New Jersey's Scott Blumstein Wins 2017 WSOP Main Event for $8.15m
This was Blumstein’s first World Series Main Event played and he leaves as the World Champion for 2017.
Blumstein takes his first WSOP bracelet and $8.15 million in first-place prize money while Pennsylvanian Dan Ott settled for second and $4.7m.
French poker pro Benjamin Pollak finished third for $3.5 million.
Dramatic Three-Way All-In
Heading into the final day of play Scott Blumstein had 62.8% of the chips in play with a 226.45 million stack. Ott was second with 88.37 million and Pollack third with 45.85 million.
Blumstein had been running well forthe entire final table and it continued on Saturday as he steadily chipped up to over 285 million. Ott and Pollak had 46 and 35 million respectively and needed a double to have any shot at Blumstein.
Then one of the most dramatic hands in Main Event history went down between the three.
Pollak looked down to Qc-10d and moved all-in. Ott had him covered and decided to re-shove with Kc-9d. Blumstein then looked down at Ah-Qs and almost jumped out of his skin as he asked for a count on both players.
After a brief bit of tanking he decided to make the call and we had the potential for the first double-elimination to end a Main Event.
The flop fell Kd-Js-3d to give Ott top pair but both Pollak and Blumstein a straight draw. A nine would give Pollak a triple up while a 10 would give Blumstein the title.
The turn fell the 4c and river the 6s to eliminate Pollak and allow Ott to triple to 128 million. Pollak fell short of the bracelet but won $3.5 million, the largest live score of his poker career.
Ah-2d For the Win
Blumstein had a nearly 2:1 chip lead at the start of heads-up play and some wondered if Ott could outplay him. Unfortunately, Ott started playing somewhat passively and that, coupled with Blumstein continuing to run well, resulted in Ott bleeding off chips.
Ott spewed chips until he was down to just 32 million. Blumstein then picked up pocket sixes and shoved. This was the first pocket pair dealt during heads-up play.
Ott looked down to Ks-9d and made the call. He then caught a 9 on the flop and that was enough to double him to 64 million.
The very next hand, Ott raised pre-flop with Ad-8d and Blumstein shoved with Ah-2d. Ott made the easy call and it looked as if he would double again and make this a contest once again.
Ott faded the flop of Js-6s-5h and the turn 7h. However, the river fell the 2h to give Blumstein a pair of deuces and the title. Ott won $4.7 million for his runner-up finish, easily the largest score of his poker career.
Lamb and Saout Make Final Table for the Second Time
One of the big stories heading in to the final nine playdown was Ben Lamb and Antoine Saout, both of whom made the WSOP final table for the second time in their careers.
Saout finished 3rd in the 2009 Main Event while Lamb finished 3rd in 2011. Lamb came into the final table as the short stack while Saout came in 7th.
While many were hoping that Lamb would make a run for the bracelet, he instead was the first player eliminated. In the fourth hand of the final Lamb looked down to Ah-9h and shoved.
Jack Sinclair made the easy call with Ac-Qc. The board failed to connect with Lamb and he was out in 9th place for $1 million. Saout was unable to get anything going during Day 1 of the final table, yet managed to survive as the short stack.
Early during Day 2 action Saout managed a double through chip leader Scott Blumstein. He later managed another double through Blumstein to briefly move into 2nd.
With five players remaining, Saout was third in chips. He then suffered a cooler to bust in 5th. Blumstein came in raising with 5s-3s and Saout made the call with Kc-Jd. He then flopped top pair on a board of Jc-7d-6c.
Blumstein then caught a straight when the 4c hit the turn. Saout check-called a 5.6 million bet and watched the Jh fall on the river.
Saout checked again and Blumstein shoved. After tanking for a couple of minutes, Saout made the call and discovered he was eliminated in 5th place. Saout took home $2 million for his second Main Event final table run.
Hesp Falls Short Yet Still Impresses
Heading into the final table, amateur John Hesp was the talk of the poker world. The UK grandfather was playing the Main Event to cross an item off his bucket list and went on the run of a lifetime to start the final table second in chips.
Prior to this event, Hesp’s largest live tournament cash was just $1,000. Heading into the final table, he was guaranteed at least $1 million and had a reasonable shot to finish at least in the top three.
For a brief time, Hesp event took the chip lead but a massive cooler against Scott Blumstein sent the Bridlington amateur reeling. Hesp turned top two pair with Ah-10h but found himself drawing dead against Blumstein’s set of aces.
Blumstein doubled to 156 million and Hesp was knocked down to just 24 million. Most players in Hesp’s spot would have tilted off the rest of their chips, but Hesp displayed remarkable patience and was able to ride through a rough Day 1 and enter Day 2 fourth in chips.
Hesp was able to find some renewed vigor during Day 2 and managed to hang on and make the top 4. In his final hand Hesp shoved from the button with 9c-7c and Benjamin Pollack re-shoved with Ad-Js. The board blanked both players and Hesp took home a massive $2.6 million prize for fourth place.
Hesp impressed everyone with both his play and his demeanor during the event. Antonio Esfandiari referred to him several times as the “savior of poker” thanks to his charming demeanor.
After busting the Main Event, Hesp revealed that he has no plans of turning pro and will continue to play the game as an amateur.