WSOP: Scott Blumstein Holds Commanding Main Event Lead; Three Left

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Scott Blumstein, Benjamin Pollak and Dan Ott are the final three players left in the 2017 WSOP Main Event (Joe Giron photo/WSOP)

Scott Blumstein started Day 9 action at the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event final table with nearly half of the chips in play. In just over four hours of play he managed to increase his overall lead and now just has two opponents standing between himself and the world championship.

While most assumed that the number of short stacks in play would lead to a quick bust outs, early play was dominated by double ups. Antoine Saout and John Hesp both doubled before the first elimination of the night.

Damian Salas Dwindles and Busts

Damian Salas’ hopes at becoming the first Argentinean Main Event champ were dashed early. Salas continued to fold hand-after-hand for two straight hours before finally having to get his chips in. Dan Ott raised to 3,400,000 and action folded to Salas in the big blind. Salas called and the flop came Ah3h2h, Salas checked and Ott bet enough to put Salas all in. Salas called and tabled AcTh for top pair while Ott showed 4d4s. The turn was the 6d, keeping Salas ahead, but the river was the 5s giving Ott a wheel and sending Salas to the floor in despair. His fifth place finish earned him $1,425,000.

Antoine Saout Doubles Up Again

Antoine Saout had fallen to the second shortest stack behind only John Hesp. Action folded to Blumstein on the button and he raised to 3,400,000 before Saout moved all in from the small blind for 23,900,000. Blumstein snap-called and flipped over AhQh and Saout showed 4c4h. The board ran out Kd7d5c2d9s to give Saout a double-up to 50,400,000 – good enough for the second biggest stack at the time.

Bryan Piccioli Runs Into Kings, Finishes Sixth

After action folded to him in the small blind, Bryan Piccioli looked down at Ac7h and moved all in for 14,950,000 only to have Ott call from the big blind with KcKs. The Qd5h2d flop was no help for Piccioli and after the 8c turn and 7s river he was eliminated in sixth place.

Antoine Saout Goes Homes in Fifth

Despite his earlier double up, Saout was unable to avoid the locomotive that was Blumstein. Saout called Blumstein’s button raise to 4,200,000. The Jc7d6c flop was followed by checks from both players. The 4c turn got Saout to check, but Blumstein fired 5,600,000 and Saout called. The river was the Jh, Saout checked again, Blumstein went all in. Saout thought for about a minute before calling and showing KcJd but Blumstein turned over 5s3s for a turned straight, sending Saout home in fifth place.
After that hand Blumstein had 217,450,000 of the 360,675,000 chips in play.

The Run of John Hesp Finally Ends

Over the course of the live coverage on ESPN and PokerGO, fans around the world came to adore 64-year-old John Hesp. That love affair ended on the last hand of Friday’s action though. Down to just 11,950,000, Hesp moved all in from the cutoff before Benjamin Pollak moved all in over the top from the small blind. Hesp tabled 9c7c while Pollak was ahead with AdJs. The KsTs6h flop kept Pollak in front and when the turn and river came 4c and 4h he stayed there, sending Hesp home in fourth place and wrapping up play for the night.

The final three players, Blumstein, Ott and Pollak, will return to action Saturday night at 5:30 pm PT and will play down to a winner. Action begins airing on ESPN at 6 pm PT.

Chip Counts

  1. Scott Blumstein – 226,450,000
  2. Dan Ott – 88,375,000
  3. Benjamin Pollak – 45,850,000