Brian “tsarrast” Rast: WSOP Big One for One Drop Q&A

Brian Rast
Brian Rast plays the biggest buy-in tournament in poker history.

Brian Rast won two WSOP bracelets in 2011, including the $50k Players Championship, but he’s never played anything like the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop that kicked off today.

Rast is a regular high-stakes cash game player that has racked up $2.8 million in live tournament earnings since his first score in 2005. He will blow that number out of the water if he goes deep in this tournament.

In our continuing series of Big One Q&As we speak to Rast about his mindset going into this event and how he expects the highest-stakes tournament in history to play out. You’ve played a lot of poker but this is something different for everyone. What’s going through your head as we get ready to get this thing going?

Brian Rast: I’ll tell you what, I’ve never had any difficulty sleeping but I just had the worst night of sleep of my life, thinking about playing this thing today. Other than that I feel great, though.

I’ve played 50 hours of poker straight before so I’m not worried about playing. I feel confident and I’ve spent a lot of time talking to people about this event and the other players. I feel really prepared going in so all I can do is try to play my best poker.

PL: We saw a tweet from Tom Dwan saying he wasn’t getting any sleep either. Do you think nerves and pressure are going to play a big part in this event?

BR: I think at the beginning it’s going to start out slow and there will be a period of everyone feeling each other out and figuring out what’s going on.

Day 1
Brian Rast is up against tough players like Sam Trickett, Jon Duhamel, Justin Smith and Jens Kyllonen.

That being said I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple players who expect that to happen come out trying to do the opposite. That’s sort of what’s always going on in poker, trying to do the opposite of what people expect.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do but I expect it to start out slow.

PL: How many players do you think we’ll lose today?

BR: We’ll probably lose a table today, probably not more than that.

PL: Just making the money’s worth a ton but most of the cash is in the top couple spots. Is that going to affect how you play?

BR: I don’t think it’s really an issue on Day 1 but when we get close to the bubble it’s definitely going to be a factor. It’s such a flat payout until you get to the top few spots. So just making the money is almost the same as getting fifth.

Normally I don’t think bubbles are too big a deal but because the payout’s so flat it will be important.

PL: If you make this final table is there anyone you want/don’t want to see there?

BR: I honestly don’t care. I have a few friends I’d love to see but other than that there’s a lot of good players in this tournament so I’m not overly worried about anyone in particular.

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