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World Series of Poker Champ Ryan Riess Makes Insane Call with 10-High

When Ryan Riess won the 2013 WSOP Main Event for $8.3 million, he immediately made a claim that raised the eyebrows of a large number of poker pros.

Riess said that he believed he was the best poker player in the world.

That’s a difficult claim for any poker player to live up to — let alone one who had only been posting tournament results for a couple of years.

Regardless, Riess has had a very successful poker career with an extra $6.1 million in earnings since winning the Main Event in 2013. It’s still probably a reach to say that qualifies as “best player in the world” status.

Over the weekend, however, Riess made a play at the EPT Monte Carlo final table that would definitely be in the toolbox of the best poker player in the world.

We’re talking about Riess calling off his entire stack with a paltry 10-2 with hundreds of thousands of euros on the line. Spoiler alert: It was the correct play.

The SetUp

It’s the final day of the prestigious 2019 European Poker Tour Monte Carlo €5,300 buy-in Main Event.

A total of 922 players entered the competition but we’re down to just five players remaining with a €827,700 first-place prize still up for grabs.

The five players remaining include 2013 WSOP Main Event champ Ryan Riess as well as German MTT crusher Manig Loeser.

It’s been a roller-coaster of a day for Riess, who started as one of the middle stacks but was crippled early and spent much of the day on life-support on the short stack.

It’s difficult to play quality poker when you’re constantly under duress as the short stack but it turned out Riess had one more surprise up his sleeve.

The blinds are 100,000/200,000 with a 200,000 big-blind ante.

The Action

Manig Loeser is starting to pull away from the pack with a final table-leading 9.8 million chip stack.

Meanwhile, Riess is trending the other way with just 1.3 million. To make matters worse for him, he’s on the big blind for 200,000 and he’s also forced to pay the big-blind ante for another 200,000. That means he’s already contributed 400,000 to the pot without even seeing his cards.

Action folds around to Loeser, who is in the small blind, and he decides to complete his small blind for an extra 100,000 with a modest 6s-2h.

Meanwhile, Riess has a modest hand of his own with Ts-2c and he decides to check his big blind option. That brings a flop of Jd-9d-8c, which gives Riess a few more outs to the straight but ultimately both players decide to check.

The turn brings another jack and Loeser thinks for a minute before checking. Riess instantly checks again.

The board finishes with the 9h. Loeser reaches for chips and decides to put Riess to the test for his entire 980,000 stack by going all-in.

Riess frowns but doesn’t fold. Instead he goes into the tank contemplating his course of action. If Riess calls and his opponent has at least queen-high or better, then he’s out of the tournament.

Eventually Riess decides to put it all on the line and make an incredible call with 10-high.

Loeser shrugs and says, “Nice hand.” Riess rakes in the pot and lives to see another day.


It’s a crazy call by Riess considering how much was on the line but there were a couple of things that likely contributed to “The Beast” making the unorthodox play.

First off, you can remove a large number of hands from Loeser’s range because he would have just shoved all-in pre-flop. We’re talking about any A-x, K-x or Q-x. Probably most pairs too.

You can probably eliminate him having a nine or an eight because he would have bet the flop or the turn.

So what does that leave us with?

As the commentators noted, there’s a small chance that Loeser could be trapping with a J-x but Riess doesn’t seem to buy it. Loeser could perhaps have a 10 but that’s slightly less likely because Riess has one of them.

Instead it seems most likely that Loeser has some small unconnected hand and was running a bluff.

Riess also started the hand with just six big blinds and four after paying the big blind and the big-blind ante. He was somewhat pot-committed before he even saw the flop.

Still it’s very impressive calling off your entire stack with just 10-high and there are a lot of players who wouldn’t be able to make that call.

Manig Loeser Gets Last Laugh

Of course, that was just one play of a much larger tournament. A tournament that Manig Loeser won, by the way.

Riess did survive another pay jump, however, as Nicola Grieco was eliminated in fifth place. Riess finished in fourth place, his Q-3 lost to Wei Huang’s J-6. Riess received €265,620 for his efforts in the contest.

Unfortunately for Riess the remaining three players cut a deal that balanced the prize pool (it was a marathon final table that lasted 10-plus hours). Riess just missed out on the deal.

Loeser went on to defeat China’s Wei Huang heads-up to win the tournament at 3 a.m. local time for a haul of €603,777.