Ryan Riess
Ryan Riess is not only the 2013 World Champion, but in the hunt for this year's gold - can he survive our '15 Bigs'?

From the hopeful amateur to the World Series of Poker Main Event winner, every tournament poker player knows what it’s like to grind a short stack. Down to 15 big blinds, whoever they are will be looking to bounce back into the game and today’s 15 Bigs participant is no different. In fact, he’s come back from a short stack to win the biggest prize of all.


Our latest subject also fits into the category of being a former world champion, with 2013 WSOP Main Event winner Ryan Riess today’s star facing 15 tricky questions. Can the Michigan pro outrun us, or will we be called ‘The Beast’? You decide.


You’re on a long-haul flight and can only choose one TV Show or Movie to watch on repeat, which is your pick?




We’re fans of good food, but this may be too high-brow even for us. Riess the Beast is clearly a gourmet.


Mike Sexton
Riess would like to read the late Mike Sexton’s autobiography.

If you were stranded on a desert island with one book for company, what would it be?


I’m not a big book reader so I’ll go with a book I own but haven’t read yet from the late great Mike Sexton, the 2016 autobiography Life’s a Gamble.


What’s the song you could listen to on repeat forever?

The 2013 WSOP world champion loves nothing more than to ‘lose himself’ in Eminem’s music.

Lose Yourself by Eminem.


What’s your favourite place to play poker and why?


Wherever the World Series of Poker is. There is nothing better.



Ryan is clearly advocating that, having survived Day 2abc with a massive 275,000 chips. Could he win it again? Take a look at our WSOP Main Event Day 2abc recap.


If you were to be shot at dawn, what would be your last meal and drink?


Yellow curry with chicken, potatoes and rice and a Captain and Coke.


Where’s your favourite non-poker holiday destination?


I don’t take many non-poker vacations, but I’ll go with Amsterdam.

Riess would love a non-poker vacation to Amsterdam.


You can play poker every day for a year or play no poker for a whole 12 months – which do you choose? 


I love poker but I’ll take the year off to spend extra time with the family!


Who is the person you don’t have around anymore that you miss the most?


My grandparents.


Which person would you most like to meet but never have?

Michael Jordan
Riess has never met basketball and movie legend Michael Jordan. Surely someone can setup an assist?


Michael Jordan.


When’s the last time life put you on tilt?


Can’t remember to be honest. I don’t really go on tilt.


If you couldn’t play the WSOP Main Event next year, which family member would you put into the action in your place? 


I’ll go with my brother, Bob.


Bob the Beast? We’re backing him to make it a family double with the potential for a viral nickname like that! 


What’s your best poker skill?


Very good instincts.


And your biggest leak?


I don’t always trust those instincts.


If you could make one rule change to poker, what would it be?


Abolish 10-handed poker.


You have just ten seconds with the person of your dreams… what do you say? 


That’s my wife. I would just tell her I love her.


His nickname might be ‘the Beast’, but clearly underneath that ruthless five-betting exterior beats the heart of a family man and a romantic at heart.


Could we yet see Ryan Riess back under the lights at the WSOP Main Event final table? Of all the modern players who might win it twice, he could be a great bet.


Official photographs courtesy of PokerGO, the home of live-streamed action throughout the 2022 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.