Scott Blumstein Wins 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event

Scott Blumstein Wins 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event
Scott Blumstein collected a 2 on the river to win the final hand.

2017 WSOP Main Event winner Scott Blumstein said “a normally inconsequential duece just changed my life”, after winning a heads-up showdown with Dan Ott. Blumstein collected a miracle river card on the 242nd hand of the final table to eliminate Ott from the world’s biggest annual poker event.

On the final hand, Scott Blumstein limped in on the button, then Dan Ott raised to 8,000,000. Blumstein moved all-in, placing Dan Ott’s 55.5 million remaining chips at risk. Dan Ott went into the tank for a minute, then made the all-in call.

2017 WSOP Main Event Final Hand

When the players revealed their hands, Dan Ott held ace-8 suited (diamonds), while Scott Blumstein held ace-2 offsuit. Thus, Dan Ott appeared to hold a commanding leads, as both held an ace, but Ott’s kicker was bigger.

The flop came jack-of-spades, six-of-spades, and 5-of-hearts, so Ott remained ahead. The turn was the 7-of-hearts, giving Dan Ott a straight draw, as well. None of it mattered, because the river was a miracle card: the 2-of-hearts to pair Scott Blumstein’s 2. Scott Blumstein collected the entire 360.575 million chips in the tournament, while Dan Ott busted.

The rail erupted as Scott Blumstein suddenly was the 2017 World Series of Poker winner.

Scott Blumstein Dominated the 2017 WSOP Final Table

The eventual 2017 WSOP Main Event champion was aggressive throughout the final table. He held a huge chip stack lead and none of his opponents ever seriously challenged his chip lead late in the event. At most points during the 246 hands, Blumstein held around 50% of the chips or more. After an amazing first and second day of the final table, Blumstein held two-thirds of the chips (or more) most of the time.

When the event turned into heads-up showdown, Scott Blumstein maintained command of the action. Though Blumstein was way behind in the championship hand and received a  nice bit of luck to win the hand, Scott Blumstein remained a decided favorite throughout most of the final table action in the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino’s television poker room. While others might have had brief moments of hope, the general sense was one of inevitability.

Calls Himself a “New Jersey Grinder”

After the tournament, Blumstein — a 25-year old resident of Morristown, New Jersey — joked about the improbable hand which eliminated his final opponent. He told the poker media, “Is there a better way to win the Main Event than hitting a three-outer on the river? A normally inconsequential duece just changed my life. I was mentally preparing for a 40-big blind poker, but the river was a deuce and the rest is history.”

Blumstein won $8.1 million and a perpetual fame as the 2017 WSOP Main Event winner. Despite that distinction, Blumstein sounds like he doesn’t plan on letting the big payday or the fame go to his head. Blumstein said, “I don’t have an ego in this game. I check my ego at the door. Two weeks ago, I was a New Jersey online grinder and nothing has really changed.”

In his post WSOP remarks, it sounded like Blumstein’s future poker tournament entries were going to be determined based either on proximity to his home in New Jersey, or when the event gave him a chance to travel and see the world. Blumstein said, “Having the money, am I going to play a little more live poker? Probably, but I’m probably going to choose where I go based on location and what works for me, as oppose to the buy-in of the tournament.”

Blumstein on His Post-WSOP Opportunities

As for the big payout, Scott Blumstein equated the $8 million-plus to economic freedom — like the tournament he just finished, Scott’s now free to make decisions with the big stack in life. Blumstein said, “Money doesn’t really motivate me. It doesn’t drive me. I didn’t want to win this thing for the $8 million, but with that being said, it’s nice to have some freedom now.”

“The goal was to get to a point where I can do whatever I want to do. And I think I’m going to have that opportunity now, whether it’s poker, business, [or] going back to school.”

“I have the freedom to do that now. That’s the American dreams in my eyes, and finding happiness is part of that. What a good way to get there.”

Scott Blumstein Poker Player Bio

Scott Blumstein is a New Jersey resident who began playing cards, like so many others, when he saw Chris Moneymaker win the 2003 WSOP Main Event. That means Scott Blumstein got interested in poker when he was 11-years old.

He attended Temple University in Philadelphia, where he graduated with an accounting degree four years ago. Instead of entering the business world, though, Scott Blumstein decided to pursue his love of poker.

Poker Career before 2017 WSOP

For the past four years, he’s been a poker grinder on the Internet. Scott Blumstein’s Twitter page is @SBlum2711. Blumstein’s big break came about a year ago, when he won a $560 no-limit hold’em tournament at the Borgata. The victory at Borgata gave Scott Blumstein $199,854 in winnings and validated his decision to become a poker professional. The $199,854 first prize represented about two-thirds of his career earnings, so he had collected about $100,000 in earnings career-wise before mid-2016.

