Ryan Reiss wins the 2013 WSOP Main Event
If you’re looking for a wrap-up of the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event final table here is how it went down: Everyone played really solid poker, there were a couple of big suckouts and a couple big bluffs, and Ryan Reiss won [results at end of column]. Now let’s move on to what’s important; what does this mean, if anything, for poker moving forward?
A couple more takeaways
Yesterday I penned a column where I offered up 10 “Hot Takes” from the WSOP final table (some being more tongue in cheek than others) and after last night’s heads-up battle I have a few more to add.
Hot Take #11: Spectators and poker don’t mix.
Without doubt, my least favorite part of the Main Event telecast is the rail. It’s not that I’m trying to be a buzzkill, but seriously, save your partying for later on in the night. Not only is it annoying as a viewer (it seriously feels like some caricature of a rowdy viewing audience in an Adam Sandler movie) but last night it actually seemed to impact the players, as Jay Farber, on more than one occasion seemed a bit rattled by the chanting taking place behind him.
It would seem that the next logical step from soccer-style chants, a dancing panda bear and some guy in a Bigfoot costume would be beach balls and vuvezelas. Is this really how we want to portray poker to the masses?
Next year there has to be a rule implemented that cheering takes place between hands only and let’s limit it to the tried and true method of clapping your hands together with the occasional whistle and woo hoo thrown in.
Hot Take #12: There is a lot of dead air to fill and the stands are filled with the big name poker players.
Ummm, why doesn’t ESPN have one of the big names from the stands come down to the booth (or just to Kara Scott) once an hour and do a five minute chat? If Joe Buck had can talk to Justin Verlander during the middle of an ALCS game why can’t Kara or the guys in the booth interview a few of the spectators (poker players, the players’ families) to help add a little insight and breakup the monotony of watching two non-verbal guys who are essentially locked in a battle of raise and fold poker?
Hot Take #13: Bill Simmons won Twitter on Tuesday.
Simmons had me at “Is this the greatest moment in Detroit Lions history?” in reference to Ryan Reiss wearing a Calvin Johnson jersey on his way to the Main Event title. But he didn’t stop there; Simmons also coined a new nickname for the 23 year-old, referring to him as Megatron Nowitzki in his subsequent tweets:
This quasi-live WSOP telecast is great TV. I’m riveted. Megatron Nowitzki just lost a ton of momentum. Could this go all night?
Farber is making a big mistake – the way to get to Megatron Nowitzki is by annoying him with dumb jokes and grating smalltalk.
Also, we now know that at least one casual viewer liked the live feed.
What kind of champion will Ryan Reiss be?
He seems like a good kid and seems to have a good head on his shoulders. But to be honest there is nothing about Ryan that really stands out; nothing that separates him from any of the previous five WSOP Main Event champions, who are starting to appear like interchangeable pieces – Peter Eastgate, Joe Cada, Jonathan Duhamel, Pius Heinz, and Greg Merson.
[I’ll add that Duhamel works his ass off trying to be a good poker ambassador, and I’m really coming around to Merson, who also seems ready and willing to help promote the game wherever he can.]
It’s almost like Groundhog Day at this point, where the Main Event champion is always going to be a relatively quiet kid who could just as easily be late for his morning psych class instead of playing poker for millions of dollars.
As I said yesterday, Reiss is precisely what poker doesn’t need at this point, as it just furthers the stereotype that to be successful in poker you have to be a young, quietly confident male.
What I wouldn’t give to have a grizzled old veteran playing for the WSOP Main Event title, or better yet a woman.
WSOP Main Event final table results
Here are the obligatory payouts from the final table.
1. Ryan Riess – $8,361,570
2. Jay Farber – $5,174,357
3. Amir Lehavot – $3,727,823
4. Sylvain Loosli – $2,792,533
5. JC Tran – $2,106,893
6. Marc-Etienne McLaughlin – $1,601,024
7. Michiel Brummelhuis – $1,225,356
8. David Benefield – $944,650
9. Mark Newhouse – $733,224
*Results from www.wsop.com
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