WSOP 2013 Champion is Ryan Riess

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This past Tuesday night, November 5, 2013, a 23-year-old pro poker player, Ryan Riess of Waterford, won the $8.4 million first prize in the $10,000 buy-in championship event of the 2013 World Series of Poker, outlasting a field of 6,352 players.

Runner-up was Jay Farber, a Las Vegas club promoter, who lost the title to Riess in an intense but brief final head-to-head battle.

The action all took place at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, with the initial 7 players eliminated from the famed 2013 November Nine on Monday, November 4th. Farber started out the head-to-head portion of the event ahead by 19 million chips. But Riess was relentless, using both big and small plays alike to whittle down that lead. In the dramatic final hand, Riess called Farber’s bluff, not that it mattered, as he was holding an Ace-King and the cards continued coming out in his favor.

Riess, who this time last year was finishing acquiring his hospitality management degree from Michigan State University, claimed to have been coveting the WSOP Main Event gold bracelet since he was 14 years of age. After winning the 2013 championship while wearing his Calvin Johnson baseball jersey, he got a suite at the Palazzo, invited 100 friends and family, and celebrated.

Farber had come up with the $10K buy-in for the main event by selling multiple stakes in his winnings, a gamble that paid off for him and his investors as they got to split a share of his $5.2 million 2nd prize amounting to $520K for every $1K they put up.

Schedule For 44th World Series of Poker Released

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The schedule for the upcoming 44th annual World Series of Poker has been released. Running from May 29th through July 15th, 2013 and taking place as usual at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, this latest installment of the year’s most awaited annual live poker festival features the first high rollers bracelet event ever, with a $111,111 buy-in, scheduled for June 26th through 28th as well as a First Saturday event called The Millionaire Maker on Saturday June 1st with a $1,500 buy-in and a $1 million first prize.

Other highlights of this year’s series include No-Limit Weekends in June, the WSOP’s first ever Turbo tournament (Event #34), the return of the $50,000 entry Poker Players Championship event and more. Several changes have been made to tournament starting times so be sure to read this year’s schedule closely for all the details.

The 2013 WSOP schedule includes 62 gold braceleted events , which is up by 1 from last year’s series the action all culminating in a main event on July 6th with the usual $10,000 buy-in. The player pool will be winnowed down until it reaches the 9 player final table on Monday, July 15th, to be resumed on November 4th and 5th and aired live on both ESPN and ESPN2 television to determine the ultimate 2013 WSOP Champion.

For this year’s event the planners expect to set out 480 poker tables spread through the 3 largest rooms in the Rio Convention Center — the Amazon, Brasilia and Pavilion ballrooms.

Stay tuned here in the coming weeks for more details on the 2013 WSOP schedule.

Time Almost Up To Win Bovada Poker WSOP Main Event Prize Package

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Bovada Poker has slowly been awarding players seats in the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event, and time is almost up to claim yours. That’s why the site is making one last push to get players to the last few rounds of WSOP qualifiers, finishing up on Sunday, June 24.

Each prize package winner will receive a $10k WSOP main event buy-in, $2k for travel expenses and hotel costs, entry to a private welcome party and access to Bovada Poker’s luxury suite. All in all its a $12,000 value.

Qualifiers come in 4 levels and players can enter at whatever level they feel comfortable with. You can Play All The Way for a $1 + $0.10 cheap seat qualifier (running daily), or our can Buy Into A Quarterfinal for $5 + $0.50 to $10 + $1 (also daily), or you can Buy Into A SemiFinal for $25 + $2.50 to $100 + $9 (also running daily), or you can Shorten Your Path and buy into the weekly Satellite directly, for $470 + $30.

Qualifiers are available in regular MTT poker tournament structure as well as turbo, hyper turbo and Sit and Go structures. By the end of this promotion there will have been more than 2,000 daily qualifiers and 12 weekly satellites. There are even Last Chance Qualifiers scheduled immediately preceding each weekly Satellite.

Last year’s World Series of Poker Champion earned $8.7 million for his efforts. There’s no telling how high this year’s grand prize can go, but one things is for sure: a number of Bovada Poker players will be there on hand to find out.