He described the moral support his family gave him throughout his long slog to poker respectability. The Blumstein family’s gotten closer as Scott’s mother battled through cancer in the past year, while Scott’s parents have supported him while he took a few years post-college to pursue his dream of a poker careeer. He added, “My parents have been great. They have been super supportive of me.”

It was not always easy to believe in the dream. Before the Borgata victory came, Scott said, “My father spoke to me about, ‘Scott, I think it’s time to get a job,’ and this was about a year ago right now. A week later, I won a poker tournament for $200,000 at the Borgata. It seems like, every time someone told me to quit, something good happens to me. It’s a very interesting life I’m in and I’m just happy that I’m on top of the world.”

Wins on 1st WSOP Main Event Entry

This was Scott Blumstein’s first time to enter the WSOP Main Event. Before the WSOP Main Event’s final table began, he said, “I never really had a ‘real’ job. I started watching and playing poker when Moneymaker won. I was just a kid. I know that sounds a bit cliche.

“Being here now and playing under the lights is so surreal. Day 7 was the first day I was on a feature table. I had to get used to the lights and cameras, but I settled in quickly and just tried to focus on the poker. A tournament is just a tournament and at the end of the day, it’s all poker.”

Whatever happens from now on, people will always say “Scott Blumstein, 2017 WSOP Main Event winner”.

Dan Ott Interview after WSOP Elimination

Had Dan Ott won the final hand, he would have held 111 million chips to Scott Blumstein’s 259.575 million chips. Ott, a resident of Altoona, Pennsylvania, would have had an uphill climb, he would have been one big hand away from pulling even. Thus, he was a little dejected in his post-tournament interview, despite going home with $4.7 million in earnings.

The WSOP Main Event runner-up said in an interview moments after the WSOP Main Event completed, “I lost some big pots early, so my strategy was to keep playing my game….The cards didn’t go my way, but I got second place in the third-largest Main Event ever. I can’t complain about that.”

Entering heads-up play, Dan Ott held 128 million chips to Blumstein’s 232.575 milion stack. Thus, he was not dominated as heads-up play began. Blumstein controlled the action most of the way from Hand #182 to Hand #246, in which he was eliminated.

Dan Ott on WSOP Main Event Final Hand

He spoke of the WSOP Main Event heads-up play, saying, “I wasn’t getting any cards heads-up, if you see the broadcast you’ll see that. I tried with what I had, and I can’t complain at all.”

About winning $4.7 million, Dan Ott predicted he would be playing a lot of tournaments moving forward — especially in the World Series of Poker. Ott said, “I’ll definitely be able to play a lot more tournaments. I’m going to come back next year for sure.”

“It was an amazing experience. I’ll never pass this up again. Just keep playing, and try to win next time.”

Benjamin Pollak Eliminated in 3rd Place

Benjamin Pollak, a native of France, exited the tournament in 3rd place on Hand #181. Benjamin Pollak and Dan Ott each moved all-in on the hand, which Scott Blumstein called to place both his opponents’ chip stacks in jeopardy. Pollak had 35.2 million chips and Ott had 45.8 million chips on the line.

When the players revealed their hands, Benjamin Pollak held a Q-10 offsuit, Dan Ott a K-9 offsuit, and Scott Blumstein an A-Q offsuit. When the flop came K-diamond, Jack-spade, 3-diamond, Ott held the lead with a pair of kings, while Pollak had an open-ended straight draw. Blumstein had a gut-shot straight draw.

The turn was the 4-of-clubs and the river was the 6-of-spades, improving none of the hands. Dan Ott celebrates with his supporters on the rail, while Benjamin Pollak busted out in third place. He walked away with $3.5 million for his troubles.

Benjamin Pollak’s Controversial WSOP Main Event Remarks

Asked about the hand which ended his WSOP Main Event run, Benjamin Pollak said, “My shove was standard, I think, with my stadck of 15 big blinds. Dan is pretty short, too. They can fold a lot of hands here.

“I was suprised that Dan decided to shove king-nine offsuit. I though that was really bad, because at best he has 60% equity. Scott’s ace-queen, he has to call. Flop was amazing, as well — king-jack-three with 2 diamonds. The turn and river didn’t help, though.

“It should be an amazing heads-up, especially with Dan having chips now. Should be fun to watch.”

Dan Ott Replies to Benjamin Pollak’s Remarks

When asked about the hand in which Benjamin Pollak was eliminated (and made aware of Pollak’s remarks), Dan Ott said, “I started making a few light shoves. I thought it was an alright hand. It might have been a bit too loose, but I went for it and happened to win it.”

 

About Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller Steve came to his interest in poker later in life than some; a freelance writer who primarily covers the financial industry, Steve was drawn to online poker by the striking similarities shared between the markets and the games played at poker sites. Steve heads up content areas related to banking, security and currency as they relate to playing poker online.

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