Twenty-three-year-old Las Vegas resident Ryan Riess starts the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event final table armed with 25,875,000 in chips, enough to place him fifth, but that only tells half of the story because there are less than 4,000,000 chips separating Riess and the three players above him. One big pot early into proceedings and Riess will find himself up there with the chip leaders.
Riess burst onto the live poker scene in October 2012 when he finished second to Joshua Williams in the $1,675 buy-in WSOP Circuit Main Event at the Horseshoe Hammond. That result netted the Michigan State University graduate — Riess has a degree in business — a massive payout of $239,063 and gave Riess a bankroll with which to grind the WSOP Circuit events.
Three cashes at the WSOP Circuit in Los Angeles, all in the first week of 2013, boosted Reiss’ confidence and bankroll further so it was not surprising at all to see him cash an additional five times during January 2013, all at various events in L.A. The largest of those cashes came in at $7,650, Riess’ reward for finishing fifth in a $340 buy-in event at the 2013 L.A. Poker Classic.
In the run up to the 2013 WSOP, Riess cashed eight more times and entered the Series full of confidence, although his quiet and unimposing demeanor does not often reflect the confident and fearless young man that Riess is.
A deep run in the $1,500 Millionaire Maker ($110th- $7,278) was followed by an 11th-place finish in a $1,000 event ($20,015) and a 139th-place finish in a $1,500 buy-in tournament ($3,276). Then, Riess decided to take a shot at his biggest buy-in tournament, the $10,000 WSOP Main Event, and what a decision that turned out to be.
Riess chose Day 1a to start his Main Event quest, a day that saw him turn his 30,000 starting stack into a healthy 72,250. Day 2a was not as kind to Riess as his previous outing, although he did bag up more chips than he started with — 73,400 was his end-of-day total. The subsequent days saw Riess get back on track and start to build his stack, with Day 7 being his best day in the Main Event as it saw him turn a relatively short stack into one more than seven times its size.
Since the WSOP Main Event final table went on its hiatus, Riess seems to have also taken a break. He only has one cash on his résumé since the WSOP Main Event, a 68th-place finish in the World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open for $8,828.
When the WSOP Main Event resumes, Riess has to contend with having one of the worse seats at the final table. To Riess’ left are three big stacks who are likely to play back at any move Riess makes, while on his right are three shorter-stacked players who will be looking to move their stacks into the middle in an attempt to claw their way back into contention. The seat draw may not be favorable to Riess, but he will be well supported on the rail by the likes of fellow WSOP Circuit grinder and WSOP bracelet winner Loni Harwood.
The 2013 WSOP Main Event final table will take place starting Monday, Nov. 4 at 5 p.m. Las Vegas time, and you can follow all of the live, hand-for-hand coverage right here on PokerNews.com.