Published Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013 | 5:45 p.m.
Updated Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013 | 9:37 p.m.
The tears poured out of Ryan Riess’ eyes as fast as the confetti and streamers shot out of the ceiling.
While embracing his mother and sister, the 23-year-old from East Lansing, Mich., didn’t bother to wipe them away. He just leaned back and exclaimed, “yes.”
Riess completed what he had said he would do all summer, what made him declare this evening would be the best day of his life. Riess won the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event for $8,361,570.
He’s the world champion of poker for the next year. Not bad for a guy who had never cashed in a single tournament and was nearly broke 13 months ago before his first major poker score.
Riess defeated local Jay Farber in Tuesday’s heads-up portion of the final table, doing so in less than four hours over the course of 90 hands. He came in at a chip disadvantage, but flipped the leader board in less than an hour.
Farber was able to bounce back from a 100 million-plus chip deficit once, but Riess re-focused and started out-playing the 29-year-old local again.
With 10 million chips, Farber was forced to shove all-in with Queen-5 suited. Riess called immediately with Ace-King suited, and the better hand held up for the victory.
Stay tuned to lasvegassun.com for full coverage later and check below for our live blog of the action.