Riess – The Best or Most Confident? Famous Players Reply

debate on chalk board

He said he is the best player in the world. He has almost mimicked Phil Hellmuth’s start to his climb to the top of the poker world, winning the WSOP main event at a similar age and most markedly in a similar time span from entering the live pro tournament scene as Hellmuth. However, is Reiss just over-confident or is there substance to his story? $8,361,570 and a main event bracelet can certainly do wonders for your confidence that’s for sure.

After Kara Scott spoke of Reiss’s certainty in the post tournament interview, the reply that rocked the poker world was that he said he believes he is the best poker player in the world. Some would argue that a WSOP bracelet doesn’t make you the best player in the world. However, it is the confidence factor that seems to make him a winner, and he did just cash in the WPT recently following his WSOP win!

PokerStarsBlog asked some of PokerStars Team Pros. Jonathan Duhamel was asked as a former WSOP champ about Riess’s comments. In Riess’s defence Duhamel said “It’s easy to see Riess was just living the moment; when you win the biggest tournament in the world, it’s tough to contain your emotions. While I’m sure Riess might regret having said that, you have to believe in yourself and in the way you are playing. It is key for winning,”

It is true that his confidence really did drive him to that final table and into that multi-million dollar cash win. One just has to look at the success of Daniel Negreanu, Johnny Chan, Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey and others in a similar category. None of them lack confidence in the slightest. When Dwan first hit the scene and beat Hellmuth in a heads-up live tournament showdown, Dwan said to Hellmuth “Anytime, anywhere, any stake”. Dwan is now one of the best live and online players out there!

Daniel Negreanu said confidence doesn’t give you aces, but it does give you the heart to pull off those match winning bluff raises to get you there. Vanessa Selbst follows this attitude saying “Playing with the wind at your back is so much easier”. Selbst went on to mention that Reiss did have a very good run of cards, but it was his confidence in the heads-up play that gave him the guts to bluff forcing his opponent to make big lay downs. Those bluffs were crucial contributors to his win and they required self-confidence to get there. He also threw away A-Q when David Benefield bet big. Those folds also take confidence too. That is confidence in the read you have on your opponent’s game.

Jason Mercier has said that self-belief is one key component to bringing yourself to victory. That’s certainly something we should listen to as Mercier has over $10 million in his tournament bank!

British player and Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree is no stranger to winning big tournaments. She said that confidence is great for your table image and simply makes you a better player. Conviction in your personality can trigger the way your opponents perceive you subconsciously and they may not feel they can beat or bluff you giving you the upper hand. As for Liz’s good friend and fellow Team PokerStars Pro “ElkY”, he said that Riess was the best player at the table.

It seems there is plenty of support out there, not for Riess’s comments, but for the fact that he has confidence and self-belief. We can conclude by daring to say maybe he could become the best player in the world, but whether he is the best player remains to be seen. Check out Phil Hellmuth’s start to his career and then check out Riess’s.

There could be a story that checks out with Riess’s comments, although the ‘Poker Brat’ will argue he is the best player in the world, maybe he’s the best person to ask if he thinks the 23 year old has what he had.

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