Farber’s name didn’t stand out because of his WSOP gold bracelets or WPT titles – both of which he has none. Instead, the Las Vegas nightclub promoter was notable because he’s the biggest amateur at the 2013 ME final table.
Given this fact, few people expected Farber to have a serious shot at the Main Event title – let alone be one of the remaining two finalists. But alas, he’ll compete against another player whom few people gave a chance, Michigan State graduate Ryan Riess.
Following the elimination of bigger names like Amir Lehavot and JC Tran earlier, Farber and Riess will square off heads-up to decide who’ll earn the $8.36 million top prize. Farber currently holds the chip lead with 105,000,000, but Riess isn’t far off with 85,675,000. Given the fairly even chip counts, we can likely expect another marathon heads-up battle later today (Nov. 5th) at the Rio.
Both players have a large contingent of supporters on the rail, but one can’t help but pull for Farber in this scenario. After all, he’s looking to become the first amateur ME winner since Jerry Yang did it back in 2007. And assuming Farber can duplicate this amateur-to-WSOP-champ rise, it would make for a great story….a story which could inspire thousands of recreational players to take up the game.
Contrast this to Riess, who’s your typical college-to-online-poker-pro story. The 23-year-old, who found online poker during his MSU days, seems like a pretty cool guy. But on the other hand, young-internet-pro stories just don’t attract people to the game like amateur champions do.
This being said, it’ll certainly be fun to see if Farber can hold on to his chip lead and give the poker world another amateur champ. Make sure to catch the coverage today on ESPN2, which starts at 9:00 ET.