Rast, a Victory Poker pro and PokerVT instructor, was in control from about two tables down until the end. For the win, Rast banked $227,232. He defeated Allen “Chainsaw” Kessler ($140,309), who continues his strong WSOP play from last year, heads-up for the title.
The win almost didn’t happen for Rast, as he had no intention of playing the event. Here’s the story as told by the frequently fantastic Nolan Dalla:
Four days ago, [Rast] was in Brazil at the end of a long vacation. That’s right — Brazil. As in South America. Following a two-month stay, Rast flew back to the U.S. where he landed in Las Vegas on the morning of Thursday, June 9th. He arrived home on a red-eye flight and was dragging his bags down the hallway of his high-rise condo, when he ran into neighbor, friend, and as it turned out guardian angel who flapped his own proverbial wings making a typhoon out of what would have been an innocuous initial act.
The guardian angel and inspiration was Antonio Esfandiari.
Rast and Esfandiari got to talking that morning. When Esfandiari found out Rast had no intention of playing in the upcoming $1,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Hold’em Championship, to be held later that day, he made his friend an offer he could not refuse. Esfandiari agreed to bankroll Rand and put him in the tournament. And so, off to the Rio Rand went.
Ok, so let’s revise the above now and say that Rast really only banked about $114,000 for the win. Nice score there, Antonio.