2017 WSOP Main Event winner Scott Blumstein wasn’t the only person benefiting from the deuce on the river that beat Dan Ott on the final hand of poker’s biggest tournament of the year. The world champion shipped each of four friends $40,750 out of the $8.15 million he won, their reward for investing $60 a piece towards his $10,000 tournament buy-in.
Blumstein didn’t really need the $240 he received from his buddies, of course. But he wanted them to have a sweat along with him, Aldo Boscia, one of those small investors, told ESPN.com.
Can’t Beat the ROI
It’s not uncommon for poker players to sell off some action to expensive buy-in tournaments like the Main Event. Doing so eliminates some of the risk and helps offset the high variance of poker tournaments. And Blumstein, playing in his first World Series event of any kind, sold off additional pieces of action prior to the start of the tournament. But he hasn’t said exactly how much he sold.
“My dad sold a half a percent to the owner of a bagel shop,” Blumstein told ESPN.com. “A friend of my grandfather’s, who is 93 and plays poker, had two percent.”
On June 21, he attempted to sell more action on Twitter, but no one took him up on the offer. How many of his social media followers are repeatedly kicking themselves right now? Likely more than three.
“Selling to the wsop main event. If anyone wants a piece of the winner side right on in,” he posted a few weeks prior to the start of the world championship event.
Reliving the Magical Moment
Blumstein began the final table with a slight chip lead over fan favorite, 64-year-old Brit John Hesp, on July 20. The New Jersey kid also had a cheering section, including friends who were financially invested in the outcome of his play.
On the first of three days at the final table, he was on the winning side of a perfect cooler, with a set of aces facing off Hesp’s top two pair. All the money got in on the turn, leaving the Brit, who was the chip leader at the time, with a small stack when the hand was done.
After that, it was smooth sailing for the eventual winner throughout the next two days. Blumstein continually flopped top pair or better, but he was also playing very sound poker. And that’s a nearly unbeatable combination.
Heads-up play against Pennsylvania’s Ott lasted 60 hands. The eventual runner-up was out of luck for much of that match as he watched Blumstein hit hand after hand, while he couldn’t connect on many flops.
Blumstein sucked out to beat Ott on the final hand. He then ran over to celebrate winning $8.15 million with his friends. They seemed just as ecstatic as he did. But, of course, they were: they, too, won big.