Ryan Reiss Poker Professional From Michigan Wins WSOP

After around 3 ½ hours of play, Ryan Reiss emerged as champion of the $8.4million World Series of Poker late on Tuesday night. The unpredictable nature of no-limit Texas Hold ‘em is always challenging even for a poker professional like Reiss, but the youngster from Michigan his skill by putting his final opponent, Jay Farber, all in with an Ace-King.

The stage for the encounter may have been off the famous Las Vegas strip, in a 1,600 seat venue at the Rio all-suite Hotel and Casino, but the event created an atmosphere close to the tension found at a prizefight in one of the larger casinos. The organisers paid homage to boxing with an announcer who introduced Riess as “the beast” and Farber as “the panda.” They sat around a table lined with seven other finalists. In the centre was the champion’s bracelet and $8.4million in cash.

Before Riess could get to the champion’s table he took part in a qualifying round that took place in July with a field that comprised 6,352 entrants. Getting through qualifying wasn’t straightforward for Riess but he was able to eliminate four of his rivals with ease at the final table. With Farber taking down the three others, the stage was set for their face off.

Farber considers poker to be a hobby, which has drawn comparisons with Chris Moneymaker, the amateur player who won poker’s richest prize in 2004. He was the player who inspired a generation of internet poker players to close their laptops and dons sunglasses to play with the pros. Farber’s symbol of the panda doesn’t have the same inspirational quality that Moneymaker’s success had in the past, and the stuffed teddy he brought onto the game table would not have inspired fear in his opponents, but his runner’s up spot has got the poker world’s attention.

The champion kept a low profile throughout much of the tournament, winnign hands with skill and guile rather than aggression. Reiss was the youngest of the nine World Series of Poker finalists and perhaps the most modest player at the table because he attributes his success to “lucky cards.”

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