Michigan native Ryan Riess won nearly $8.4 million Tuesday in the 2013 World Series of Poker's Main Event in Las Vegas, beating Jay Faber in a card battle that went almost four hours.
Riess, 23, who now lives in Las Vegas, wore a replica Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions jersey to represent his native Michigan roots. He started nearly 20 million chips behind Farber but roared back to take the lead and win the first series gold bracelet at Rio's Penn and Teller Theater, reported the Las Vegas Review-Journal
"I've been dreaming about it for a long time, ever since I was 14 and saw (Chris) Moneymaker win it," Riess told the Review-Journal. "I just had a great feeling about it. The table was tough. Some people said it was the hardest final table, and the first day was extremely difficult. … I was extremely fortunate to catch cards, and it held. But I just had a good feeling about it."
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Farber, a Santa Barbara, Calif., native, didn't make out too bad himself, walking way with $5.2 million in his first World Series of Poker tournament. The 44th annual event had a $10,000 buy-in and started with 6,352 players from 83 countries.
The event generated a prize pool of more than $59.7 million, according to the Review-Journal.
"I just think I'm the best player in the world," Riess told reporters, according to the Detroit News
Holding a commanding lead on his final hand, the Detroit News wrote that Riess' ace-king of hearts beat Farber's queen-five of spades for the victory.
The Detroit News noted that Riess has been rolling since October, when he took his last $2,000 to buy into a World Series of Poker circuit tournament at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind. Riess finished second, taking home $270,000 after splitting the winning pot between the winner, and third place finisher.
"I felt like I played well. Ryan was just a card rack all night," Farber told the Review-Journal. "Every time I'd make a hand, he'd river a better one. So, it's really hard beat someone that's running hotter than the sun. … I knew that if I could ever catch a hand I could beat him."
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