LAS VEGAS — Scott Blumstein closed out a dominant three-day performance by winning the 2017 World Series of Poker main event early Sunday, taking home $8.15 million and the WSOP bracelet in the process
Other than a brief spell on the first day of the final table Thursday, Blumstein held onto the chip lead from beginning to end. He now joins the ranks of poker’s world champions.
“I’m really happy with how I played tonight,” Blumstein said. “Really happy with the result, really happy with the deuce, because I was playing good, but I’m pretty tired of poker at this point, honestly. To have to go back and battle pretty deep-[stacked] again, I wasn’t looking forward to it.”
The dynamic of Blumstein’s considerable lead and a pair of short stacks in Dan Ott and Benjamin Pollak led to one of the most action-packed final days in WSOP main-event history, including a three-way all-in that could’ve led to a historic double-knockout to end the tournament.
Blumstein’s hand, which was best, didn’t hold up in that three-way spot — Ott eliminated Pollak in third place and picked up all of the chips — but after a 66-hand heads-up match with Ott, he sealed the victory despite the unfortunate previous run-out by grinding Ott down to almost nothing.
It looked as though Ott might make a comeback, as he doubled up with king-nine against pocket sixes and got all-in for a second time in short order with ace-eight to Blumstein’s ace-deuce for a chance to get right back into the match. But as had been the case for most of the tournament, dramatics ensued. A deuce on the river gave Blumstein a pair and the right to be called the 2017 WSOP main event champion.
“Is there a better way to win the main event than by hitting a three-outer on the river?” said Blumstein. “A normally inconsequential [card] — the deuce — changes my life.”
Blumstein’s sizable lead made for a chaotic few hours, with five all-in-and-call hands playing out before Pollak’s elimination in third place. It was also cyclical, as Ott doubled through Pollak twice, only for Pollak to win a pair of all-ins against Blumstein each time he became the short stack.
After Ott won the three-way all-in, Blumstein held an advantage of less than 2-1, paltry in comparison to the lead he had held for much of the last three days. Blumstein and Ott traded blows, but Blumstein never dropped below 200 million.
It was the conclusion of a three-day run for the ages for Blumstein. On the first night of the final table Thursday, he doubled through chip leader John Hesp to take a lead he’d never relinquish; on Friday, he wielded that stack and accumulated even more chips as the final seven played down to three.
To even reach this final table, Blumstein had to fight through a field of 7,221 players who each put up a buy-in of $10,000 starting two full weeks ago on July 8. This WSOP main event drew the third-largest field in the tournament’s history, behind only 2006 record-setting 8,773 players and the 7,319 who played in 2010.
The total accumulated prize pool for this event was $67,877,400, awarded in escalating amounts to the 1,084 finishers. The 2017 WSOP main event is the 48th annual edition of poker’s most famous tournament. It was the culmination of a seven-plus week series in which 73 other WSOP gold bracelets were awarded in a variety of disciplines and buy-in amounts at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino.
2017 WSOP main event final table — Final results
Scott Blumstein — $8.15 million
Dan Ott — $4.7 million
Benjamin Pollak — $3.5 million
John Hesp — $2.6 million
Antoine Saout — $2 million
Bryan Piccioli — $1.675 million
Damian Salas — $1.425 million
Jack Sinclair — $1.2 million
Ben Lamb — $1 million