Clarkston's Ryan Riess wins fifth poker title, passes $12M in career winnings

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Clarkston's Ryan Riess recently won his fifth live poker championship.

Ryan Riess is still looking for his second World Series of Poker bracelet — the "validation" for his 2013 Main Event championship.

But Riess, the Clarkston native and Michigan State graduate, still is piling up victories in other circuits. Earlier this week, he won a $10,000 buy-in No Limit Hold'em tournament at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Fla.

It was his fifth live poker tournament championship, including the $8.3 million he won in the 2013 WSOP Main Event.

Riess noted this wasn't a "major" win, but a "side event" — a one-day turbo with a field of 91 players. Of course, the "side event" still paid out a $236,838 first prize, the sixth-largest payday of his professional career.

In other words, not too shabby.

"Haha, very true," Riess said in a text. "I'll take these side events all day."

Riess' live victories include the Main Event in 2013, a tournament in Hollywood, Fla., in 2015, another in Hollywood and one in Barcelona in 2017, and then this week's.

That brings his total career earnings to more than $12 million, second in state of Michigan history, behind 2009 Main Event champion Joe Cada of Shelby Township. Cada, with four WSOP bracelets including two this summer, has earned more than $13.5 million in live tournaments.

Cada now lives in Las Vegas full-time, but travels much of the year for poker, particularly in Europe, where his girlfriend is from.

While Riess, 28, still is searching for that coveted second WSOP bracelet, he did have a pretty successful season in Las Vegas this summer, with 14 cashes — including a 12th-place finish in a high-roller tournament that earned him $115,102.