Sometimes the final table at the World Series of Poker Main Event is dramatic and brings a stunning upset… this is not one of those times. After three days of leading the final table, 25-year-old Scott Blumstein has conquered one of the biggest hurdles in poker and won first place and a $8,150,000 prize.
“I’m still in shock,” Blumstein said after the tournament ended. “I thought I would get even more emotional that what I got in real time but it’s just the best feeling, I can’t even put it into words.”
To win, Blumstein had to come out on top of a 7,221 field – the largest since 2010 and the third largest of all time. He also had to overcome crowd favorite John Hesp, who fell in fourth place, and two final table veterans – Ben Lamb and Antoine Saout.
Going into the third day of the final table, Blumstein sat high above his competitors with 226,450,000 in chips – 62.8% of all the chips in play. He was followed up by Dan Ott in second place and Benjamin Pollak with the short stack.
After a big hit just two hours into the day, Pollak was left with just 15 big blinds, which he moved all in on a Q♣-10♦. He was called by both his competitors – Ott with the K♣-9♦ and Blumstein with an A♥-Q♠. The board gave Ott the win by pairing his king and Pollak hit the rain, taking home a $3,500,000 prize.
“In a few days, I’ll look back and say, ‘That was the Main Event. That was insane, just insane,” Pollak told Poker Central after his elimination.
When heads-up play began, the eventual winner had double his opponent’s chips and stayed well in the lead dispute one double up by Ott that helped keep the Pennsylvania player in the game.
In the end it came down to an A♦-8♦ (Ott) v. A♥-2♦. The initial raise came from Ott, who got in for 8 million before Blumstein moved all in and pulled his competitor’s 55.5 million chips in with him. The flop pulled a J♠-6♠-5♥ and the turn was a 7♥, giving Ott hope that the title could be his. The river came through for the eventual winner, however, and a pair of twos was all it took to make the poker newcomer $8 million richer.
“I mean, is there a better way to win the Main Event than hitting a three-outer on the river?” he said.
Blumstein is New Jerseyan who has only been competing in live tournaments since 2012. He rides the East Coast circuits and plays online to stay sharp, but compared to a big-name professionals, Blumstein is a rookie. He had five first-place tournament wins prior to this event, none of them paying out over $200,000, and had just $312,142 in live earnings.
A Temple University graduate, Blumstein admits he’s never had a “real job.” Instead, he fell in love with poker young and has been grinding ever since.
“You can’t really plan for something like this. I feel amazing, I can’t believe it’s real,” he said after making the final table, securing at least a $1 million payday.
Final table results:
Photo credit: Dan4th Nicholas (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]
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