Rast wins WSOP Players Championship Hellmuth 2nd

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jul 07, 2011 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

Having watched nearly the entire 12 hour live feed on of the $50k Players Championship final table on ESPN3.com I can truly say that this was a final table for the ages. Not only were some of poker’s biggest names seated on the Main Stage at the Rio, but the play was superb, the action intense, and overall the atmosphere was fairly light especially when you consider the magnitude of the tournament.

I have no idea how the final table will look post-production, but ESPN definitely has a chance to make this one of the top final tables in televised poker history –which might wash some of the bad taste that has been left in poker fans’ mouths after the 2009 Players Championship and last year’s snorefest of a final table (the 2009 Players Championship was not televised).

Up until the dinner break this tournament could have been called the Phil Hellmuth show, as the Poker Brat played near-flawlessly, accumulating a huge chip advantage. Phil was affable, not mumbling, and seemed in very good spirits… which seemed to all end just before the four remaining players broke for dinner, when the old Phil Hellmuth appeared and started making challenges and predictions about how he would bust Brian Rast in his usual condescending manner.

When Owais Ahmed, Minh Ly, Phil Hellmuth, and Brian Rast returned from dinner Phil was still –for whatever reason—tilted, and it showed in his play. Despite the erosion in his game, Hellmuth managed to make it to heads-up play against Rast, and at one point was on the verge of winning the tournament; holding a commanding 13 million to 3 million chip-lead.

That’s when Rast made an amazing comeback, fading three virtual post-flop coin-flips in the process, which caused Phil Hellmuth to remark, “If I were you, I’d tip that dealer a million,”

Phil did pocket his first-ever $1 million score in poker, recorded his third runner-up finish of the 2011 WSOP, and moved atop the POY leader-board. Rast won his second bracelet of the 2011 WSOP, and vaulted into 3rd place in the Player of the Year race, trailing only Hellmuth and another $50k Players Championship final table member Ben Lamb.

Here is a look at the final table payouts from the Players Championship:

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

Results courtesy of wsop.com

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