Ryan ‘The Beast’ Riess wins WSOP Main Event

Ryan ‘The Beast’ Riess is the new world champion, defeating Jay Farber heads-up to win the WSOP Main Event bracelet and $8.3m

Ryan Riess, a 23-year-old poker pro from East Lansing, Michigan, is the 2013 world champion of poker. Riess and runner-up Jay Farber, a nightclub VIP Host in Las Vegas, returned to the Rio Casino on the evening of Tuesday November 5 to play heads-up for the $8.3m first prize and the most coveted title in all of poker. While the two entered with similar chip stacks (105m to Farber and 86m to Riess) it was a heads-up masterclass from Riess, who continually put his less experienced opponent on the back foot and opened up a significant chip lead. 

It looked to be all over when all the chips flew in on a KQ-5 flop. Farber had J-T for the straight draw and was in trouble against Riess’s KT. A Nine on the turn gave Farber the straight and a full double-up to get the party host back in the game. However, Riess never let his concentration waver and was soon back to grinding his opponent down hand after hand. Soon Farber was in the ten big blind danger zone and had to shove all-in preflop at any opportunity. After a series of shoves got through without a call, Farber tried the move one more time Qs-5s. Unfortunately for him this time Riess had AK and snap-called. A JT-4 flop was safe for Riess, who was huddled with his large and loud rail in the corner. The turn brought the 3 before an innocuous Four on the river crowned Riess the champion! He was immediately bundled over by his friends and family as tears welled up in his eyes upon the realisation of what he had just achieved. 

After a handshake with runner-up Farber the man they call ‘The Beast’ was presented with the WSOP Main Event bracelet – worth a reported $500,000 – by 2012 champion Greg Merson. Kara Scott asked the confident Riess where he found his self-belief and he responded by saying, ‘I think I am the best player in the world.’ That bold statement immediately drew plenty of criticism from the poker community on Twitter but, for one day at least, he certainly is the talk of the poker world and a very worthy world champion.   

WSOP Main Event results

1. Ryan Riess, USA, $8.3m 
2. Jay Farber, USA, $5.2m
3. Amir Lehavot, Israel, $3.7m
4. Sylvain Loosli, France, $2.8m
5. JC Tran, USA, $2.1m
6. Marc-Etienne McLaughlin, Canada, $1.6m
7. Michiel Brummelhuis, Netherlands, $1.2m
8. David Benefield, USA, $944,650
9. Mark Newhouse, USA, $733,224

Photo courtesy of WSOP.com. 

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