Ryan Riess of Las Vegas has won the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event.
Riess, 23, defeated Jay Farber in a heads-up battle that lasted nearly four hours. The professional poker player originally from East Lansing, Mich., earned $8,361,570 and his first gold bracelet.
Riess took the chip lead early Tuesday night and never let it go. On the final hand, Farber, a 29-year-old VIP host from Las Vegas, went all in with queen-five of spades and was called by Riess, who was holding ace-king of hearts.
The board of 4-J-10-3-4 did not help Farber, who won $5,174,357.
Poker might not be as popular as it was in the mid-aughts, but if you think I’m not tuning in when the head-to-head Final Table comes on you are badly fucking fooled, my friend. Still the most tense and exciting moments in “sports” that aren’t actually sports. My teenage years coincided with the rise in popularity of Poker, so I went through that Texas Holdem phase that every normal male during those years experienced. If you saw Rounders and didn’t want to be Matt Damon then you can’t be trusted. That being said, I generally choose to give my money away via parlays, prop bets, and occasional trips to the Blackjack table. Yet, the final day of WSOP still draws me in.
So when I saw this Ryan Riess cat going head-to-head with some pudgy, wannabe juicehead Vegas club promoter I was instantly on board. Talk about living the life. Riess graduated from Michigan State last year and must have been an absolute hauss online because he was already touring the pro circuit. Kid runs through 6,000+ competitors this past weekend with a real chill demeanor, picking his spots and never showing bad hands. Then, when it matters most he comes up with Ace/King in hand. That tatted up tool Jay Farber tries to intimidate him on the final hand going all in with Queen/5 but Riess immediately calls. Didn’t even think about it. Just knew he had it locked, plain and simple. Gotta imagine that’s the most exhilarating feeling in the fucking world. $8.5 MIL and a Bracelet in the bag.
Oh, and his tweet earlier on Tuesday:
Yeah, I’d say that’s about ri-ight.
PS — I’m 99% on Team Riess but that 1% really hates his guts (and not because of that putrid Lions jersey). This kid is a year younger than me and is already a lock to be infinitely more successful in life. Unless, of course, his life gets sidetracked by hookers and blow. By the looks of his cheering section, tonight is the start of a nice little bender. Give em hell, boys.