To be honest, I have no idea who I would actually choose if I could have dinner with one person in history. Since I can’t decide, I wanted to pick someone who I thought 1. Would honestly be a good time to spend time with, and 2. Wasn’t overly cliche like I expect most answers to this question usually are; so I decided to go with Ryan Riess the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion.
Ryan Riess won the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main event last year at the age of 23, the first time he entered the event. I enjoy playing poker in my free time, and I watched the video of Ryan take down the final table last year. What stuck out to me, was in his pre-game interview before the final table, he confidently stated that he expected himself to win the event because he was the best player at the table (he also took some flak for claiming to be the best player in the world). I am always a fan of any competitors or athletes who are extremely confident if they are also able to back it up with results. I has always been my opinion that any sort of competition, be it cards or athletics, has a higher mental aspect to it than people give it credit for. As a track athlete (which I am) or a poker player, going into competitions with a high level of self confidence can have a huge impact on your own success and can even contribute to your competitors performing sub-optimally.
If I had met with Ryan I’d love to hear about his journey to becoming a professional poker player and winning the WSOP on his first try. I’d be interested to see how confident (or even cocky) of a person he is in real life, as compared to how he portrayed himself as a poker player, and if he felt like that helped lead to his success. And I’m sure we could get some games of heads-up in while we chatted.