The World Series of Poker came to close with the end of its no-limit Texas Hold’em main event. Scott Blumstein, a 25-year-old New Jersey native, won the final hand to claim $8.1 million and a WSOP golden bracelet. The humble winner credits his success to practicing online with his home state’s online poker platform.
Blumstein is a Temple University graduate with a degree in Accounting. He picked up poker as a hobby and started to win online. Before this tournament victory, his live game winnings were totaled at just above $300,000. He never thought he would be one of nine players sitting at the final table for WSOP’s main event. He and Daniel Ott, out of Pennsylvania, were the last two competitors left at a final table consisting of 246 hands. There were 60 hands between just the two of them, but Blumstein’s ace of hearts and two of diamonds bested Ott’s ace of diamonds and eight of diamonds after a two of hearts came down the river. Blumstein’s supporters roared with excitement as the final card came out; the player fell to his knees in front of them. He spoke of his excitement with winning, but did not take anything for granted.
“It [poker] takes variance and luck and playing your best, and all those things came together, and I’m happy to be the winner,” Blumstein said.
The nine final table contestants hailed from the United States, Argentina, France and Britain. 7,200 players made up the main event, so competition was fierce. The entire 2017 WSOP series comprised multiple tournaments that drew over 120,000 players, demolishing past attendance records. The renowned poker circuit has an international following and this year’s WSOP series reflects that.
For Blumstein, being a resident of New Jersey is an advantage due to its legal and regulated online poker network. NJ is one of a few states that has elected to host legal online casinos and poker, with revenue generated from the services going back to the state. Blumstein said that his experience playing poker online in New Jersey allowed him to play more hands than most other players get the chance to. He was able to test out many hand scenarios to build up his playing repertoire before entering into one of the most prestigious live poker tournaments in the world. He put his online poker experience over live play experience based on the sheer number of hands he has been able to play through.
While the $8.1 million is a positive, for some players, there is another prize worth its weight in gold—the WSOP golden bracelet. This coveted piece of jewelry is worn exclusively by WSOP winners and establishes players as legitimate contenders. For the rookie Blumstein, who has no prior main event tournament experience, this bracelet will certainly mark the achievement for a lifetime.
The young player has said he wants to take a hiatus from the game, but he expects to play again at some point. Blumstein says money is not the reason he plays, but his future is secure. With his winnings, the possibilities are endless.