With a seat in The Poker Players Championship carrying a $50,000 price tag and the magnitude of the event and skill required to play all of the games, it is the ultimate player test in the eyes of most poker playing pros. This year's event brought 128 players to battle for the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy, the gold bracelet and first place prize of $1,720,328. The total prize pool was $6,144,000 and out of the pool 16 would be paid.
|Costing $50,000 to enter, this is the highest buy-in tournament in WSOP history. The precursor to this event was the $50,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. World Championship, created in 2006. A high buy-in tournament above the $10,000 level was first conceived by a group of high-stakes players. The initial thought behind the $50,000 buy-in tournament was to create poker's version of an all-star game. Poker pro Daniel Negreanu was the concept's strongest advocate. He approached Caesars Entertainment and the tournament was green-lighted onto the 2006 WSOP schedule by Howard Greenbaum, Vice-President of Specialty Games for Caesars Entertainment.|
The inaugural 2006 H.O.R.S.E. World Championship was memorable for many reasons. Since the late 1970s, David "Chip" Reese had been widely-regarded by most peers and industry insiders as the best allaround poker player in the world. Fittingly, he won the WSOP's first mega-buy-in event with multiple games, defeating the world's top players. Following his passing in 2007, the "Chip Reese Memorial Trophy" was created and presented to those who followed his triumph.
The final table of the Poker Players Championship had four former gold bracelet winners vying for the trophy - Phil Hellmuth, Brian Rast, Scott Seiver, and Ben Lamb.
Phil Hellmuth sent Minh Ly to the cashier's cage in 3rd place - $665,763 - after the dinner break.
Hellmuth held a slight chip lead with 10.015 million to Rast's 9.185 million when heads-up play began. Hellmuth completely dominated Rast for the first 90 percent of heads-up play and widened his chip to lead to over 13 million. Rast dropped down to 2.9 million before making his comeback.
|1 ||Brian Rast ||$1,720,328 |
|2 ||Phil Hellmuth ||$1,063,034|
|3 ||Minh Ly || $665,763 |
|4 ||Owais Ahmed ||$482,085|
|5 ||Matt glantz ||$376,750 |
|6 ||George Lind ||$300,441 |
|7 ||Scott Seiver||$243,978|
|8 ||Ben Lamb ||$201,338 |
Both players held nearly identical chip stacks at one point and Rast managed to take the lead before the final hand came up.
Rast fired 500,000 when the flop hit with . Hellmuth announced that he was all-in holding . Rast stood up and said "I'm sorry, Phil, I have the nuts. I call," and showed the . The turn brought the and the river sealed Phil Hellmuth's 2nd place finish.
Phil Hellmuth set a WSOP record, this is his third second-place finish to date at the 2011 WSOP. This is also his biggest tournament cash to date - $1,063,034. The record he would have loved to set/break would be gold bracelet number 12. He'll be back!
Brian Rast was in the arms of his fans on the rail (mainly Antonio Esfandiari), big hugs from his parents, and then back to receive the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy, $1,720,328 first place money, the gold bracelet, the thrill of victory, and the knowledge of becoming the ultimate poker player champion for a year. Congratulations Brian!
Brian Rast is the only player to date that has captured two gold bracelets at the 2011 WSOP; his first came in the $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em championship.
Final Table Payouts:
For more detailed hands and information about the event, visit PokerNews Live Reporting.