WSOP Rookie Scott Blumstein wins the third largest Main Event in history

WSOP Rookie Scott Blumstein wins the third largest Main Event in history

World Series of Poker rookie, Scott Blumstein, wins the third largest Main Event in history after beating fellow rookie, Dan Ott, in heads-up action after a commanding performance.

There was a moment during the masochistic madness of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event that I came close to writing to PokerNews to politely point out an error in the chip counts – they kept calling Scott Baumstein, Scott Blumstein. It’s not a mistake I will repeat, and for a good reason.

Scott Blumstein, the WSOP rookie, from Morristown, New Jersey, is the 48th WSOP Main Event winner, and proud owner of $8,150,000, at least until the tax man gets a hold of it.

The 25-year-old, who fell in love with poker after watching Chris Moneymaker win the 2003 Main Event, was competing in the Main Event for the first time.

Blumstein defeated Dan Ott in heads-up action, himself a 26-year-old competing in tWSOP Rookie Scott Blumstein wins the third largest Main Event in historyhe WSOP Main Event for the first time. I mean, come on, where do the pair go from here?

Here is a recap of the final three days.

Blumstein With a Healthy Lead at The End of Day 7

It’s worth remembering that the 2017 WSOP Main Event was a monster. 7,221 entrants created a skull breaking block of bricks worth $67,877,400 – the third highest prize pool in the history of the game – with the winner walking away with $8,150,000. By the end of Day 7, we had a final table, and for the first time since 2007, poker fans wouldn’t have to wait until November to reach a climax.

It was a class cast of characters.

Blumstein, Ott, and Jack Sinclair were the live table rookies.

Antoine Saout and Ben Lamb were making their second appearance at the final table.

Lamb and Bryan Piccioli were former bracelet winners.

Damian Salas was a two-time Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) Main Event winner.

Ben Pollak was a former France Global Poker Index (GPI) #1, and regular high stakes MTT player in Europe.

John Hesp was a 64-year-old caravan salesman from the North of England, who entered the WSOP Main Event to cross an item off his bucket list, after competing in £10 rebuy events in his local casino.

And charity was a winner, with both Pollak and Sinclair pledging a percentage of their winnings to Raising for Effective Giving (REG).

Here was the tale of the tape:

Final Table Lineup

Seat 1: John Hesp – 85,700,000 (107 bb)
Seat 2: Scott Blumstein – 97,250,000 (122 bb)
Seat 3: Antoine Saout – 21,750,000 (27 bb)
Seat 4: Ben Pollak – 35,175,000 (44 bb)
Seat 5: Jack Sinclair – 20,200,000 (25 bb)
Seat 6: Damian Salas – 22,175,000 (28 bb)
Seat 7: Ben Lamb – 18,050,000 (23 bb)
Seat 8: Bryan Piccioli – 33,800,000 (42 bb)
Seat 9: Dan Ott – 26,475,000 (33 bb)

The Money

1. $8,150,000
2. $4,700,000
3. $3,500,000
4. $2,600,000
5. $2,000,000
6. $1,675,000
7. $1,425,000
8. $1,200,000
9. $1,000,000

Seven Survive Day 8 

No sooner had the brass band stop playing the opening salvo, we had lost our first player, and arguably the most talented player at the final table.

Ben Lamb won the WSOP Player of the Year award in 2011, after winning a bracelet, and coming third in this event, but he would have to accept ninth place this year.

Jack Sinclair opened to 1.6m on the button, and Lamb moved all-in from the big blind holding Ah9h. Sinclair showed AcQh, and it held to send the American to the rail.

WSOP Rookie Scott Blumstein wins the third largest Main Event in historyAfter Lamb’s departure, it was table favourite John Hesp who seemed to be running away with things until he suffered a cooler that would end his chances of creating a major upset.

Blumstein opened to 2.2m from under the gun, and Hesp called in the big blind. The flop was Ac7d5h, and both players checked. The turn was the Ts; Hesp checked, Blumstein bet 3m; Hesp raised to 7m, Blumstein raised to 17m; Hesp moved all-in, and Blumstein called.


Blumstein: AdAs
Hesp: AhTh

Hesp was drawing dead. Outwardly, he took it in his stride. Inwardly, I reckon his guts were feeling violently seasick. Blumstein took command of the final table with 156m in chips, and Hesp dropped back to 24.2m.

Then we lost Jack Sinclair in eighth.

The Brit, seated in midfield, moved all-in for 15.6m, and Bryan Picciolo moved all-in from the cutoff for 18.7m. The rest of the table folded, and we had a showdown with Sinclair at risk.


Piccioli: AsAd
Sinclair: KsJs

The flop contained a King, no spades, and there was to be no rescue act on the turn and river.

As Piccioli scooped up his chips, and Sinclair fell into the arms of his loved ones on the rail, Jack Effel called a halt to proceedings.

