By Dianne R. Davis
Photos by Dianne R. Davis or Burt Davis unless otherwise noted
WSOP Has 2013 Champion – Another Young One
photo credit: JOE GIRON/WSOP
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) has a new champion and for the sixth year in a row he is under 25 . Ryan Riess,a 23 year old 2012 graduate of Michigan State, outlasted a field of 6,352 players who each ponied up $10,000 for the chance to win poker’s most prestigious tournament.
Late Tuesday night, November 5, at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Reiss bested 29 year old Jay Farber. Farber, an amateur poker player and VIP nighclub host went home with second place winnings of $5,174,357.
The event created a $59,714,169 total prize pool with Riess taking home the first place prize of $8,361,570 and the richest prize in all of sports, the $500,000 WSOP gold bracelet.
The 2013 Main Event began in July and and, as has been the custom in the past six years, play was suspended when the tournament reached its final table of nine participants. Play resumed Monday afternoon. After more than eight hours of competition, the field of nine remaining players was narrowed to two: Jay Farber, 29, of Las Vegas, an amateur poker player and VIP nightclub host and professional poker player and Ryan Riess, 23, of East Lansing, Michigan.
Heads-up play began Tuesday evening and lasted more than three hours before a new champion was crowned.
Rounding out the final table were:
3rd place: Amir Lehavot, 38, of Weston, Fla., $3,727,823
4th place: Sylvain Loosli, 26, of Toulon, France, $2,792,533
5th place: JC Tran, 36, of Sacramento, Calif., $2,106,893
6th place: Marc-Etienne McLaughlin, 25, of Brossard, Quebec, Canada, $1,601,024
7th place: Michiel Brummelhuis, 32, Amsterdam, Netherlands, $1,225,356
8th place: David Benefield, 27, of New York City, NY, $944,650
9th place: Mark Newhouse, 28, of Los Angeles, Calif., $733,224
A total of 648 players cashed in this year’s WSOP Main Event. Players from 83 different nations and ages ranging from 21 years old to 92 years old competed in the WSOP Main Event, including dozens of celebrities from the sports and entertainment world. But Riess was able to outlast all 6,351 of them, despite this being his first-ever attempt in this event.
Being a spectator at the final table was similar to attending an exciting sporting event. The electricity was high. Fans of the players at the final table packed the Penn and Teller room at the Rio. Cheers could be heard whenever a player made a favorable move.
The excitement grew on the final night as a number of fans of Riess and Farber were permitted on the stage to cheer their favorites on. Each group had custom tee shirts and a few were even in costume.
Watching the WSOP is one of those must do thing in Vegas even if you are not a poker player. The excitement is contagious. And it costs nothing except a little time in line to see it all in person and maybe meet some of your poker idols. Maybe one day I’ll enter one of the tournaments---just for the sake of journalism. Oh yea, and because I love the game.
Here are a few more scenes from the World Series of Poker and the fans.
And then there were the press:
See "Frank, Dean and Sammy, Live" at Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall
All weekend, November 8 through 10, Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall will celebrate members of the legendary of the Rat Pack – Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. – with live entertainment, food specials, contests, movies, music and gaming promotions.
Throughout the weekend, Sinatra, Martin and Davis’ most popular songs including “My Way,” “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head” and “The Candy Man” will play throughout the casino, while several of the trio’s hit movies and television specials are aired in Roxy’s, during scheduled times.
Guests who wear a tuxedo can dine for free at Firelight Buffet, which will feature some of Sinatra, Martin and Davis’s favorite food items, including pasta e fagioli, Salisbury steak, veal Milanese and tiramisu.
My friend and very talented performer Peter Pavone presents “Frank, Dean and Sammy, Live!” at Sam’s Town Live! November 8 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available from $15, plus tax and convenience fees. This guy is so good, grab the chance to see him.
A Rat Pack Karaoke Contest will be held in Roxy’s November 10 from 2-4 p.m. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top five contestants with the first place contestant receiving $1,000. Registration for the contest will take place from 1-2 p.m. See B Connected Club for complete rules and details.
For further information about Rat Pack Weekend, visit www.samstownlv.com.
Halloween in Las Vegas
In Las Vegas, we do it bigger and better. This year, we headed downtown to check out the party. Tourists and locals filled Fremont Street enjoying the sights of each other in costume and just taking in the vibe. Inside the casinos you could find Fred Flintstone playing blackjack or Cleopatra shooting Craps.
At the Tropicana we found our good friend and fabulous entertainer Skye Dee Miles had joined the fun by getting in costume herself.
Here are just a few of the characters I saw --
As always, the overhead show was appropriate to the occasion.