LAS VEGAS (AP) — A New Jersey resident with a degree in accounting is this year's World Series of Poker champion.
Scott Blumstein won the series' marquee no-limit Texas Hold 'em main event early Sunday in Las Vegas and is now more than $8.1 million richer. The 25-year-old Blumstein eliminated Pennsylvania's Daniel Ott on the 246th hand of the final table, more than 60 hands with just the two of them with bricks of bills and a gold bracelet separating them.
Blumstein's final hand of an ace of hearts and a two of diamonds was stronger than that of Ott, who went all in with an ace of diamonds and an eight of diamonds. 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.
Blumstein, Ott and seven other players reached the final table after having bested more than 7,200 participants. Unlike the past several years, the final nine players didn't have to wait until November to take their spots at the final table. Each of them was guaranteed at least $1 million.
The famed tournament marked the end of this year's series, in which dozens of tournaments drew 120,995 entrants from around the world, shattering attendance records. The men who made the final table represented the United States, Argentina, France and Britain.
Ott, of Altoona, Pennsylvania, earned $4.7 million. Neither he nor Blumstein, of Brigantine, New Jersey, had previously played at the main event. Both had dozens of supporters who cheered and gasped — depending on the hand — throughout the night. Some in Team Blumstein sported T-shirts that wondered "Is this real" and others that declared "I don't like folding."
Blumstein, a graduate of Temple University, 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. Besides his multimillion-dollar payout, he also took home a bracelet made from white and yellow gold and diamonds and rubies.
Earlier, on Saturday night, Frenchman Benjamin Pollak was eliminated in third place.