Scott Blumstein, a New Jersey-born recent college graduate, has won the 2017 World Series of Poker tournament – and more than $8.1 million the first time he competed.
Blumstein won the “marquee no-limit Texas Hold ’em main event early Sunday in Las Vegas and is now more than $8.1 million richer,” The New York Post reports.
Blumstein is only 25-years-old.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Blumstein Eliminated a Pennsylvania Man on the 246th Hand to Take the Prize
Blumstein won the tourney by defeating Daniel Ott, of Pennsylvania.
He defeated Ott “on the 246th hand of the final table, more than 60 hands with just the two of them,” reports The Post.
But don’t feel too sorry for Ott. The final nine players left out of the 7,200 tournament participants were each guaranteed at least $1 million, according to The Post. The Guardian reports that Ott will take home $4.7 million.
“I’m really happy about how I played tonight,” Blumstein said, according to The Guardian via AP. “This is just one poker tournament. It takes variance and luck and playing your best, and all those things came together, and I’m happy to be the winner.”
2. Blumstein’s Final Hand Was an Ace of Hearts & a Two of Diamonds
Blumstein’s final hand of “an ace of hearts and a two of diamonds ended up being stronger than that of Ott, who went all in with an ace of diamonds and an eight of diamonds,” reports AP.
The Guardian added that the community cards “were a jack of spades, a six of spades, a five of hearts, a seven of hearts and a two of hearts” and said that Blumstein played in front of college friends and relatives.
Blumstein told Poker News, “I mean, is there a better way to win the Main Event than hitting a three-outer on the river? A normally inconsequential deuce just changed my life. I was mentally preparing for 40 big blind poker but the river was a deuce and the rest is history.”
According to USA Today, “Only three cards would have beaten Ott. He had a 93% chance of avoiding one of those three deuces. But, of course, Blumstein landed one of them on the river and took home the most prestigious prize in all of poker.”
3. Blumstein Is From New Jersey, Where Online Poker Is Allowed
How did he get so good at Poker? Blumstein credits his success in part to the fact that he lives in one of three U.S. states that allow online poker.
“The best way to get better at anything is through repetition and practice,” he said to AP, explaining that this fact helped him win. “When you play online in New Jersey, it’s hard for any live pro to see even close to the amount of hands I’ve probably seen in the last two years.”
According to Poker News, “Blumstein grinded online poker tournaments in his home of New Jersey the whole summer before making the trip to Vegas for the Main Event.”
4. Blumstein Is a College Graduate With an Accounting Background & Former Football Player
Blumstein graduated from Temple University, according to LinkedIn. Blumstein has a degree in accounting. He is from Brigantine, New Jersey.
Blumstein thinks he won because he’s from New Jersey, NJ.com reported. The site added that Blumstein “played football at Morristown High (2007-10) and credits east coast poker competition for getting him a few hands away from the top prize.”
“There is no tougher place to play than on the East Coast,” Blumstein told Poker Central. “I definitely feel like I’m in this position because I’m from New Jersey.”
He is from Morristown.
5. It Was Blumstein’s First Time in the World Series of Poker
Although it was his first time playing in poker’s most prestigious event, Blumstein had already racked up some impressive winnings and a net worth of several hundred thousand dollars.
Blumstein is “a regular on New Jersey online poker sites but had never cashed in the World Series of Poker. His total live winnings stood at more than $300,000 before Sunday” July 23, reports the AP.
He told the AP that the winnings will let him do “whatever” he wants with his future. His Facebook page says he’s single and now lives in Philadelphia.