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Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com 89d

Scott Blumstein caps dominant run to 2017 WSOP main event title

Poker

LAS VEGAS -- Scott Blumstein closed out a dominant three-day performance by winning the 2017 World Series of Poker main event early Sunday, taking home $8.15 million and the WSOP bracelet in the process.

Other than a brief spell on the first day of final-table action Thursday, the 25-year-old from Brigantine, New Jersey, held onto the chip lead from beginning to end. 

"I'm really happy with how I played tonight," Blumstein said. "Really happy with the result, really happy with the deuce, because I was playing good, but I'm pretty tired of poker at this point, honestly. To have to go back and battle pretty deep-[stacked] again, I wasn't looking forward to it."

The dynamic of Blumstein's considerable lead and a pair of short stacks in Dan Ott and Benjamin Pollak led to one of the most action-packed final days in WSOP main event history, including a three-way all-in that could have led to a historic double-knockout to end the tournament.

Blumstein's hand, which was best at the start, didn't hold up in that three-way spot -- Ott eliminated Pollak in third place -- but after a 66-hand heads-up match with Ott, Blumstein sealed the victory by grinding Ott down to nothing.

It looked as though Ott might make a comeback, as he doubled up with king-nine against pocket sixes. Shortly afterward he was all-in again and had Blumstein dominated with an ace-eight to Blumstein's ace-deuce. But as had been the case for most of the tournament, dramatics ensued, and a deuce on the river gave Blumstein a pair and the title.

"Is there a better way to win the main event than by hitting a three-outer on the river?" said Blumstein. "A normally inconsequential [card] -- the deuce -- changes my life."

Blumstein had to fight through a field of 7,221 players over two weeks in the 48th edition of poker's most famous tournament. This WSOP main event drew the third-largest field in history, behind only the fields in 2006 (8,773 players) and 2010 (7,319). The total accumulated prize pool for the event was $67,877,400, awarded in escalating amounts to 1,084 players.

Ott said he was satisfied with how he performed and the result.

"At the end, the chips didn't go my way," Ott told PokerNews.com. "The cards didn't go my way. But I got second place in the third-largest main event ever. I can't complain about that."

Blumstein's sizable lead made for a chaotic few hours, with five all-in-and-call hands playing out before Pollak's elimination in third place. It was also cyclical, as Ott doubled through Pollak twice, only for Pollak to win a pair of all-ins against Blumstein each time he became the short stack.

After Ott won the three-way all-in, Blumstein held an advantage of less than 2-1, paltry in comparison to the lead he had held for much of the past three days. They traded blows, but Blumstein never dropped below 200 million chips.

It was the conclusion of a three-day run for the ages for Blumstein. On the first night of the final table Thursday, he doubled through chip leader John Hesp to take a lead he would never relinquish. On Friday, Blumstein wielded that stack and accumulated even more chips as the final seven played down to three.

2017 WSOP main event final table results

  1. Scott Blumstein: $8.15 million

  2. Dan Ott: $4.7 million

  3. Benjamin Pollak: $3.5 million

  4. John Hesp: $2.6 million 

  5. Antoine Saout: $2 million 

  6. Bryan Piccioli: $1.675 million 

  7. Damian Salas: $1.425 million 

  8. Jack Sinclair: $1.2 million 

  9. Ben Lamb: $1 million 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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