to step to the center of the stage, taking down Diebold in seventh place after both stood pat after the draw. Diebold showed a 10-7 low, but that was not good enough to catch up with Becker’s 9-8 low that pushed Becker into the lead.
At five handed, the action began to ramp up. With the pack tightly bunched together, one lost hand could spell doom for any player. That was the case for Schwartz as he took on Becker with a leading nine-low against Becker’s Jack-low. Schwartz thought he would need to improve and drew one card as Becker decided to stand on his hand. Schwartz would get a little unlucky with his one card draw, picking up a second nine to pair the one he already held to allow for Becker’s Jack-low to take the hand.
Glaser, meanwhile, went on a bit of a run. He would climb over the three million mark in chips to maintain the lead, while Becker and Bonyadi sparred with Dirksen for the remainder of the chips. Dirksen was first to go, drawing an Ace (Aces always play high in Deuce to Seven) against Bonyadi’s Jack to be eliminated in fourth place. The next elimination was a rather surprising one and it set Bonyadi up for the title.
In a two-hand span, Bonyadi would earn a double through Glaser to take over the lead and, on the next hand, would eliminate Glaser in third place. This set up Bonyadi with a 2.1 million chip lead, one that he would never relinquish. On the final hand, Becker had an edge with his eight-low over Bonyadi’s nine-low but decided to draw one card to try to improve. Instead of getting better, however, Becker drew a Jack to lose the hand and the tournament to Bonyadi, who earned his fourth bracelet overall and his first bracelet in sixteen years.
1. Farzad Bonyadi, $297,051
2. Johannes Becker, $183,591
3. Benny Glaser, $132,685
4. Dustin Dirksen, $97,199
5. Jake Schwartz, $72,185
6. Julien Martini, $54,359
7. Ben Diebold, $41,515
8. Daniel Negreanu, $32,162
Brian Rast Picks Up Fifth Career Bracelet in Six Handed Hold’em
41 players came back to the table on Wednesday, looking to crown the champion of Evet #51, the $3000 Six Handed No Limit Hold’em tournament. While Jun Obara was holding the top position at the start of the day, it only took a couple of hours for two-time $50,000 Poker Players’ Champion Brian Rast to storm to the lead. By the time the six-handed final table was determined, Rast had rocketed out to a 13.7 million chip stack, 5.7 million more than Nick Yunas and 10 million more than what Obara held.
Rast did not let up, either. He knocked out Francisco Benitez to hit the 17 million mark and watched as Yunis took out Obara in fifth place. Rast then stunningly took out Yunis after catching a four with his A-4 against Yunis’ A-5 to go over 31 million in chips. To put this in perspective, Tuan Phan and John Gallaher, the other two members of the final table, only had 8.7 million chips between each other at this point in the final table.
Rast would take out Phan in third place to go to heads up action against Gallaher with more than a 5:1 lead. As you might have expected, it did not take long for the tournament to reach its conclusion. The first hand after Phan’s elimination, Gallaher limped in and Rast hammered him with an all-in move. Gallaher called and had a decent Q-10 for battle, but it was beaten by Rast’s K-10. Although a ten would come on the turn to give some chances to chop, none of them would come home to play Rast’s King kicker to win the tournament.
1. Brian Rast, $474,102
2. John Gallaher, $239,009
3. Tuan Phan, $210,913
4. Nick Yunas, $141,478
5. Jun Obara, $100,827
6. Francisco Benitez, $73,107
(Photos courtesy of PokerGO.com)