They slowed him down but in the end no one could stop Scott Blumstein from capturing the 2017 WSOP Main Event title and $8.1 million.
The Morristown, New Jersey, native entered the final table as the chip leader and only relinquished the position briefly to John Hesp during the early stages of the three-day final table.
Shortly after Hesp snatched the chip lead on Day 1, Blumstein won a tournament-defining 156m-chip pot and never looked back.
The theatrics were far from over, however, as Blumstein nailed a three-outer to close the tournament out against Dan Ott.
"I'm still in shock," said Blumstein after winning. "There are no words. I love this game. This is my holy grail."
Blumstein is the first winner since 2007 to take down the Main Event within days of making the final table thanks to the WSOP retiring the nearly four-month break for the November Nine.
Ott, who hails from Altoona, PA, finishes as the runner-up and takes home $4,700,000 for the achievement of outlasting everyone but Blumstein.
Here’s a look at the complete final table payouts for the 2017 Main Event:
- 1. Scott Blumstein — $8,150,000
- 2. Dan Ott — $4,700,000
- 3. Benjamin Pollak — $3,500,000
- 4. John Hesp — $2,600,000
- 5. Antoine Saout — $2,000,000
- 6. Bryan Piccioli — $1,675,000
- 7. Damin Salas — $1,425,000
- 8. Jack Sinclair — $1,200,000
- 9. Ben Lamb — $1,000,000
Benjamin Pollak Takes Third for $3.5m
French poker pro Benjamin Pollak was the last European at the final table and many fans, including Daniel Negreanu, had him pegged as the best player over the course of the three-day final table.
Sometimes being the best isn’t enough in poker, however, and Pollak finally succumbed to the rail in third place in a stunning three-way pot.
In the hand Pollak open-shoved for 35m and Dan Ott re-shoved for 45m and Blumstein surprised everyone with a call, easily covering both players. Their holdings:
Pollak: Q♣ T♦
Dan Ott: K♣ 9♦
Scott Blumstein: A♥ Q♠
Blumstein had the best hand and a chance to knock both players out and win the 2017 Main Event in spectacular fashion, eschewing heads-up altogether.
Instead a king peeled off the flop and after the turn and the river bricked, it was Ott picking up the enormous pot.
Pollak picked $3,500,000 for finishing third, which is the highest finish for a French player in the history of the WSOP.
The final table actually included two French players as former November Niner Antoine Saout finished in fifth place yesterday to take home $2,000,000.
With the third place finish Pollak moved to fourth place on the all-time French money winner’s leaderboard with just over $6.4 million.
Pollak has a ways to go to catch tablemate and friend Saout who now sits second with on the all-time list with $7.5 million.
Ott, Blumstein Wage Extended Heads-Up Battle
Dan Ott seemed to have momentum on his side as he had closed the gap between himself and Blumstein to 104m chips by the time heads-up play began.
Unfortunately for Ott that essentially proved to be the closest he would get as Blumstein began grinding him down from nearly the start of heads-up.
Ott and Blumstein battled for over two hours before Ott was forced to make a move from the short stack with K-9, getting called by Blumstein with pocket sixes. Ott spiked a nine on the flop and doubled up to 64m.
Shortly thereafter Ott got all-in good with A♦ 8♦ against Blumstein's A♥ 2♦.
The board ran out J♠ 6♠ 5♥ 7♥ and an Ott double-up to over 120m seemed all but assured.
Instead a miracle 2♥ hit for Blumstein on the river to give him the tournament.
Despite winning a life-changing $8.15 million, Blumstein said he doesn't have any plans to play high roller tournaments in the future.
"I know where I stand," he said. "Two weeks ago I was just a New Jersey online grinder and nothing has really changed."
"Will I play a little more live poker? Yeah probably. We'll See."
John Hesp Makes an Appearance on Day 3
For many the biggest draw of the 2017 WSOP Main Event was amateur poker player John Hesp but the Englishman busted in fourth place for $2.6m the previous night.
John Hesp can't get enough WSOP.
Not to be deterred Hesp showed up as a spectator on Day 3 and even provided the Shuffle up and Deal to kick things off.
Hesp told the crowd he hopes if anyone takes away anything from his amazing run in the 2017 WSOP Main Event it’s that poker is a fun game to play.
Yesterday Hesp told PokerListings he has no plans to go pro when it comes to poker, but he’ll likely play a few tournaments every year.
He stuck around to see the conclusion of the tournament and even sat in on the final media scrum with Blumstein.
With no November Nine the WSOP in Las Vegas is going to be dormant for quite some time although the World Series of Poker Europe will debut in the Czech Republic this fall at King’s Casino.
You can check out a comprehensive photo blog of the entire 2017 WSOP Main Event, including the final table right here.