2011 World Series of Poker Main Event Down to the Final Three

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There is always an incredible amount of excitement surrounding the World Series of Poker Main Event, but it is never bigger than early November when the Final Table is set to kick off.  There were nine players who started the day on Sunday, and they played down to three.  Those three will now play until there is only one champion on Tuesday.  The action kicked off at 3:30pm EST, with a fifteen minute delay for the broadcast on ESPN.

The final nine players featured some names that were well-known, and a few that fans had to learn about.  The final nine players looked like this (in order of chip stack to start the day)- Martin Staszko, Eoghan O’Dea, Matt Giannetti, Phil Collins, Ben Lamb, Badih Bounahra, Pius Heinz, Anton Makiievskyi, and Sam Holden.  Each player who finished higher than 8th place was awarded a $1 million payday at least, but the real push was for the $8.7 million first place prize.

The first elimination took quite a while, as all of the players were a bit tight with their chips and wanted to feel out their opponents.  Eventually, it was Sam Holden (who started as the short stack), who ran his A-J into the A-K of Ben Lamb sending him home in 9th.  After that, the eliminations came steadily in around 30-45 minute increments, with Makiievskyi going home as his K-Q couldn’t hold off the pocket 9’s of Pius Heinz.  Heinz began running hot at this point, and was looking good in terms of his chip stack.  It wasn’t long after that elimination though Bounahra’s A-5 pre-flop shove was way behind the A-9 of Staszko.

We were then down to six players before O’Dea made a huge call against Ben Lamb, and had A-9, against the Q-8 of Lamb.  Unfortunately for O’Dea; it just didn’t hold, and Lamb hit an 8 on the river to leave O’Dea with just over 2 big blinds.  He was indeed the next player gone, as he shoved his final chips in to no avail.

Just before we got to the dinner break, we saw one more elimination in the well-known Phil Collins.  Collins pushed his A-7 suited against the 9’s of Heinz, and had both a straight and flush draw after the turn, but was not able to hit anything in the end.  Collins was the 5th place finisher, and we only had one more elimination before they called the day.

One last thing to note before the final elimination, was how much of a turn around that Heinz had.  After the dinner break, he actually won another big pot and had over 100 million chips at this point.  The final knockout came when Matt Giannetti pushed his last 12 million, and showed A-3, but was up against the pocket Kings of Lamb.  The flop gave Lamb quad Kings, and sent Giannetti to the rail.

The three players are set to roll on Tuesday, with Heinz leading the way with over 107 million, Lamb in second with 55 million, and Staszko still very much alive with 42 million.

ESPN to Air WSOP Final Table (Nearly ) Live

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Leading cable sports network ESPN has just announced that they will be changing the way they will broadcast this year’s WSOP Main Event Final Table in November. Instead of broadcasting a recorded version of the events multi-million dollar conclusion after it’s already taken place, the cable network and its online affiliates announced they will be broadcasting the final table live…or nearly live.

What that means is the stations (and online affiliates) will be showing the WSOP main event final table from day 3 through day 8 with only a 15 minute delay. The action takes place on November 6 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas Nevada. The competition will proceed until the 9-player final table has been dwindled down to the top three competitors. This will be broadcast on ESPN2. Then, the conclusion will take place on November 8 and be broadcast on ESPN.

Providing the play-by-play will be Lon McEachern and David Tuchman while Norman Chad and the team from ESPN Inside Deal will cover the breaks. There will also be a group of professional poker players present to provide commentary on the goings-on. Although most of these pro player names are still to be announced, one confirmed commentator will be “The Magician” Antonio Esfandiari, there for the final two days of the event. Esfandiari was the winner of last year’s World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic.

The first prize for the winner of this year’s World Series of Poker championship is approximately $8.7 million.

WSOP November Nine Schedule Tweaked

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The World Series of Poker Main Event is one of the most watched and followed televised poker tournaments out there today.  It draws in between 6,000 and 7,000 players consistently, and features the “November Nine” which is the final table of the event.  The idea behind this is that the final nine players are set in July, but have around a four month break until the play continues in front of a massive live crowd and huge television audience on ESPN and ESPN2.  The final table schedule was set and ready to go, but Caesars Interactive Entertainment, who owns the World Series of Poker, recently decided to make a change to the format.

