WSOP Player of the Week: Brian Rast Bolsters Poker Hall of Fame Case
One week does not make a career, but if there was any doubt remaining as to how strong Brian Rast's Poker Hall of Fame candidacy was seven days ago, you may have since changed your mind.
That's not to say the other nine builders and players nominated aren't deserving of reaching poker's most exclusive club — they are. But Rast is our World Series of Poker (WSOP) Player of the Week for winning one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world, and in doing so, becoming the favorite for the Hall of Fame's 2023 inductee.
What a Week for Brian Rast
Rast took down Event #43: $50,000 Poker Players Championship for $1,324,727, becoming the first player ever to win the PPC three times. He scooped his sixth overall bracelet and cracked the $25 million mark lifetime in live tournaments, according to Hendon Mob.
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On top of his huge win, the Las Vegas resident added another deep run this past week, a seventh place finish for $18,709 in Event #55: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo. In that tournament, Mike Matusow may have given Rast a bit of a sweat.
Following his Poker Players Championship title, Rast became the heavy favorite for the Poker Hall of Fame. But one of his nearest competitors is Matusow, a four-time bracelet winner and poker boom era legend, was heads-up for a bracelet in Event #55: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo. "The Mouth," however, lost the heads-up match to Marcin Horecki and was denied his first WSOP title since 2013.
Still, Matusow is very much in the running for the HOF induction this year, but being unable to finish it off in the hi-lo event may have improved Rast's odds.
Rast made it clear to PokerNews at the 2021 WSOP that reaching the Poker Hall of Fame is important to him. He's certainly done well for himself this past week, and throughout his career, in putting himself in position to achieve that goal.
There were many other top performers the past week at the World Series of Poker. The list of players who deserve recognition is too lengthy to fit into this article, but we'll highlight a few here: Mike Gorodinsky (won $10,000 H.O.R.S.E.), Steven Genovese (won $500 Salute to Warriors), and Ian Matakis, who is giving Shaun Deeb a run for his money in the WSOP Player of the Year chase.