Scott Blumstein, a 42-year-old accountant from New Jersey, has just won the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. The total jackpot of the tournament was $8.1 million.
The tournament marked the first time that Blumstein entered into the competition. Blumstein won on a two pair after his opponent Daniel Ott, a rookie from Pennsylvania, went all in with an ace of diamonds and eight of diamonds. Ott was favorite until the final card, a two of hearts, fell and handed the tournament to Blumstein. At the final table, Blumenthal played a total of 246 hands, with 65 of them against Ott alone.
The final day started with just three players. Blumstein was leading the chip total with over 226 million, followed by Ott with 88 million, and Frenchman Benjamin Pollock trailing with 44 million. Blumstein played aggressively early on, forcing Ott to fold and losing a psychological edge. Pollock, after starting the round in last and losing many of the initial rounds, began to double up on his chips and soon made his way up into second place. That didn’t last long, however, as Ott quickly started to best the Frenchman. The Frenchman was eager for a win and with his low chip count was forced to play all in. Small blind Ott followed with an all in, with Blumstein calling on both of them. Ott won the hand with a pair of kings, causing Pollock to seal his third place and taking home $3.5 million, leaving just the two Americans left to face each other. Each player was guaranteed $4.7 million.
At this point, Ott had to play conservatively as Blumstein’s chip count was considerably larger. After a long battle, Ott was able to double his chip count, bringing back some hope that he could win. On the next hand, Blumstein showed some weakness and Ott raised the pot by 8 million. Blumstein then went all in, forcing Ott to place his remaining 55.5 million chips into the pot. Both of the players’ cards were revealed, with Ott having the stronger hand with an ace of diamonds and an eight of diamonds to Blumstein’s ace of hearts and two of diamonds. The flop then came out with a jack of spades, six of spades, and a five of hearts. The flop made Ott the favorite. Then the turn came out. Ott continued to have the stronger hand. The dealer then dealt the final card, a two of hearts. Blumstein’s side of the audience erupted as Blumstein fell to his knees. He had won the World Series of Poker.
“A normally inconsequential deuce just changed my life,” Blumstein told WSOP.com.
Before that, Blumstein had total winnings of just $300,000 and was considering quitting poker to find a job until a year ago. Since then he has been playing in minor tournaments and this was the first time he entered into the World Series. So what will Blumstein do with his winnings?
Blumstein answers, “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, going back to school. I have the freedom to do that now. That’s the American dream in my eyes and finding happiness is part of that. What a good way to get there.”
Poker players and fans congratulated Blumstein on Twitter.
For the record: Stu Ungar hit a deuce on the river to win @WSOP Main Event in 1997!! Congrats Scott Blumstein, 2017 World Champion of Poker
— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) 23 July 2017
Two of the most gracious heads-up players in @WSOP Main Event. This whole final table was just amazing. The champion deserved his victory!
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) 23 July 2017
— Neal Liptak (@lipee777) 23 July 2017
And pokernews.com caught up with Blumstein afterward to get his reactions to winning the World Series of Poker.
[Featured Image by John Locher/AP Images]