The idea behind the change is that it will help improve the TV coverage for ESPN and ESPN2.  The November Nine was set to kick off on November 5th, and go through November 7th, but it has been changed to kick off on the 6th of November at 11:30am PDT.  One other thing that changed in the format is that it was originally planned for players to take a day off from the action and for play to continue with two players in heads up play.  The new plan is that there will still be a break in the action for a day, but it will then feature the final three players taking the stage at 5:00pm.

The televised coverage of the event will work very similar to how the live action worked during the Main Event, in which there was a small delay in the action.  The November Nine will feature a fifteen minute delay, and players will also get to see the players’ hole cards, and hear the commentary as well.

The final table coverage will most likely feature some big names in poker, just as the Main Event did.  The coverage of the 2011 Main Event drew in some commentary from players like Phil Hellmuth, Antonio Esfandiari, and Olivier Busquet, who all chimed in to give some analysis after they were no longer in the action.

The 2011 November Nine should draw an incredible amount of interest this year, as it features some of the young up and coming players in poker; as well as a wide range of players who have different styles of play.

ESPN Knows Poker

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With the April 15th indictment of the big online poker rooms like Full Tilt Poker, Poker Stars, and Absolute Poker, there was a major concern that the 2011 World Series of Poker would take a dip in terms of it’s entrants, as well as it’s fans watching.  This turned out to not be the case at all, on either fronts.

The 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event drew in a crowd of 6,865 players, and had an incredible number of fans watching the live action daily, all the way down to the November Nine.  There were 10 programs for the Main Event that aired on ESPN2, and had around 415,000 people watching each episode.  To top that off though, the primetime coverage of the event drew in 646,000 viewers, and there was also the live action streamed on ESPN3 online daily as well.

According to the senior director of programming and acquisitions of ESPN, Doug White, the show also did incredibly well in the early morning hours of 1am to 5am, boosting numbers around 136% overall.  Another great addition to the show was the professional poker player guest commentators, such as Phil Hellmuth, Antonio Esfandiari, Olivier Busquet, and Johnny Chan.  One of these players was constantly there to give analysis, predictions, and opinions on how hands were played, and how they would have played them.

The Main Event was even discussed on the biggest show on ESPN, Sports Center.  It’s incredibly impressive that after all that the United States has been through in terms of the ups and downs of online poker, that they were able to bring in not only the large number of players; but also the large number of fans as well.  While the future of online poker is still up in the air, one thing that seems to not be is the big time events like the World Series of Poker.  The 2011 World Series even broke records for largest total prize pool, as well as most entrants across all of the events.

Final Table Set at 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event

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Final Table Set at 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event

“November Nine” Features Players from Seven Nations

ESPN’s WSOP Coverage Continues on Tuesday Nights through November 8, 2011

The 42nd annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship – commonly referred to as the Main Event – is down to its final nine players. The “November Nine” – a diverse and international group – is all that remains of the massive field of 6,865 players who entered the iconic tournament seeking poker’s most coveted title and a top prize of more than $8.7 million.

The final nine players represent seven countries – the most ever in WSOP and tournament poker history; Ukraine, Ireland, Germany, Czech Republic, Belize, Great Britain and the United States. The players will return to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in November to vie for poker’s ultimate trophy – a WSOP gold bracelet – and the lion’s share of the Main Event’s $64,531,000 total prize pool. The winner will receive a first-place prize of $8,711,956, with the other eight players sharing another $19 million-plus.

The November Nine and their respective chip counts are as follows:

     1.    Martin Staszko – 40,175,000

Staszko, of Trinec, Czech Republic, is a 35-year-old poker professional. He is the first Czech ever to make a WSOP Main Event final table. In addition to poker, he plays competitive chess and tennis for pleasure. He said it would be “unbelievable” to be the first person to bring a Main Event gold bracelet back to the Czech Republic.

     2.    Eoghan O’Dea – 33,925,000

O’Dea, of Dublin, Ireland, is a 26-year-old student. The son of Donnacha O’Dea – widely regarded as the greatest Irish poker player of all time – Eoghan is becoming quite the poker force himself. He now has a total of five WSOP cashes, four of which he earned this year. The father-and-son tandem now has a total of three WSOP Main Event final tables, with Donnacha having finished sixth in 1983 and ninth in 1991.  It is the first time in WSOP history a father and son has made it to the Main Event final table.

