Eight poker pros and one amateur poker player will be taking part in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, which promises a large pot of $8.4 million to the champion.

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One of the nine finalists is Ryan Riess, a 23-year-old graduate of Michigan State University (MSU). A resident of Waterford Township, Riess was one of the 6,352 poker players who bought into the WSOP Main Event for $10,000 with the intention of winning the championship title, the prestigious WSOP bracelet, and millions of dollars.

The final table action, which will begin at 8:00 p.m. on Monday at the Las Vegas based Rio Hotel and Casino, will be televised on ESPN2. The channel will start covering the event live from 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday after six of the finalists have been eliminated from the table. According to the payout table published at WSOP’s official website, Riess will take home as much as $733,224 if he finishes ninth. If Riess intends to win more, he just has to stay in the game as long as possible.

Last year, Riess used to work part-time at a charity poker room in Hannah Plaza, close to MSU, where he was studying. In October 2012, he took part in a poker tournament held by the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond and won $239,063.

He got his degree from MSU in December 2012 and spent his poker winnings on a new car and buy-ins to poker tournaments all over the US before visiting Las Vegas in the summer to take part in the WSOP.

Ever since he became one of the November Nine, Riess has been busy taking part in poker tournaments all over Europe. Those who visit his Facebook page will find it literally overflowing with best wishes from friends and family members. Some of them will also accompany him to Las Vegas in order to cheer him.

It is guaranteed that seven of the November Nine will go home as millionaires at the end of the WSOP Main Event, an NL Texas Hold’em game. As previously mentioned, the Main Event began in July with a field of 6,352 players, which boiled down to nine players who will play for the pot at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino.

On the evening of Monday, the November Nine will wear their sunglasses and hoodies and play for the pot in the midst of ESPN’s red and blue lights.