Brian Hastings Leaves High Stakes Behind for Tea Business

November 30th, 2016 | by Kaycee James

Brian Hastings retires from poker.

High stakes online star Brian Hastings is giving up poker to focus on his new tea company. (Image: Twitter/@brianchastings)

High stakes online pro Brian Hastings is hanging up his mouse and entering the world of paid employment according to a recent blog post.

Hastings, who is better known to many as Stinger88, is one of the biggest winners in the virtual game’s history. Thanks to a now infamous session against Sweden’s Viktor Blom, during which he won $4.2 million in just four hours, Hastings will be forever known as an online legend.

Of course, being an expert player online often translates into live success and Hastings has had plenty of that over the years.

With just over $2.4 million in tournament earnings as well as three WSOP bracelets, Hastings has certainly done enough to be considered an elite level poker player.

Money Can’t Keep Hastings Grinding

However, after almost a decade in the game, Hastings has decided to call it quits and use his bankroll for something else. In a blog post titled “Why I’m Moving on From Poker as a Fulltime Job,” Hastings tells the story of his career.

Offering a poetic take on his ups and downs, Hastings admits that even at his peak (winning $4.2 million in a night) he was depressed. Without many people outside of poker to celebrate his victories with and a wave of hate often directed at him by failing players, Hastings battled with his emotions over the years.

After coming to terms with many of the tribulations his faced thanks to his girlfriend, Hastings has now decided to stop playing poker as a full time profession. With money in the bank and a place to live, he’s set up a tea company.

A Fresh Start for Hastings

Based in South Florida, UniTea is Hastings attempt to move on from poker and use his talents in a new way. Although he’s promised to provide more details on his venture in a future blog post, the latest entry from Hastings is certainly revealing.

As fans, spectators and recreational players, we often assume that players winning at the highest stakes must be living the life of a rock star. Although there’s likely some truth to this in some instances, Hastings paints a very different picture.

For all his achievements in the game, it seems as though he wasn’t ever able to find real happiness in the game. Whether it was a combination of criticism and pressure or his own personality, Hastings’ story just goes to show that money isn’t everything when it comes to poker.

Enjoying the game is the most important thing for any player, regardless of the stakes at play and if Hastings’ departure teaches us anything it’s this.


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