     3.    Matt Giannetti – 24,750,000

Giannetti is a 26-year-old, self-taught poker professional from Las Vegas. Prior to launching his poker career, Giannetti graduated from the University of Texas.

     4.    Phil Collins – 23,875,000

Collins, 26, of Las Vegas, Nevada, is a professional poker player. His considerable entourage at the Main Event spurred on the former University of South Carolina student by loudly singing lyrics by the famous musician with whom their friend shares his name. Collins’ chip count kept him near the top of the leader board for much of the past few days, leading to numerous amateur renditions of “In the Air Tonight” echoing throughout the tournament room.

     5.    Ben Lamb – 20,875,000

Lamb, 26, is enjoying a career year at the WSOP, leading the race in Player of the Year points by a healthy margin. In addition to making the Main Event final table, Lamb’s other accomplishments at this year’s WSOP include a gold bracelet win, a second-place finish and eighth- and twelfth-place tournament finishes. The Tulsa, Oklahoma, native now boasts a total of 12 WSOP “in-the-money” finishes that have paid more than $2.1 million in total prize money (excluding the minimal ninth-place money he is guaranteed for making the November Nine).

     6.    Badih Bounahra – 19,700,000

Bounahra is the oldest member of the November Nine. At 49, the resident of Belize City, Belize, has been playing poker for about six years. Away from the felt, Bounahra says he enjoys fishing and sleep.

     7.    Pius Heinz – 16,425,000

Heinz is a 22-year-old student and poker professional from Cologne, Germany. He is the first German ever to make it to a WSOP Main Event final table, a feat he accomplished after a promising seventh-place finish in a previous WSOP event.

     8.    Anton Makiievskyi – 13,825,000

Makiievskyi, of Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, is a 21-year-old aspiring poker pro. When he isn’t competing on the felt, he enjoys cycling and anything pertaining to music, particularly teaching himself guitar and drums.  This year marked his first trip to the WSOP in Las Vegas.  Makiievskyi hopes to become the fifth Ukrainian to win a gold bracelet at the 2011 WSOP.

     9.    Sam Holden – 12,375,000

Holden, a 22-year-old professional poker player from Sussex, Great Britain, will enter the final table as the short stack. This first-time WSOP participant will need to pick his spots carefully in November if he is to bring poker’s most prestigious title back to England.

John Hewitt, 23, finished in 10th place, just one spot away from the November Nine. Hewitt is originally from Chicago but now resides in San Jose, Costa Rica. The former student demonstrated an aggressive style of play during the Main Event, at one point even holding the chip lead. In the end, it was not enough to make the final table.

In addition to the first-place prize of $8,711,956, prize money for the remaining eight spots is as follows*:

2nd place: $5,430,928

3rd place: $4,019,635

4th place: $3,011,665

5th place: $2,268,909

6th place: $1,720,396

7th place: $1,313,851

8th place: $1,009,910

9th place: $782,115


When play resumes in November, the players will pick up with 34 minutes and 57 seconds remaining in Level 36. The antes will be $50,000 and blinds will stand at $250,000 and $500,000.

The 2011 Main Event has received unprecedented nearly-live coverage on ESPN, ESPN2 and Comprehensive WSOP television coverage will begin airing Tuesday, July 26 at 9 p.m. Eastern on ESPN. Coverage will continue in two-hour blocks each Tuesday at 9 p.m. for 16 weeks, culminating with Main Event Final Table coverage on Nov. 8, 2011.

The 2011 Main Event capped the largest-ever WSOP, both in terms of total participation and prize pool. A total of 75,672 players from 105 countries entered the 58 events on this summer’s WSOP schedule, generating a total prize pool of $191,999,010.

The 2011 Main Event was the third-largest in the tournament’s illustrious history, drawing 6,865 players from 85 nations. Only the 2006 Main Event (8,773 participants) and the 2010 Main Event (7,319 participants) were larger.

*The final nine players each received ninth-place prize money upon reaching the final table; the remainder of the prize pool will be placed in an interest-bearing account to be added to the prize pool on a percentage basis for the final eight finishers.


