2017 WSOP Main Event Winner – Scott Blumstein

[SS] “That was an awesome WSOP Main Event, wasn’t it?” Stan the Stat enthused.

[LL] “And I didn’t have to stay up all night to watch the end this time”, Leroy the Lion remarked.

[RR] “You’re up late anyway”, Roderick the Rock noted.

[LL] “Yes, but this time I was able to go to bed before the rest of the family woke up.”

[SS] “You could have gone to bed when heads-up started, and you wouldn’t have missed much.”

[LL] “But I kept hoping Dan Ott would wake up from his poker-induced coma.”

[FF] “A coma? What did I miss?” Figaro the Fish puzzled, joining in.

[SS] “The end of the Main Event. Did you see any of it?”

[FF] “No, although I heard some old British guy was having a ball.”

[SS] “Well, the recap goes like this… 7,221 players entered the arena, but only one could leave standing, I mean, sitting. The third biggest Main Event, behind only the 8,773 in 2006 and the 7,319 in 2010 ended almost four months earlier than the last nine did, as the November Nine was nixed. But two former November Niners kept the party going by returning to the final table six years (Ben Lamb) and eight years (Antoine Saout) later.1 Which was great because no women, no celebrities, and no former champs got anywhere near the final table.

John Hesp, who started in second with nearly a quarter of the chips but got no respect from the oddsmakers, was the best this final table had to offer. The retired Brit, a recreational player with a loud jacket and infectious enthusiasm, brought energy and aggressive play to the table until his stack was decimated by a cooler against Scott Blumstein.2

Blumstein, who almost became the first player to start the final table with a hundred million chips (97,250,000), nearly a third more than 2016’s chip leader Cliff Josephy, dominated the action after Hesp had a quick start, showing the table both bluffs and real hands. There were no very short stacks, but on just the fourth hand the bookies’ darling, Ben Lamb, who started with the fewest chips, made a standard shove with A♥9♥, ran into Jack Sinclair’s A♣Q♥ (all blanks on the board: 6♣5♦4♥3♣T♥), and was gone in ninth for an even million dollars.

Sinclair himself was out next, albeit a full sixty hands later, when he shoved with K♠J♠ and Bryan Piccioli woke up with A♠A♦.

Damian Salas exited in seventh on hand 102 with Aces in the hole when Ott rivered a wheel.

Piccioli was the short stack when he took a stand with A♣7♥, but he couldn’t pair his Ace to beat Ott’s K♠K♣ and was out in sixth.

Antoine Saout went to the rail in fifth when his three Jacks ran into Blumstein’s unlikely 7-high straight.

Hesp’s party ended when he desperately moved all-in with just 8♣7♣ and couldn’t catch Pollak’s A♦J♠. Actually, he had one last moment of fame during this World Series, as he announced, “Shuffle up and deal!” to start the final day of action.

The Main Event then almost finished on a double knockout for the first time,3. The short stack Benjamin Pollak had shoved with Q♣T♦, and Dan Ott tried to isolate and knock him out, overshoving with K♣9♦. But Blumstein called them both with the best hand, A♥Q♠. Ott survived when he hit top pair on the K♦J♠3♦ flop, and Pollak missed his straight draw and was out in third when the turn 4♣ and river 6♠ bricked.

Sixty-five hands later, it was Blumstein’s turn to get lucky. Having dominated heads-up play for the most part, Ott had begun a small comeback and was a single card away from doubling up to just a 3-to-2 deficit. Blumstein limped with A♥2♦, Ott shoved with A♦8♦, and Blumstein called. The board read J♠6♠5♥7♥, and Ott’s Eight was winning the hand until the 3-outer 2♥ paired Blumstein’s kicker and ended the tournament.”

[LL] “Too bad Ott chose to channel Gordon Vayo and his passive play from last year. I guess his lessons from Doug Polk hadn’t covered heads-up play yet.”

[RR] “But excellent big stack play by Blumstein. He certainly deserved the bracelet.”

[SS] “And the $8,150,000. Congratulations to him!”

2017 World Series of Poker Main Event Summary

Dates 7/8/2017 to 7/23/2017
Players 7,221 (1,084 cashed)
Winner Scott Blumstein ($8,150,000, U.S.)
Runner-Up Dan Ott ($4,700,000)
Final Table Bubble Boy Michael Ruane (10th, $825,001)
Money Bubble Boy Roger Campbell,
Quan Zhou (1,085th)
Last Former Champ Standing Scotty Nguyen (549th, $22,449)
Last Woman Standing Yuan-Yuan Li (105th, $53,247)
Last Celebrity Standing Richard Seymour (did not cash)

Footnotes:

  1. Michael Ruane nearly went back-to-back to make it three repeat final tablists but instead was the final table bubble boy when his A♣6♣ failed to catch Damian Salas’s J♠J♦ two hands after losing a crippling race with A♥K♦ against Bryan Piccioli’s T♠T♣.
  2. Blumstein, pronounced with a short ‘u’ and a long ‘e’, converted Pocket Rockets into a full house, and Hesp couldn’t save any chips with his two pairs.
  3. The only final nine double knockout was in 1998 when eventual champion Scotty Nguyen took out Ben Roberts and Jan Lundberg in 6th and 7th place on the same hand to start the official final table with just five players.

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