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WSOP: Blumstein cruises to $8.15-million payday in Main Event

After bringing the biggest stack to the World Series of Poker Main Event final table, New Jersey-based pro Scott Blumstein cruised comfortably in a nearly wire-to-wire performance on his way to becoming poker’s new world champion.

In the early morning hours of Sunday – with the world watching courtesy of ESPN’s semi-live coverage – Blumstein spiked a deuce on the river to defeat fellow East Coast grinder Dan Ott heads up.

The final card of the final hand was a fitting end to Blumstein’s dominant final table run, during which every key confrontation seemed to fall in his favor. Along with the most prestigious gold bracelet of them all, Blumstein pocketed the massive $8.15-million first-prize payout while stamping his ticket to poker immortality.

The fun began on Thursday night, with the first of three final table days shedding two contenders from the field.

The first player to go was actually one of the favorites in the eyes of poker prognosticators, as former November Niner and 2011 WSOP Player of the Year Ben Lamb shoved his short stack on just the fourth hand of the final table. He held A-9 suited in the big blind, but Jack Sinclair’s button raise was no bully move, and his A-Q held up to send Lamb home in ninth place.

Attention then shifted to John Hesp, the 64-year-old Brit who captivated the audience, assembled media and even his opponents with genuine charm and love for the game. Hesp managed to take the chip lead at one point, but it all went wrong in one fell swoop.

Contesting a pot against Blumstein, the only player with a stack large enough to pose a real threat at that point, Hesp found A-10 and flopped an ace. Unfortunately for him, Blumstein held A-A and had a hammerlock on the hand, but Hesp somehow improved when a 10 hit the turn. From there, a raising war escalated, culminating in a pot with 156 million chips of the tournament’s 360 million chips in the middle.

Hesp was drawing dead with his two pair, much to the delight of Blumstein and his raucous rail. And while the blow certainly diminished Hesp’s star power, he managed to recover and maneuver his way to an impressive fourth-place finish.

The massive pot propelled Blumstein to a dominant chip position, one he would never relinquish en route to victory.

By the time heads-up play was reached two days later, Blumstein held 232.5 million to Ott’s 128 million, but the combination of a cold deck and his unwillingness to play back left Ott bleeding for much of the match.

He did earn a double up that brought a bit of drama to the proceedings, but Blumstein’s relentless aggression via preflop three-bets kept Ott in check.

Finally, Blumstein put on the pressure with a preflop shove holding A-2 off, only to see Ott wake up with A-9 suited. The board ran out clean through the turn, but as it had so many times before during the final table, the deck delivered for Blumstein. With the deuce of hearts on the river, Blumstein threw his hands skyward in celebration, having defeated a field of 7,221 to win the 2017 WSOP Main Event.

A full rundown of the final table results can be found below:

2017 WSOP Final Table Results
PlacePlayerPrize
1stScott Blumstein$8,150,000
2ndDan Ott$4,700,000
3rdBenjamin Pollak$3,500,000
4thJohn Hesp$2,600,000
5thAntoine Saout$2,000,000
6thBryan Piccioli$1,675,000
7thDamian Salas$1,425,000
8thJack Sinclair$1,200,000
9thBen Lamb$1,000,000

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