The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world, awarding millions of dollars in prize money and the prestigious gold bracelet – globally recognized as the sport’s top prize. Featuring a comprehensive slate of tournaments in every major poker variation, the WSOP is poker’s longest running tournament in the world, dating back to 1970. In 2011, the event attracted 75,672 entrants from more than 100 different countries to the Rio in Las Vegas and awarded more than $191 million in prize money. In addition the WSOP has formed groundbreaking alliances in broadcasting, digital media and corporate sponsorships, while successfully expanding the brand internationally with the advent of the World Series of Poker Europe.

Ben Lamb Is On A Roll After Day 2B at the WSOP Main Event

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The 2011 World Series of Poker has narrowed the field down to where everyone still playing is sitting in the same room at the same time.  Day 2B is in the books and Ben Lamb was the leader.  He ended Day 2B with 551,600 chips, which is good enough to give him the overall lead heading into Day 3.  He was followed close by Kevin Saul with 542,200 chips though.  Those are the only two players over the 500k mark in chips.  Out of all the big named players out there, probably the biggest name near the top of the leader board is Patrik Antonius, who has 361k in chips, and is in 12th place currently.

Lamb has played incredible during this World Series, with a 12th place finish in the $10k Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em Championship, an 8th place finish in the $50k Player’s Championship, a 2nd place finish in the $3k Pot-Limit Omaha event, and he also won his first gold bracelet in the $10k Pot-Limit Omaha Championship.  He’s sitting in second place in the Player of the Year race behind Phil Hellmuth, and is in a great spot to make a push in the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event.

Day 2B began with 2,490 players and ended with 1,043 who are advancing on to Day 3.  This sets the total for Day 3 to have 1,866 players who are still alive and pushing for the gold bracelet.  693 players will be paid, meaning that they still need to eliminate nearly two-thirds of the field in order to get into the money.  While a large number of players from the field are shooting for their first gold bracelet, there are seven former Main Event winners who are still alive heading into Day 3, Joe Cada, Robert Varkonyi, Carlos Mortensen, Huck Seed, Phil Hellmuth, Berry Johnston, and Tom McEvoy.  Jamie Gold and Joe Hachem were both still alive heading into Day 2B, but were eliminated before the end of the day.

Day 2A Ends 819 Players Moving On

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WSOPOn Monday, there were 2,031 players who had made it past Days 1A and 1C to come together to play Day 2A.  Play featured quite a few big names out of the 2,031 players, and also featured some big eliminations out of those names.  At the end of the day it was Aleksandr Mozhnyakov who was at the top of the leader board with 478,600 chips.  There were a total of 3 other players who finished the day with over 400k in chips, Tuan Vo (434,500), Guillaume Darcourt (410,500), and Stephane Albertini (400,100).  All four of these players are of course in a great spot heading into Day 3.

Out of the other big names remaining, Day 1A leader Fred Berger began Day 2A with a little more than 209k in chips, and ended the day with 205,400.  A few other notable names with pretty good sized stacks are Shaun Deeb (294,700), Sebastian Ruthenberg (289,400), and Seinfeld actor Jason Alexander (167,000).  Other players such as Daniel Negreanu (114,100), Annette Obrestad (90,500), Shannon Shorr (110,500), Sorel Mizzi (108,400), Ted Forrest (112,600), Adam Junglen (131,600), and Lee Childs (110,300) were all still alive at the end of the day, and sitting in fairly good position to make a push in Day 3.  Brad Garrett from the hit TV show “Everybody Loves Raymond” also made it through to Day 3, with 67,000 chips.

While big names and former Main Event champions Dan Harrington, Jonathan Duhamel, Johnny Chan, and Scotty Nguyen were eliminated; Jamie Gold and Robert Varkonyi both moved on.  The big story of the day though was 11 time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth.

Hellmuth didn’t show up for over an hour when Mike Matusow noticed, and sent security to find him.  Hellmuth was in his hotel room, and had forgotten that he was supposed to play on Monday in Day 2A and not Tuesday Day 2B.  He started the day with 11,800 in chips, but by the time he showed up he had been blinded down to 6,975 chips and had quite a bit of work to do.  Hellmuth was indeed able to come back though, and ended the day with a solid 64,900 chips.  While this won’t put him in the drivers seat by any means for the remainder of the event, he is definitely still alive.  819 players have moved on from Day 2A to Day 3, and will now be met up by the players who make it through Day 2B.