The first month of the 2023 World Series of Poker has seen several historic moments, but, arguably, Thursday was one of the biggest. In one of the marquee events of the WSOP, Brian Rast earned his third-ever title in the event (and sixth WSOP bracelet overall) against what was a power-packed final table. Elsewhere around the Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas, Dimitar Danchev will lead the pack heading into the final day of the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship.
Brian Rast Rolls to Third PPC Championship
99 entries may have begun the tournament, but only five men were left when the final table resumed in the $50,000 Poker Players’ Championship on Thursday afternoon. Leading the way of that crew was the United Kingdom’s Talal Shakerchi, who was the only player over the ten million chip mark (10.170 million). Another UK notable, Matthew Ashton, was in pursuit of his countryman with his 7.38 million in chips, while Australia’s James Obst (5.11 million) and the USA’s Rast (4.545 million) and Kristopher Tong (2.5 million) looked to have their work cut out for them if they were to win the PPC.
Tong was able to make some inroads by taking on the chip leader Shakerchi. In a No Limit Hold’em hand, Tong picked off a triple-barrel bluff out of Shakerchi to add over a million chips to his stack. On the very next hand, Tong and Shakerchi would clash again, with Tong getting Shakerchi to fold on the river (after Tong rivered a straight), but another million chips would change hands.
Shakerchi tried to right the ship, eventually getting back over ten million in chips, but a fight with Ashton in Omaha Hi/Lo would bring the two nearly equal in chips. On that hand, Ashton would river a Broadway straight and Shakerchi couldn’t resist calling down with an inferior two pair.
It was at this point that Rast went on the offensive. He picked up a massive pot of almost three million chips in Razz against Shakerchi and Obst to get healthy, then shot into the lead in Razz by besting Obst and Tong. Another Razz hand saw Rast pop over the ten million chip mark as the table scrambled to keep up.
At one point in the five-handed action, Rast held more than three-fifths of the chips in play, and he would quickly decimate the final table. By the time he reached heads-up play against Shakerchi, Rast held an astounding 25.2 million chips, completely dwarfing the 4.55 million that Shakerchi had in front of him. In ten minutes, Rast would seal the deal – and his place in the history books – by defeating Shakerchi.
1. Brian Rast, $1,324,747
2. Talal Shakerchi, $818,756
3. Matthew Ashton, $573,679
4. James Obst, $411,824
5. Kristopher Tong, $303,071
6. Phil Ivey, $228,793*
7. Ray Dehkharghani, $177,294*
(* – eliminated on Wednesday night, part of official final table)
The list of achievements that Rast garnered is quite impressive. The victory in the PPC is his third ever, joining Michael Mizrachi as the only other player to have won the PPC event, and the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy, three times. The victory was also Rast’s sixth bracelet win, making him only the nineteenth player to have achieved that feat. Along with his nomination for a potential place in the Poker Hall of Fame, you could say that it has been a good week to be Brian Rast.
Dimitar Danchev Rules in PLO Championship
They are heading to the final day of the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship tournament, Event #50 on the 2023 WSOP schedule, and a champion will be crowned on Friday. With 42 players remaining, tough Bulgarian pro Dimitar Danchev will helm the field as the only player with over three million in chips. There are a host of tough challengers right behind him, including Sam Soverel and William Kopp, while Ren Lin, Sean Winter, and a short-stacked Juha Helppi (there’s a name from the past for you) will look to climb into contention.
This is how the Top Five will line up for the conclusion of Event #50 on Friday:
1. Dimitar Danchev, 3.705 million
2. Sam Soverel, 2.034 million
3. William Kopp, 1.89 million
4. Dylan Weisman, 1.855 million
5. Elliott Kampen, 1.8 million
If you think this is the only action around the WSOP battlefields, you’d be highly mistaken. The Seniors Championship is heading into Day Two, as is the $1000 Tag Team No Limit Hold’em tournament. This is in coordination with the start of the Millionaire Maker, the tentpole weekend tournament that the WSOP has to draw in the crowds. We may be over the top of the mountain with the 2023 WSOP, but there is still plenty of action for those looking for their lifetime poker achievement.