WSOP: NJ Grinder Scott Blumstein Leads Main Event Final Table


The 2017 WSOP Main Event final table includes Ben Lamb, Antoine Saout and New Jersey’s own Scott Blumstein (WSOP photo / Joe Giron)

Scott Blumstein came out to Las Vegas to play the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event because he felt like he was ready. He had hopes of cashing. Instead, the New Jersey native finds himself as the chip leader heading into the final table.

“Surreal. I don’t even know how it happened. It’s been a crazy ride,” said Blumstein. “Seven days I’ve somehow bagged more chips than I’ve started with every day by a significant amount. I just keep going up in chips.”

Blumstein started Day 7 with the eighth largest stack but worked his way up to the chip lead. The biggest hand came against Jack Sinclair at the unofficial final table. John Hesp raised to 1,600,000 from the hijack, Blumstein called from the cutoff and Sinclair made it 5,400,000 from the big blind. Hesp got out of the way, but Blumstein called.

Sinclair bet 4,000,000 after the 9d7c3s flop and Blumstein called. Sinclair then bet 7,500,000 after the 6s turn and Blumstein called again. The river was the Ac and Sinclair bet 13,000,000. Blumstein thought over his options and eventually called, tabling TcTd while Sinclair mucked Jd4h. That pot put Blumstein into the lead, while Sinclair dropped all the way from third to seventh.

Every Main Event final table seems to have one “everyman” that fans at home can cheer. Filling that role this year is England’s John Hesp. The 64 year old sits second in chips with 85,700,000 after spending a good chunk of Day 7 as the chip leader.

The final table features four Americans, two Brits, two Frenchmen and for the first time in history, an Argentinian. It also includes two former November Niners and, for the second consecutive year, a former #1-ranked player on PocketFives.

Joining Blumstein as the American representation are former Bryan Piccioli, Dan Ott and Ben Lamb. France is represented by Benjamin Pollak and Antoine Saout while Damian Salas is the Argentinian.

For Lamb and Saout, this marks a return to the final table for the second time in their career. Lamb finished third in 2011 while Saout also finished, two years earlier.

Piccioli, who was #1 on PocketFives in May 2011, doubled through and all but eliminated his good friend, Michael Ruane. Action folded to Ruane and he moved all in for 17,300,000 before Piccioli tank-called all in from the button. Ruane showed AhKd while Piccioli tabled TcTs. The board rand out Jh7d5d[6]7h to give Piccioli 34,000,000.

Ruane was eliminated by Salas two hands later.

Christian Pham started the day as the chip leader but was one of the earliest eliminations on Sunday. On his final hand of the night, Pham raised to 900,000 from UTG, Pollak raised to 2,350,000 from the cutoff. Pham called and then checked the AdKhTd flop. Pollak bet 2,600,000 and Pham called. The turn was the 7h, Pham checked again and Pollak moved all in. Pham eventually called and tabled Ah3h and watched his chips disappear as Pollak showed AcAs. Pham’s 19th place finish earned him $263,532.

Other notable Day 6 eliminations included Jake Bazeley (25th – $263,532), Marcel Luske (23rd – $263,532), Jonas Mackoff (21st – $263,532), and Scott Stewart (13th – $535,000).

The nine players now take the next two days off before resuming action at 5:30 pm PT on Thursday. The ESPN2 broadcast begins at 6 pm. The plan is to play through three eliminations on Thursday and Friday before playing to a champion on Saturday night.

Final Table Chip Counts

  1. Scott Blumstein – 97,250,000
  2. John Hesp – 85,700,000
  3. Benjamin Pollak – 35,175,000
  4. Bryan Piccioli – 33,800,000
  5. Dan Ott – 26,475,000
  6. Damian Salas – 22,175,000
  7. Antoine Saout – 21,750,000
  8. Jack Sinclair – 20,200,000
  9. Ben Lamb – 18,050,000