Ryan Riess made a name for himself when he declared he was the best player in the world after scoring $8.3 million in the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event. Since then, he hadn’t had a score event close to the elusive main event title until last week when he topped 349 players and won over $700,000 at the World Poker Tour $10,000 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale.
The final table was only six people and included fellow November Niner Cliff Josephy. Alan Sternberg was in the lead in chip count and declared his dominance early when he eliminated Josephy first.
Tim West opened the deadly hand first, but bowed out when Josephy shoved all for almost $1.3 million. Sternberg called with pocket kings and no help came for Josephy’s A♤, J♧, so he was forced to settle for $130,370 in sixth place.
It wasn’t long before Jason Koon got into it against Terry Schumacher on an A♢, J♡, 4♧, 7♡, 8♡ board. Schumacher went in with an A♡, 6♧ and while Koon held on for the chance of a straight (he held a Q♡, 10♢), he grabbed $157,599 for fifth place instead.
West had been limping along in the short stack position for much of the final table, and the end came when Riess managed to turn an A, 10 into a straight against West’s two pair (kings and jacks). Schumacher had put up a good fight throughout the table but wasn’t going to live to see heads-up play. Sternberg raised pre-flop and both remaining players called. The instigator eventually backed out but Schumacher stayed with an J♡, 7♡ that just couldn’t measure up to Riess’ pair of nines, and he went home in third place for just over $300K.
Sternberg held the lead going into two-handed play, but not by much. It took 117 hands for a winner to be decided, but it all came down to an A♡, K♡ (Riess) and 7♤, 7♢. After a king on the flop, it was locked up without a river and the one-time great managed to get another title under his belt.
Final table results:
Photo credit: World Poker Tour
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