The best players in the world compete for a chance to be crowned the WSOP Main Event winner each year, but most fall short on the bumpy and competitive path to the final table. Sometimes, it’s the little guys who are able to block out all the noise and focus on the $8.15 million prize. Scott Blumstein is one of those guys.
“I have no words,” Blumstein tweeted in the early hours of Wednesday morning. “The support from everyone means the world to me. 3 days of much needed rest and then back to work.”
Blumstein, a New Jerseyan who has only been competing in live tournaments since 2012, will return to his home state a millionaire after becoming one of the final nine players in this year’s main event. As a final table member, Blumstein will head to the poker floor Thursday night to battle it out for worldwide glory and a massive cash prize.
“Being here now and playing under the lights is so surreal,” he said.
Blumstein, 25, will sit in the second seat when play resumes, and he boasts the highest chip count of the final table. With 97,250,000 in chips, he is closely followed by hobbiest John Hesp. The pair are miles ahead of third-place chip leader Benjamin Pollak.
“A tournament is still a tournament, and tournaments are tough. But this is the Main Event, so that makes it special,” Blumstein said. “I just felt like I was ready to play the Main Event this year. It’s still sort of surreal to be here.”
He rides the East Coast circuits and plays online to stay sharp, but compared to a big-name professional Blumstein is a rookie. He has five first-place tournament wins, none of them paying out over $200,000, and has $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. “I have a great group of guys and we’re going to get to work and prepare for Thursday. This is one of the biggest moments of my life. And I’m super excited.”
Play resumes at 5:30 p.m. local time on Thursday, July 20th and will continue until six players remain. A winner will be crowned Saturday.
Photo credit: Dutch Boyd (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]
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