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WSOP 2013 - Main Event Winner
"Shuffle up ... and deal!"

Yin and yang

It would have been hard to pick two November Niners who were more vividly different. Aggressive play vs. passive play, tall and skinny vs. short and muscular, brashness vs. humility, white jersey vs. black t-shirt, pro vs. amateur, and ultimately, winner vs. loser. Ryan "The Beast" Riess and Jay "The Panda" Farber duked it out for the $3 million and change separating the 1st and 2nd place payouts.

Play-by-play, color, and analysis: Lon McEachern, Norman Chad, and Antonio Esfandiari

Tom McEvoy and Scotty Nguyen are this year's Poker Hall of Fame inductees, baby.

Ryan Riess, Jay Farber, and WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel

Up and down

Jay Farber entered heads-up play with a small chip lead, and at times increased his lead over Ryan Riess. But as the game wore on, Farber seemed to fall into a pattern of steadily losing chips until he was forced to try to double up. He did double up several times, but that's not how you win tournaments.

Farber seemed to be sticking to a fixed strategy, and evidently couldn't adapt his playing style as the situation changed. He stayed in middle gear and tried to grind it out, with the occasional big bluff or double-up when he got low in chips and was dealt a reasonable hand. And to his credit, we didn't spot any obvious tells or Hollywooding. But in the end, his inexperience cost him the win.

A little more orange and The Panda's rail could pass for SF Giants fans.

Pick a spot

On the other side of the felt, Ryan Riess attacked, defended, bluffed, and mixed up his game enough to keep Farber off-balance. It might sound unfair to Farber, but we're sure that Riess would have picked him out of all the other November Niners to play for the win. Riess was able to come back after taking some big hits, then use his chip stack as leverage against Farber. Just like you're supposed to do in heads-up play.

Riess sweats the final hand

The moment of victory. Riess is somwhere in that pile.


Riess hugs his dad

This year's Main Event champion hoists his new bracelet for the first time

The money shot

Short and sweet

It took only 91 hands over about 4 hours for Riess to defeat Farber in heads-up play, which was a relief after last year's 12 hour final day marathon. This year, both players played fairly quickly, and, quite frankly, Riess' skill level is much higher than Farber's. It would have taken some massive coolers for Farber to have beaten Riess, and that just didn't happen.

No, it was definitely not the most exciting WSOP Main Event final table. But it will certainly help to enhance the "anybody can win" aura of the event. An amateur outlasted 6,530 other hopefuls, played all the way down to heads-up, and won $5.2 million dollars for his efforts. Farber didn't win the event, but he did win life-changing money. An appropriate result on the 10th anniversary of Chris Moneymaker's Main Event win. We can't wait to see more next year.

Please visit these official World Series of Poker pages for all 2013 World Series of Poker results:

2013 Main Event summaryWSOP 2013 Main Event results page
The Oficial 2013 WSOP pageThe Official 2013 WSOP page

Next: Big One for One Drop 2014...

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