On the penultimate day for the World Series of Poker, the November Nine festivities officially resumed at the Penn & Teller Theater at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The action on November 4 took the original nine players and thinned the field to only two. The results from that action were as follows:
3rd place: Amir Lehavot ($3,727,823)
4th place: Sylvain Loosli ($2,792,533)
5th place: JC Tran ($2,106,893)
6th place: Marc-Etienne McLaughlin ($1,601,024)
7th place: Michiel Brummelhuis ($1,255,356)
8th place: David Benefield ($944,650)
9th place: Mark Newhouse ($733,224)
The two remaining players started the heads-up battle on November 5 at 6:00pm PST with these chip counts:
Jay Farber (105,000,000)
Ryan Riess (85,675,000)
Farber, an amateur who has never cashed in a WSOP prior to this main event, and Riess, an up-and-coming circuit pro, were playing for a top prize of just over $8.3 million with the runner-up “settling” for a little more than $5.2 million.
The first hand of the night was the 172nd of the final table and went to Riess with a raise-and-take-it move from the button. Two hands later, he opened with another raise and called when Farber reraised. When the flop came Ks-Qd-8c, Farber bet, and Riess raised, which prompted Farber to fold. Riess quickly brought his chip count to 93,725,000 and narrowed the reach to Farber, who then had 96,950,000.
The two then proceeded to go back and forth, as Farber would retake a more substantial lead but Riess would then catch up. On the 191st hand, however, the two saw a raised flop of Ac-8h-4d, which prompted Riess to bet and Farber to call. The 7d on the turn brought a bet from Farber, and Riess check-called. The As on the river brought a 15 million chip bet from Riess, and Farber folded. That put Riess in the lead.
However, four hands later, another big pot was built after a raised flop of 3s-3h-7c and raised turn of 2c. Riess bet again, and Farber check-raised, and Riess eventually called. The 9s on the river prompted a 24.5 million chip bet, and Riess folded. Farber took the lead back.
After the 200th hand, though, Riess was back in front with 102,125,000 to the 88,550,000 of Farber.
Riess then got involved with Farber in a pot that started with a raise, reraise, and yet another reraise to 8.8 million. The flop of 8d-4s-3c was checked by Riess, but Farber bet 6.7 million that Riess called. The 2h brought the same moves, and the 7s brought two checks, at which point Riess showed pocket jacks for 58.5 million chips. With that pot Riess rose to 130,025,000 chips, compared to the 60,650,000 of Farber.
A few hands later, Riess extended his lead with another big hand to a solid stack of more than 141 million chips.
On the 214th hand, Farber raised, and Riess called for a Ts-9d-7c flop. Farber bet, and Riess check-raised. Farber made it 14.2 million to go, and Riess popped it to made it 26 million. Farber then shoved for more than 41 million with Tc-8c, and Riess called with Td-8s. The Ad and 6c finished the hand, and the two players chopped the pot.
By the end of the 225th hand, Riess increased his lead even more, nearing the 170 million mark, while Farber sunk close to 20 million.
Four hands later, the pair saw a Kc-5h-Qs flop, and Riess bet out. Farber check-raised all-in with Jc-Ts, and Riess called right away with Ks-Th. With all of Farber’s chips in the pot, Riess was a 67% favorite in the hand and for the WSOP Main Event title. However, a 9h on the turn gave Farber the straight he sought, and the Qc on the river gave Farber the double-up to 36.9 million chips.
Farber then went on a roll and won a few pots to climb over 60 million but lost most of it rather quickly. On the 254th hand, it seemed that Riess had all of the momentum. After the two saw a raised flop of Ad-Tc-5s, Farber bet, and Riess check-called. The 2d on the turn brought the same action, but the 2c on the river prompted two checks, at which point Riess showed Td-9d, and Farber mucked to fall to 26.8 million in chips.
Ten hands later, Farber started shoving all-in with the short stack regularly. On the 261st hand of final table play, Riess called the 14 million chip shove from Farber, who showed Qs-5s. Riess showed Ah-Kh and a dominating 65-35% equity advantage pre-flop. The board produced Jd-Td-4c-3c-4d, eliminating Farber in second place and giving Riess the historic win and the title of WSOP Main Event champion.
1st place: Ryan Riess ($8,361,570)
2nd place: Jay Farber ($5,174,357)
Just before play began, Riess tweeted, “This is going to be the best day of my li-ife” and that certainly turned out to be true.