TV SCHEDULE: Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 9 p.m. on ESPN.
The 2013 World Series of Poker is down to the final two.
Ryan Riess and Jay Farber will face off Tuesday night in Las Vegas for a nearly $8.4 million payday. The pair beat out a field of over 6,000 entrants in no-limit Texas Hold ‘em in July and held off seven finalists late Monday night to reach the finals.
Both players were considered underdogs heading into the last table.
Riess, a 23-year-old graduate of Michigan State University, has never won a WSOP bracelet and finished a career best second-place at the Horseshoe Hammond last October.
The East Lansing, Mich., native attributed his success Monday to lucky cards.
“Everything played pretty standard. No one had a huge blow-up and bluffed off their whole stack. Everyone was playing really solid and the cards ran my way today,” he said (via Associated Press.)
Farber, a Las Vegas club promoter, considers poker a hobby but has the benefit of being friends with some of the world’s best poker players.
After Farber made the final table in July, his friends coached him through footage of world series past, and helped him game out some of the moves he’d use on Monday, according to Jesse Sylvia, who finished second at the final table in 2012.
Farber will start with a chip lead of 105 million compared to Riess’ 86 million Tuesday night.