The 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event began two weeks ago, with 7,221 players entering with the hopes, dreams and beliefs that they could become poker’s next World Champion. For most, those hopes and dreams were dashed before the tournament even began to take shape but Scott Blumstein’s hopes, dreams and beliefs never wavered.
Blumstein quietly worked his way through much of the Main Event marathon, before shooting to the top of the leader board on Day 7 to enter the final table with the chip lead. Those hopes and dreams had become a reality, along with eight others that had punched their ticket to poker’s biggest stage.
Three days later, those beliefs materialized for Scott Blumstein and after defeating Daniel Ott heads up, he won the World Series of Poker Main Event.
The journey to the final table was one thing for the Main Event first-timer, the journey to the Main Event is a completely different story.
“A year and a half ago, I started to realize things.” Blumstein said after the celebrations around the Brasilia Room had died down. “Things started to make sense. I knew that from a poker standpoint, I could play the game and I knew I could play with anyone.”
For most players that have that aha moment, they never get a chance to show what they have learned, what they have figured out or what they have realized. Blumstein though, even after his historic, career-changing victory, was quick to state that those realizations weren’t just about poker.
“I’m really big on mental health, I think it is very important. I kind of transformed myself and my own mental state, did a complete 180.” Blumstein said, referencing those life changes he made 18 months ago. “Sometimes, when your back is against the wall, you have a decision to make. I made the decision to try to figure out this thing called life and figure out this thing called poker.”
Over the last two weeks, Blumstein seemed to always have it figured out and that is likely why his back was never even close to the wall at the final table. Blumstein came in with the chip lead and more or less carried that lead wire-to-wire, from Thursday’s opening final table session to the winner’s circle.
Even though he ended his first Main Event in the winner’s circle, Blumstein doesn’t see this victory altering the journey he began a year and a half ago.
“I don’t really think I have any real poker challenges,” Blumstein said when asked what will follow his Main Event win. “This is the holy grail for me. I love the game and it is always going to be a part of me, no matter what. Two weeks ago, I was a New Jersey online grinder and nothing has really changed.”
Most would disagree with Blumstein though. Winning $8,150,000 and the most prestigious title in poker does change things but the newest Main Event champion mentioned that his focus and determination will never change.
That focus did break briefly though, when Blumstein was heads up. He tried to enjoy the moment that so few actually get to enjoy, by asking Daniel Ott what his favorite final table memory was. While Ott couldn’t come up with an answer of his own, Blumstein’s was easy.
“He really didn’t have a good answer,” Blumstein laughed, before adding, “I came up with Steve Dannenman saying, ‘I’m just happy to be here.’ Honestly, that’s how I felt.”
Blumstein’s new favorite WSOP Main Event final table moment now likely involves his own triumph. After just being happy to be there, Scott Blumstein etched his name into poker’s history books and you better believe that he will be there for the rest of time.
That concludes Poker Central’s coverage of the WSOP Main Event. Relive the World Series of Poker action from the past six weeks on PokerGO and be sure to follow Poker Central and PokerGO before “Poker After Dark” returns later this summer.