Poker’s newest champion is 25-year-old Scott Blumstein. The Morristown, New Jersey native steamrolled the final table of the 2017 World Series of Poker main event to secure his first career bracelet and the $8.15 million first-place prize.
Blumstein, who was the youngest player at the final table, was playing in his very first main event. In fact, he had only recorded a few WSOP cashes prior to his win. Blumstein’s largest score before Saturday’s finale came in July of 2016, when he took down a $560 buy-in event at the Borgata Summer Poker Open for $199,854.
Although he came into the final table with the chip lead, it was a massive cooler with fellow big stack John Hesp on the first night of the final table that gave Blumstein a chip lead he would never give up. From there, it was just a matter of applying pressure to the short stacks as they looked to ladder up the payout list.
Blumstein graduated from Temple University with a degree in accounting four years ago, but chose to play poker professionally instead. The move obviously paid off.
“I’m still in shock,” Blumstein told the media after the win. “This is just the best feeling, I can’t even put it into words.”
Saturday’s play started with three-handed action and Blumstein holding nearly two-thirds of the total chips in play. Daniel Ott scored a double up from Benjamin Pollak in a classic coinflip situation. When Ott doubled through him again, Pollak was left as the short stack three-handed.
Then came the hand that many thought would end the tournament. Pollak shoved all-in from the button and Ott moved all-in behind him from the small blind for slightly more. Blumstein, who was sporting a massive chip lead, looked down at AQ and made the call, putting both of his opponents at risk.
Pollak held Q10, Ott held K9 and both caught a piece of the KJ3 flop. A ten would have won the tournament for Blumstein, but the 46 on the turn and river let Ott survive while busting Pollak in third place, earning $3.5 million.
After doubling up a couple of times, Ott still faced an uphill climb with a 5:1 chip disadvantage. Things were looking up, however, when he got it in with A8 against the A2 of Blumstein.
The flop fell J65 and Ott remained in the lead. The turn was the 7, making Ott a 93-percent favorite to double up and start a brand new heads-up match with some momentum.
Instead, the 2 on the river sent shock waves through the crowd piled into the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino convention center, sending Ott to the rail and giving Blumstein the title.
“Is there a better way to win a main event than hitting a three-outer on the river? A normally inconsequential deuce just changes my life,” Blumstein said. “I wish I could say that I was thinking it was coming the whole time, but I was mentally preparing for 40-big blind poker. And somehow… the river was a deuce, and the rest is history.”
Here’s a look at the final table results.
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For more coverage from the summer series, visit the 2017 WSOP landing page complete with a full schedule, news, player interviews and event recaps.