Blumstein Claims $8.1 Million for Winning the 2017 WSOP Main Event
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the most prestigious poker contest of the year. Hosted at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, this glittering poker spectacle pits the sharpest players against one another in a battle royale for dominance of poker’s highest crown. The WSOP Main Event is the crowning achievement of the poker realm, and victory is rewarded with a multi-million-dollar payday, and a diamond encrusted poker bracelet.
For 2017, it was none other than New Jersey’s very own Scott Blumstein in seat #2 who claimed the spoils of victory. Blumstein has been winning at professional level since 8 August 2012 when he came second place in the 2012 Empire State Poker Championship, Verona for a $3,817 payday. Barely 5 years later, he became the undisputed King of Poker.
The Hendon Mob rates Scott Blumstein of Morristown New Jersey as #5 on the money lists for all-time winners from New Jersey, #49 on the US all-time money list, #78 on the all-time money list, and #427 on the global poker index ranking. Scott Blumstein’s best live cash performance was the $8,150,000 pay packet he earned for winning the Main Event of the WSOP, and his total live earnings are $8,474,488.
His biggest payday was notched up with the $10,000 NL Holdem Main Event Championship Event #73 when he was placed 1st in the 48th World Series of Poker 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Since his spectacular victory, Blumstein has competed in multiple events, and placed in 3, including the following:
- September 17, 2017 – $3,300 +200 NLH World Poker Tour Borgata Main Event #15 – 52nd placing for a prize of $10,508
- October 3, 2017 – $1,100 NLH knockout bounty event #20 – 9th Place for a payday of $1,838
- October 25, 2017 – $50,000 Poker Night in America – King of the Hill 3 for a 3rd place finish in Philadelphia
How Did New Jersey’s Favorite Son Win the WSOP?
The WSOP is arguably the most anticipated poker contest on the annual calendar. There are 72 poker events leading up to the $10,000 buy-in of the Main Event. Scott Blumstein skipped all of them. It’s amazing that this poker ace was content with missing out on the live action – opting instead to improve his health and his mental game. Blumstein went straight into the Main Event, all guns blazing. He practiced online poker games ad nauseam, while in New Jersey – one of the 4 US states sanctioning online poker games. After perfecting his game with online poker play, he readied for his Las Vegas adventure with nothing but winning in his sites.
Many folks may have thought that Scott was bluffing when he said he was just going to win the WSOP – but they called it wrong. The WSOP is one of the most hard-fought poker contests in the world, besting the WPT (World Poker Tour), the ANZPT, WSOPE and other illustrious contests. Blumstein went head-to-head against Dan Ott in a spectacular showdown. After the tournament ended, Blumstein was shell-shocked. When asked how he felt, he was quoted as saying ‘… I can’t even put it into words.’
Grinding it Out
It was a pure war of attrition between Blumstein and Ott. The two sparred from card to card, round to round, and hand-to-hand. It was a bloodbath. He had a 2:1 lead over his opponent, and ground him into the dirt by continually cranking up the pressure and winning lots of small pots. Throughout the contest, Ott and Blumstein went at it, trying to best one another’s hands. The two went into the final hand with the following cards: Blumstein – Ace of Hearts and 2 of diamonds, while Ott had an Ace of diamonds and an 8 of diamonds.
The Flop turned out to be 7 of hearts, 5 of hearts, 6 of spades, and Jack of spades. However, the River card saved Blumstein with a 2 of hearts. That is how the 2017 WSOP Main Event was locked up for Scott Blumstein. Players on the rail erupted in spontaneous cheer for Blumstein, and it was none other than a lowly deuce that changed the course of history for Blumstein. For Dan Ott, second place came with big rewards – $4.7 million in prize money. The 2017 WSOP was the third biggest Main Event contest in history, and both players walked away multimillionaires.
The Top 5 finishers in the 2017 WSOP included the following:
- Scott Blumstein – $8,150,000
- Dan Ott – $4.7 million
- Benjamin Pollack – $3.5 million
- John Hesp – $2.6 million
- Antoine Saout – $2 million
Of the top 9 finishers, 4 were from the US, 2 from the United Kingdom, 2 from France, and 1 from Argentina.
What is Blumstein’s pedigree?
Scott Blumstein graduated from Temple University with an accounting degree, and started playing poker at the age of 21. He burst onto the scene in spectacular fashion, achieving widespread popularity along the East Coast. While little was known about him out in Nevada and the West Coast, he stamped his authority on the game of poker with his compelling win. He was inspired by none other than Chris Moneymaker – the poker player who won his seat to the WSOP Main Event through satellite games online. One word that Blumstein repeatedly throws around when describing the feeling of winning such a major event is surreal. Blumstein alludes to the mental toughness required to win poker tournaments, especially the Main Event.
By the end of day 7 leading into the Main Event, Blumstein shot up to 97,250,000 chips, well ahead of John Hesp on 85,700,000, and Benjamin Pollack on 35,175,000 chips. While victory came 6 months ago, Blumstein still reflects on that special day. At the time of his win, he was the youngest seated player at the table, and it was his first Main Event entry ever. Back in 2016, he had cashed handsomely with a $200,000 payday at the Borgata Summer Poker Open. At the time, he was considering hanging up his poker gloves in pursuit of a different career. He has cashed in 2 tournaments since his prestigious win at the WSOP Main Event, but he remains undecided about his future. For now, Blumstein is planning ahead. He feels that he has defeated the game of poker, and while there are many other high-stakes tournaments for him to compete in, he’s not sure that this is what he wants to do.
He went up against the best of the best, and walked away a winner. He acknowledges that there are many highly talented poker professionals – young up and coming prodigies in the game. Scott is uncertain whether it will be worthwhile going head-to-head against them, since he has nothing to prove. Besides online poker play in New Jersey – which he loves – the only new objective he would have would be in the live poker arena. He may even consider shifting his focus elsewhere now that he is at the top of his game.
From Atlantic City to Las Vegas: The Story of a Poker King
Blumstein is cautious about cash games, and routinely harkens back to Peter Eastgate who lost big money in this variant of poker. Blumstein has no goals to compete in high-stakes poker tournaments. He readily admits that poker is a highly challenging game, and the $10,000 buy-in for the Main Event of the WSOP was exactly what he was prepared to do. As yet, Scott has not been lured into playing high-stakes cash poker games. He has shown little if any interest in such activity, because he doesn’t want to land up in trouble.
He protects his bankroll at all costs – something that the best poker players learn from the get-go. He has adopted a new approach to life and poker, and intends to help other people understand the nature of poker, betting strategies, and intelligent decision-making. Of all the characters at the final table, Blumstein pays special tribute to John Hesp. The November 9 who competed in the WSOP made it an exciting and entertaining spectacle for fans on the rail, players in the middle, and TV audiences worldwide. At the end of the day, Scott Blumstein fondly recalls the one tournament that put them on the road to victory: the Atlantic City win at the Borgata Tournament. That was the catalyst that ultimately got Scott Blumstein to Las Vegas Nevada, and the title of King of the Poker Hill.