Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Riess’

Joe Hachem thinks “Poker is Dying” – Is He Right?

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Earlier this week, 2005 WSOP Main Event champ Joe Hachem discussed the current state of poker during the Aussie Millions. And what he had to say about poker wasn’t exactly glowing.

After reflecting on past WSOP Main Event winners, which included ripping on Jamie Gold and Jerry Yang for ruining the champions’ legacy, he expressed his opinion that “poker is dying.” The reason why he believes this? Because Hachem thinks that the game is no longer fun for amateurs, with “young geniuses” bumhunting all of the fish and not offering up any interesting conversation.

The Aussie also mentioned how there are less Antonio Esfandiari’s out there, or rather guys whom the fish love to play with, even when they’re losing money. He added that watching poker on television is “like watching paint dry” because of the lack of personalities today. Furthermore, poker TV shows no longer focus on a pro’s style, personality or what they’re like away from the table. He closed by saying that some of the young ME champs like Ryan Riess and Greg Merson need to think about all of this since they’re ambassadors to the game.

So is Hachem right about everything that he said? You can’t argue with the point that poker is full of bumhunters these days, who play seek and destroy with the fish. The game also features less dynamic grinders who make poker more enjoyable to watch on TV.

But on the other hand, nothing Hachem said is an original idea. He’s just another person to jump on the fact that poker has transitioned into a more strategy-focused, mathematical game, where you either pour hours into becoming great, or you lose your bankroll and dignity.

As for if poker is dying, well, global online numbers suggest that plenty of people are still interested in playing. And this should continue as new markets open up across the world. But the live realm is still a big part of poker, and if famous pros don’t start developing some personality and social skills at the table, it will eventually hamper online poker too.

Forbes tabs Jay Farber as 2013’s Chris Moneymaker

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

The poker world has yet to find another Chris Moneymaker, who inspired a boom after winning the 2003 WSOP Main Event. And while it doesn’t look like a Moneymaker replica is coming any time soon, Forbes thinks that Jay Farber could come pretty close.

Forbes recently documented Farber’s rise from a Las Vegas VIP host to the runner-up in the 2013 WSOP Main Event. They described how a man with just $2,155 in poker winnings prior to the Main Event worked his way into a position where he could collect a $5,174,357 payout.

Thanks to his big finish and VIP host job, Farber has now been able to rub elbows with some big-time pros and increase his status in the poker world. “I’m lucky to have a lot of support from a number of pro players,” he told Forbes. “My lifestyle and my job has allowed me to meet and become friends with a number of great players, and they’ve been coaching me and offering advice.”

Some of the pros whom Farber is talking about include Ben Lamb, Shaun Deeb, Keith Ferrer and Brent Roberts. And it’s likely that the 29-year-old will continue befriending poker pros along the way.

Now, as Forbers wonders, the big question will be whether or not Jay Farber ingrains himself in the poker world. If so, maybe he can become the amateur to poker star that Moneymaker did a decade ago.

Of course, it won’t be nearly to the degree that Moneymaker inspired, when millions of people took up the game after seeing him win the ME. But based on his interesting day job and new-found poker success, Jay Farber could definitely be an inspiration to new players who are just starting out.

Jay Farber could be First Amateur WSOP ME Winner since Yang

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

When the 2013 WSOP Main Event final table was formed back in July, one name really stood out above the rest: Jay Farber.

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.

J.C. Tran leading Pack going into 2013 WSOP ME Final Table

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

After the 2013 WSOP Main Event was trimmed down from 6,352 players to just 9 grinders, professional poker player J.C. Tran emerged from the smoke as the chip leader. The Vietnamese-American and 8 other professional poker players (listed below) will be competing on the 2013 WSOP Main Event final table on November 4th:

1. J.C. Tran – 38,000,000 chips
2. Amir Lehavot – 29,700,00
3. Marc McLaughlin – 26,525,000
4. Jay Farber – 25,975,000
5. Ryan Riess – 25,875,000
6. Sylvain Loosli – 19,600,000
7. Michiel Brummelhuis – 11,275,000
8. Mark Newhouse – 7,350,000
9. David Benefield – 6,375,000

J.C. Tran has already earned two WSOP bracelets throughout his illustrious career, including one in a 2008 WSOP $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event ($631,170) and one in a 2009 WSOP $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha tournament ($235,685). The 36-year-old has also made 5 WPT final tables including a victory at the 2007 World Poker Tour World Poker Challenge, where he bested a field of 475 players to capture the $683,473 first place prize.

J.C. Tran now has an impressive $9,041,483 in live earnings to his name, ranking him 24th on poker’s all-time money list. However, should Tran win the Main Event and the $8,359,531 first place prize, he would rise to number 7 on the list, just below Phil Ivey who’s earned $17,649,220.

The last couple of years may not have been great for J.C. Tran, but this year’s WSOP seems to have put an end to his dry spell. He earned six 2013 WSOP cashes and still has the prospect of capturing poker’s most prestigious prize.

Despite all of his poker success, Tran also spends much more of his time these days with his wife and children. He commented on the support his family has given him by stating, “It’s been really, really tough. My wife has been absolutely amazing. She’s pregnant at the moment so her body is exhausted. Plus we have a two year old so things can get pretty hectic.”

He continued glowing about his wife by saying, “She even wakes up to make me breakfast, prepare my coffee, drop me off, and meet me on dinner break. Right now she’s not feeling well but still trying to do things for me. I told her right now just rest and relax. Once this is over, it will be all family time for a long time. I might make one stop for that big $10 million guarantee (in Florida) but other than that I’m not going to Asia, not going to Europe, nothing. That will be it.”

The way it looks now, Tran is hoping to collect one more big tournament score before taking some time off to relax with his family. And based on the current chip stacks, he’s definitely going to get a nice payday!