Brian Rast’s poker career speaks for itself. The 39-year-old professional has won more than $22 million in live poker tournaments, earned numerous titles, and competed in the biggest cash games in the world. On Wednesday, October 27, 2021, Rast became a five-time World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner with his victory in Event #51: $3,000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em at the 2021 WSOP for $474,102.
Rast’s fifth piece of WSOP jewelry joins the ones he’s won in the 2011 WSOP $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em, the 2011 WSOP $50,000 Poker Players Championship, the 2016 WSOP $50,000 Poker Players Championship, and the 2018 WSOP $10,000 NL 2-7 Lowball Championship. With five gold bracelets, Rast is now among exclusive company, as he’s alongside 26 other poker players with at least five WSOP gold bracelets.
Having achieved so much success in poker, it would be easy for Rast to take it easy. On top of all of the money he’s won and trophies he’s captured, Rast also has the respect of his peers. To many, all of this would be enough. But for Rast, there’s still more to achieve, specifically one thing.
Rast turns 40 on November 8, which is less than two weeks away. The significance of Rast turning 40 is that he will then be eligible for the Poker Hall of Fame, and that’s the goal at the top of his list. Rast wants to be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.
“Really, the number one thing at this point is kind of just making the Poker Hall of Fame. I mean, I feel like, I think I’ve done enough in my career, and I turn 40 on November 8, so less than two weeks. Beyond that, in terms of achievement, I don’t know, nothing specifically. That’s probably the only specific thing … What one thing? Probably the Poker Hall of Fame.”
When talking to PokerGO News following his fifth gold bracelet victory, Rast discussed how his poker career has evolved. He has gold bracelet victories in 2018 and 2016, but there’s no denying that he’s been less visible on the tournament scene in recent years. Rast has always played some WSOP tournaments, and every time he does he’s got a chance to win, but he’s never played a full World Series of Poker schedule like he’s playing this year and said he’s on pace to play his most events ever.
Oftentimes in recent years, the big cash games taking place in Las Vegas during the WSOP have drawn Rast in, but not this time around. He pointed out that he hasn’t played a single hand of cash during this WSOP, which is a big change from what he’s been known to do.
“I’m not doing poker for money anymore, so I don’t care,” Rast said.
A quick Google search or two will tell you how much Rast has won playing poker. If you follow him on social media, then you’re aware he’s involved in the cryptocurrency space. Putting those things together and it doesn’t take much to understand why Rast doesn’t need poker for the money anymore. Going forward, the drive remains for him to perform in ways that allow him to achieve what he views as his next goal, and that’s the Poker Hall of Fame.
“There is something to it, like more than just the money,” Rats said. “Money is the most important thing in the poker world, and I’m not trying to say it isn’t. Obviously, all of us, our tool is money. If you run out of money, you can’t really play. But, but, you know, there is something else, like about why a lot of people, when they got into poker, part of the thing that pushed really good players to get to the top, there was something more than money with that.”
With his 40th birthday on the calendar in less than two weeks, Rast will be eligible for Poker Hall of Fame consideration next year. With all of the accolades he’s gathered for his résumé, and for as long as he’s been successful in poker, it’s a confident bet that Rast will, in the very least, be included on the nomination list. Is he a Poker Hall of Famer? We’ll have to wait and see, but the drive is there, the goal has been set, and the pressure of having to play for the money is gone. An induction feels more of a matter of when, not if, it will happen.
In Event #51: $3,000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em, Rast topped a field of 997 entries to take home the $474,102 first-place prize.
The event was a quick one. It was played with 30-minute levels and took two days to complete. Day 1 saw 41 players advance to Day 2, with Rast fifth in chips. With 12 players remaining, Rast was on top with a sizable chip lead. He then took out Krishna Vitaldevara in 12th place to extend his lead, and then he knocked out Sebastien Grax in 10th place to move ahead even more.
When the final seven players combined to one table, Rast maintained a sizable chip lead, and he didn’t give it up at all. Rast busted Francisco Benitez in sixth place, Nick Yunis in fourth place, and Tuan Phan in third place before he got heads up with John Gallaher. When heads-up play began, Rast had a commanding chip lead. The two quickly got the money in with Rast’s king-ten dominating Gallaher’s queen-ten and Rast’s hand held up to give him the victory.
|Event #51: $3,000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em Final Table Results