2013 World Series of Poker Main Event Winner Ryan Riess
Success at the poker tables came early for Ryan Riess. In October 2012, at the age of just 22, Riess would pick up his first big cash in a WSOP Circuit tournament in Chicagoland. He finished 2nd and pocketed more than $200,000. This success gave Riess the confidence and the cash to enter the World Series of Poker Main Event the following year, and what an event it was.
Fearsome 2013 WSOP Final Table
Riess played an incredible tournament and found himself reaching the famed ‘November Nine’, sitting in 5th place when the action resumed after the customary break. The chip leader, JC Tran had already won 2 WSOP bracelets and second place Amir Lehavot had won one. This made it one of the most fearsome final tables in recent years.
Known as ‘Riess the Beast’ and famed for wearing a Detroit Lions jersey while playing, the Michigan resident worked his way through the final table, eliminating four of the players himself. In the final two, with both Tran and Lehavot eliminated he would face Vegas-based nightclub VIP host Jay Farber heads up. At this point, Riess had a 20 million chip deficit, but over 89 hands he would manage to overturn the lead.
Riess Wins with A-K Suited
The 90th and final hand saw Farber all in with the Queen and Five of Spades, while Riess has the Ace and King of Hearts. The flop saw the 10 and Jack of diamonds and the four of clubs. Although not hitting either the Ace or King, this was a great flop for Riess, as a Queen would make a straight, leaving Farber’s only real chance being the three fives left in the deck.
The turn was the three of clubs, and the four of diamonds on the river confirmed Riess as the WSOP Main Event Winner. In a field of 6,352 players, Ryan Riess came 1st and took home a check for $8,361,570.
Ryan Riess: Other Major Tournaments Cashes/Wins
Ryan Riess is one of the most consistent players in poker with than 20 six-figure wins in his career (18 of those after the 2013 Main Event win), proving he is certainly no flash in the pan.
His second biggest win came in 2017, taking down the $2 million guaranteed World Poker Tour event at the Seminole Hard Rock for $716,000. The World Series of Poker Europe has been a happy hunting ground for the US native, with four six-figure wins spread over 2017, 2018 and 2019. In February 2019 he took home the third biggest pay out of his career when finishing 2nd in the $52,000 buy-in US Poker Open event, claiming a prize of $492,000.
TAG Playing Style / Poker Strategy of Ryan Riess
Riess would win the World Series of Poker Main Event using a steady, tight aggressive approach. He spent much of the final table making small bets and raises to take down pots. Between him and Farber, they played just 25% of the hands in getting to heads-up - and winning 80% of them. Ryan Riess stated after his win:
‘Everything played pretty standard. No one had a huge blow-up and bluffed off their whole stack. Everyone was playing really solid and the cards ran my way today’
Before and After the World Series of Poker
Ryan Riess graduated from Michigan State University with a hospitality business degree. A year before the World Series of Poker Main Event win, Ryan Riess was a part-time poker dealer, with no poker success on his resume.
On a whim he entered the main event at the WSOP circuit event in Hammond, with that second-place finish kick starting his poker career. He immediately joined the WSOP circuit and would cash in 20 events, giving him valuable experience heading into the 2013 Main Event.
Today he lives in Las Vegas and continues to play on the poker circuit. He has enjoyed 63 cashes in WSOP events and reached the final tables six times. His total tournament winnings as of July 2021 were in excess of $15,000,000.
Could You be the Next WSOP Champion?
Any budding poker player has the chance to enter the WSOP main event. Obviously the $10,000 entry fee is quite a stumbling block. Fortunately, you will find many satellites online where you can qualify. Some of these satellite events have extremely low buy-ins of just a few dollars. If you play well at the tables, you could find yourself going all the way and playing with some of the best players on the planet. Can you emulate Ryan Riess and win the big one?
WSOP Qualifiers: You can win a package to the Main Event that includes the $10k buy-in plus hotel and travel expenses online. For international readers, GGPoker are running satellites every day with low buy-ins at the entry level. See www.ggpoker.com for the list!
If you are US based, America’s Cardroom are an easy top rec. Qualifiers are running now - and to top it, ACR has the biggest tournament schedule for US players too. See www.americascardroom.com for details.
More Popular WSOP Pages:
- Joe McKeehen Poker Strategy (2015 winnner)
- Greg Merson Poker Strategy (2012 winner)
- John Cynn Poker Strategy (2018 winner)