Twenty-three-year-old Brian Hastings beat a field of 152 players to win a first-place prize of $371,498.
“My biggest days online were a bit bigger than this,” quipped Hastings. “This is still no joke though. It’s one of the bigger winning days I’ve had in my life.”
Hastings famously beat Viktor “Isildur1” Blom for $4.2 million in the single biggest session ever held on Full Tilt Poker.
Despite his considerable success online, Hastings has yet to make a serious dent in the live tournament scene. The WSOP bracelet will change that in a hurry.
“It’s pretty darn cool,” said Hastings. “Like a lot of players I was a part of the poker boom generation in 2003 and I watched all of the WSOP on TV. Winning a bracelet was always a goal of mine.”
From Vancouver to WSOP Victory to Florida
Hastings is one of the so-called “poker refugees” who traveled abroad in an effort to continue playing poker after Black Friday shut out PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker last year.
For the last year Hastings, who hails from Hanover Township in Pennsylvania, has made his second home in Vancouver, Canada to play on PokerStars. Since moving Hastings has earned nearly $1 million on the site according to highstakesdb.
Hastings doesn’t plan on returning to Vancouver, however, as he just bought a condo in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and will fly to the Bahamas when he gets the itch for online poker.
“I’m gonna play some live poker in Florida, travel a bit and play some WPTs,” he said about his plans for the rest of the year. “I’m also going to work on DraftDay with Taylor Caby and Andrew Wiggins.”
DraftDay is a site developed by Caby and Wiggins, which allows players to compete in single day fantasy sports for cash and is completely legal for U.S. players.
Interestingly the $10k Heads-Up Championship marked the WSOP debut of young poker superstar Viktor “Isildur1” Blom, who Hastings crushed for millions online.
Blom busted on Day 1 before the money while Hastings went on to win the tournament outright.