History and Strategy for 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event Winner Scott Blumstein
Scott Blumstein entered the World Series of Poker Main Event in 2017 feeling confident. He had enjoyed the biggest win of his poker short career just a year before. Being based in NJ, he was lucky enough to live in one of the three states in the US that allowed online poker to be played. Those extra hands gave him a solid grounding in the game.
Big Field Leads to a Rich Final Table
7,221 players entered the Main Event in 2017, with more than 120,000 players participating in the wider World Series of Poker that year. Having reached the final table, the nine players with seats were all guaranteed a pay out of at least $1 million. Competitors from the US, Argentina, France, and the United Kingdom all had a shot.
In the final three were Scott Blumstein, Pennsylvania’s Daniel Ott, and Benjamin Pollak of France. The Frenchman was the first to go, leaving the heads-up duel between Blumstein and Ott. This battle lasted for 60 hands and featured a final hand full of drama.
All-In with Ace-X Final Hands
Both players were all-in. Blumstein held an ace of hearts and the two of diamonds. Ott held the ace of diamonds and the eight of diamonds. The jack of spades, the six of spades and the five of hearts came on the flop and Ott held a strong advantage. A seven of hearts was the turn card. Only a two on the river could save Blumstein in the hand. The dealer revealed the two of hearts on the river, and Blumstein and his crowd of supporters erupted.
Scott Blumstein’s Other Major Tournament Cashes
A year and a week before his WSOP Main Event success, Scott Blumstein played in the Summer Open. This event was held at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City. The event had a buy-in of $560 and a field of 2,368 players. Blumstein went all the way and won the event, pocketing a cool $199,854 in winnings, setting himself up for that run the following year.
Success has continued for Blumstein. In 2019, he finished 6th in the Poker Masters in Las Vegas for a cash of $58,200. Then in March 2020, Blumstein would finish 2nd in the main event of the WSOP.com online Super Series, pocketing $68,890.
Playing Style / Strategy of Scott Blumstein ‘Marathon Not a Sprint’
Blumstein’s approach was to play with patience at the Main Event. With the blind levels being two hours long, there is no real rush to boost your stack early, and Blumstein used exactly that approach to build his stack at the right times, instead of playing every hand. As Blumstein said himself, ‘It’s a Marathon not a Sprint.’
Blumstein was lucky enough to have a big stack on the bubble and this presents a unique position at the Main Event. Many amateur players are striving to pass that bubble and the $15,000 that comes with a guaranteed cash. That being the case, it can be a good tactic to play highly aggressively at this point, as these players will only continue with the very best hands. Blumstein played this part of the tournament perfectly and was one of the reasons that he won the whole thing. With a large stack, Blumstein was happy to throw in a series of bluffs throughout the latter stages.
Scott puts a great deal of his success down to being able to play online poker in New Jersey. ‘When you play online in New Jersey, it’s hard for any live pro to see even close to the amount of hands I’ve probably seen in the last two years.’
Before and After the WSOP
Scott Blumstein was born on March 27th, 1992, and hails from Morristown, New Jersey. He attended Temple University and graduated with an accounting degree. Always a poker fan, Blumstein almost quit the game a year before his breakthrough success in Atlantic City. A heart-to-heart conversation with his dad saw him give the game one last shot, and what a shot it was. The win in Atlantic City would give Blumstein both the confidence and the bankroll to take his shot at the World Series of Poker Main Event.
A few years on from his Main Event win and Scott Blumstein is still very active on the poker scene, still playing both live and online.
Could You be the Next WSOP Champ?
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