The World Series of Poker’s Main Event began on Sunday, but there was plenty of poker action in the Rio and elsewhere in Las Vegas before the biggest tournament of the year kicked off.
This past weekend not only saw the last of the preliminary events at the World Series of Poker, but also featured one of the richest tournaments of the year at another Las Vegas location.
The Super High Roller Bowl was held at the Aria in Las Vegas, and the $500,000 buy-in promised that there would be plenty of big names and lots of money on the line on the weekend before the WSOP Main Event.
Sure enough, an absolutely stacked field of 43 players turned out for the tournament, with just seven of them making the money.
Once the money bubble burst Saturday night, the final seven players returned to play down to a winner on Sunday.
The contest took nearly ten hours to complete, but ultimately it was Brian Rast who came out on top over Scott Seiver in heads-up play to win the $7,525,000 first prize.
Rast is no stranger to tournament success, but that was still easily the biggest prize of his career.
Some of his other notable wins include taking down the 2011 Poker Players Championship and the High Roller event at the 2013 World Poker Tour Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic, each of which earned him over $1 million in prize money.
Rast’s career earnings now stand at more than $15.6 million.
If you want to catch some of the Super High Roller Bowl, there will be television coverage of the event later this summer.
The NBC Sports Network is showing 13 episodes of coverage from late July to early October, including coverage of both the Super High Roller Bowl and the Super High Roller Celebrity Shootout.
Quinn Do had to wait ten years in order to win his second World Series of Poker bracelet, but it was well worth the wait. Do beat one of the toughest fields of the 2015 WSOP in order to take down the $10,000 Dealers Choice Championship, a win that also earned him a $319,792 prize.
In the Dealers Choice events at the WSOP, players took turns each round picking from a menu of 18 different games, some of which otherwise aren’t even spread during the World Series.
There are plenty of potential strategies to use in game selection, but for Do, it was more about probing his opponents’ weaknesses rather than trying to find a game that best suited him.
“On Day One, I noticed that some of the players did not play some games very well, so I called those games,” Do told reporters after beating Rep Porter in heads up play. “I kept with that strategy. It was working, so why change it?”
In another stacked event, Andrew Barber beat back a final table that included Scotty Nguyen, Frank Kassela, Joe Hachem and Viacheslav Zhukov in order to capture his first WSOP gold bracelet in the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. championship.
Barber earned $517,766 for his victory, and said that he was never intimidated by the level of competition he faced.
“This was a tough lineup, there’s no doubt about that,” Barber said. “But I knew I could compete.”