From April 2nd until the 6th, the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Hotel and Casino Hollywood played host to the World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale, a no-limit hold’em (no re-entry) tournament with a $10,000 buy-in and $2,000,000 up for grabs. As part of the Showdown Series in Florida, the event drew serious buzz with many top pros competing in the hopes of earning the first place prize. In the end, it was Ryan Riess who earned the first place finish, claiming his first ever WPT title win in the process.
Riess is a twenty-six year old poker player from Michigan who first became a household name in 2013 when he won the World Series of Poker Main Event, taking home the first place prize of more than $8.3 million. The poker player has continued to be a top competitor ever since, earning big wins with the latest title giving him the second largest tournament win of his career.
The final table of the Poker Finale was six-handed and would see Alan Sternberg emerge as the chip leader, with Riess holding a close second. Sternberg would use his chip lead to start cutting down the number of players at the table with the first to go being Cliff Josephy. Jason Koon was be eliminated in 5th followed closely by Tim West, who was eliminated by Riess.
This would now leave Riess, Sternberg and Terry Schumacher in three-handed play. The short stack would be held by Schumacher who would be eliminated after he went all-in against Reiss’ pocket nines. The pro’s J-7 of hearts was no match for the nines and he would be eliminated in third.
Now, Riess and Sternberg would compete in heads-up play. Sternberg would have a slight chip lead with 7,715,000 to Riess 6,245,000. It would take 105 hands with the chip lead changing several times before the final hand would take place with Riess in the lead.
Riess would bet 450,000 from the button and Sternberg would increase the bet to 1,150,000. Reiss would then push all-in and his opponent made the call. The board ran K-6-6-K-10 with Reiss flipping over A-K and Sternberg holding pocket 7s. Sternberg’s 7s were no match for Reiss’ full house and he would be eliminated in second place, giving Riess the first place win.