An incredibly confident Riess overcame chip leader Jay Farber in a three-hour heads-up match to claim world champion status as well as $8.3 million and his first WSOP gold bracelet.
Perhaps the most startling moment of the final table came after the final card had been dealt, however. Riess made a bold statement to ESPN:
“I just think I’m the best poker player in the world,” Riess said.
The East Lansing, Michigan, native is only 23 years old and has been playing poker professionally for a little over two years. He also said he would win the 2013 WSOP Main Event before the final table even began.
"It's amazing," explained Riess to PokerListings. "It honestly hasn't hit me yet. Probably since I was 14 years old my goal was to be a professional poker player."
Local VIP Host Farber Finishes Second for $5.1 Million
Farber, who works in Vegas as a VIP host, made a surprising run at the 2013 Main Event and entered the final day of play with a slight chip lead over Riess.
Unfortunately for Farber, Riess ran hot and made the most of his spots. Riess overtook Farber in the first hour of play.
Farber made a valiant effort to fight back from the short stack but in the end couldn’t overcome his chip disadvantage.
In the final hand Farber made an ill-timed shove with Q♠ 5♠ and got snapped off by Riess with A♥ K♥. The Big Slick held and Riess' supporters went berserk.
Won't Quit His Day Job
On the bright side Farber did pick up a life-changing $5.1 million. Despite the cash Farber said he wouldn’t quit his day job as a VIP host. He also had some kind words for his opponent.
"Ryan [Riess] loves poker," said Farber after the final table ended. "I think he will be a great ambassador for the game."
Yesterday the final nine players played down to just two with noted pros JC Tran and David Benefield among the players to fall. Mark Newhouse, Michiel Brummelhuis, Marc-Etienne McLaughlin and Sylvain Loosli also busted on Monday.
Amir Lehavot busted in third place, just missing out on the final heads-up match of the 2013 WSOP.
Riess becomes one of the youngest WSOP champions and the first to be born in the 90s.
Here are the complete final table payouts:
- 1. Ryan Riess - $8,361,570
- 2. Jay Farber - $5,174,357
- 3. Amir Lehavot - $3,727,023
- 4. Sylvain Loosli - $2,791,982
- 5. JC Tran - $2,106,893
- 6. Marc-Etienne McLaughlin - $1,601,024
- 7. Michiel Brummelhuis - $1,225,356
- 8. David Benefield - $944,640
- 9. Mark Newhouse - $733,224