Brian Hastings Retires from Professional Poker

Brian Hastings, a professional poker player with multiple live and online accomplishments, has recently announced that he would retire from full-time poker to devote his attention to a start-up business.

In a blog post on his official website, the player said that he felt it was the right time to listen to a therapist he had visited years ago and to give poker a rest. Hastings further wrote that he has often been overwhelmed by acute feelings of depression over the course of his career and that this has played a particularly important role in his decision to give up on poker.

The Pennsylvania-born player started playing while attending the Cornell University back in 2006. He quickly gained substantial knowledge of the game and deployed it successfully to accumulate winnings. Hastings was first focused on online cash games but then began participating in live tournaments. Yet, online poker seemed to have remained his bigger passion.

He has won three WSOP gold bracelets over the course of his live poker career. The player captured his first WSOP gold piece in 2012. Bracelets number two and three came in 2015. What is more, he has cashed in a total of 27 WSOP tournaments over the years, collecting $1,871,325 in those. Overall, he has accumulated live earnings of almost $2.5 million so far.

Hastings’ online career is also impressive, even more impressive. In 2009, the player entered poker history as the one to have won the most money in a single online session. Playing against another online poker legend – Viktor Blom – Hastings won $4.2 million in a four-hour $500/$1,000 Heads-Up Pot-Limit Omaha session on Full Tilt Poker.

The player was then investigated for allegedly using information based on Blom’s hand history and provided to him by fellow poker player Brian Townsend. Hastings has repeatedly denied the use of any such information. However, being investigated certainly marred his reputation to a given extent. It was later on confirmed that the player had not done anything wrong but the case affected him in a really bad way.

Hastings said in his recent blog post that he is still fond of poker as a game but is not particularly happy about the ways of the poker industry. He also pointed out that he “hates” certain industry personalities, although he did not name any particular player or other involved individual.

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