Day 9 – And Then There Were Three

Starting Chips

Seat 1: John Hesp – 22,475,000
Seat 2: Scott Blumstein – 178,300,000
Seat 3: Antoine Saout – 14,550,000
Seat 4: Benjamin Pollak – 77,525,000
Seat 5: Damian Salas – 15,625,000
Seat 6: Bryan Piccioli – 35,750,000
Seat 7: Dann Ott – 16,350,000

The Money

1. $8,150,000
2. $4,700,000
3. $3,500,000
4. $2,600,000
5. $2,000,000
6. $1,675,000
7. $1,425,000
8. $1,200,000 – Jack Sinclair
9. $1,000,000 – Ben Lamb

Antoine Saout was the first to make an impact on the penultimate day when he doubled through the chip leader: KQ>87, and then Hesp sent the rail into a little ditsy when he doubled through Pollak AA>AK.

And then we were six-handed.

Dann Ott raised to 3.4m from early position, and Damian Salas called from the blinds.

Flop: Ah3h2d

Salas checked, Ott put him all-in, and the Argentinian snap-called.

Ott: 4d4s
Salas: AcTh

The two-time LAPT Main Event winner was in fine form with a pair of aces. Ott needed a four or consecutive cards to make a wheel. The 6d on the turn was one of those cards, and Salas sunk to a seating position on the floor, head in hands after the 5s hit the river to give Ott a wheel to exile Salas from the competition.

Saout doubled through Blumstein for the second time: 44>AQ; Dan Ott moved up the chip counts to become Blumstein’s primary challenger, and then we were five-handed.

Piccioli moved all-in from the small blind for 14.9m, and Ott made the call in the big blind.


Ott: KsKc
Piccioli: Ac7h

The Piccioli fans were begging for an ace to leap out of the deck, but the 52-cards remained mute, and just like that, one of the most dangerous players left in the event was out.

And then Saout’s doubling up skills deserted him.

Blumstein opened to 4.2m on the button, and Saout called from the blinds.

Flop: Jc7d6c

Both players checked.

Turn: 4c

Saout checked, Blumstein bet 5.6m, Saout called.

River: Jh

Saout checked, Blumstein moved all-in; Saout had a think before calling for his tournament life.

Saout tabled KcJd for trip Jacks, but Blumstein held 5s3s for the straight. Saout was out in fifth, just shy of his third place finish in 2009.

Chip Counts

1. Scott Blumstein – 232,750,000
2. Dan Ott – 80,475,000
3. Ben Pollak – 33,600,000
4. John Hesp – 13,850,000

And the day ended with the loss of the magic man, John Hesp. The British grandfather moved all-in from the cutoff for 11.9m; Pollak moved all-in from the small blind, and Ott folded the big.


Pollak: AdJs
Hesp: 9c7c

Pollak had the lead, and it stayed that way until the dealer ran out of reasons to lay more cards on the felt. Hesp was out in fourth place, but it was the stuff of miracles and a run that everyone in the world of poker will always cherish.

Day 10 – A Champion is Born 

Starting Chips

Seat 1: Scott Blumstein – 226,450,000
Seat 2: Ben Pollak – 45,850,000
Seat 3: Dan Ott – 88,375,000

The Money

1. $8,150,000
2. $4,700,000
3. $3,500,000
4. $2,600,000 – John Hesp
5. $2,000,000 – Antoine Saout
6. $1,675,000 – Bryan Piccioli
7. $1,425,000 – Damian Salas
8. $1,200,000 – Jack Sinclair
9. $1,000,000 – Ben Lamb

The final day was a matter of who would take the other person’s chips before facing Blumstein, heads-up.

Pollak started the brightest and overtook Ott to take second spot. Then Ott doubled through Pollak AQ>88 when an ace appeared on the flop. Pollak retook the second spot when he doubled through Blumstein A3>54, but Ott didn’t allow him to keep it for long when he doubled through the Frenchman A3>QT.

That hand left Pollak with only eight big blinds, but he turned that into 26 after tripling up in an all-in showdown that saw his J4 beat the KT of Blumstein, after the chip leader had edged Ott our pre-flop.

But it wasn’t enough; another three-way all-in, resulting in Pollak’s exit in third.


Pollak: QcTd
Ott: Kc9d
Blumstein: AhQs

Flop: KdJs3d

Ott took the lead, Pollak was open-ended, Blumstein had gutshot and overcard outs.

Turn 4c

Ott maintained his lead.

River 6s

Ott eliminated Pollak and doubled through Blumstein to give himself a fighting chance during heads-up.

Heads-Up WSOP Rookie Scott Blumstein wins the third largest Main Event in history

Blumstein 237,275,000
Ott – 123,300,000

The heads-up phase was all Blumstein. Ott did double up once and looked likely to do it again when he got it in A8 v A2, only for Blumstein to hit a miracle deuce on the river to capture the title that everyone in poker wants to win, in his first attempt.

The Money

1. $8,150,000 – Scott Blumstein
2. $4,700,000 – Dan Ott
3. $3,500,000 – Ben Pollak
4. $2,600,000 – John Hesp
5. $2,000,000 – Antoine Saout
6. $1,675,000 – Bryan Piccioli
7. $1,425,000 – Damian Salas
8. $1,200,000 – Jack Sinclair
9. $1,000,000 – Ben Lamb

After handing bracelets to the winners of 71 events, including the most expensive one of them all clasped around the wrist of Scott Blumstein, it’s time to head to Rozvadov in the Czech Republic for the largest World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) in history, where we will wax lyrical about 11 new bracelet winners, and the crowning of the most interesting WSOP Player of the Year race in living memory.