US poker pro Brian Rast (34) has added another victory to his already glittering professional poker career, earning his third World Series of Poker bracelet and $1,296,097 main prize after taking down the prestigious $50,000 buy-in Poker Players Championship Eight Game Mixed event.
In doing so he became only the second player to win the event twice, having previously claimed the honours in 2011; only three-bracelet Michael Mizrachi has achieved the same distinction.
The competition attracted a stellar field of 91, generating a $4.17 million prize pool in which 14 players cashed.
Mizrachi was very much a competitor in the event, and at one stage went on a run that gave him the chip lead as observers predicted he was about to claim his third victory in the difficult and prestigious contest. However, it was not to be and he fell at fourth for $380,942.
Instead, it was Justin Bonomo who cruised into the final days of the event with the chip lead, taking it into the six-man final table and dominating the initial stages of play through to the three-handed stage, where he faced Eric Wasserman and Rast with what looked like an unassailable lead.
Then Rast eliminated Wasserman at third for $545,772 , building his stack in the process to face Bonomo in the heads up, with the latter holding a 4 to 1 advantage.
Rast fought back into the game and that started several hours of what Rast later characterised as some of the toughest poker in his experience as the lead swung from one talented player to the other.
It ended in a close 2.2 million chip hand in which Rast prevailed, sending Bonomo to the exit and a $801,048 runner-up consolation prize.
Rast was clearly delighted with the third bracelet and the $1.3 million main prize, which takes his career earnings close to $6 million.
Lamar Wilkinson finished fifth for $272,558, and Ray Dehkharghani sixth for $200,027.