Did WSOP 2017 Was the Best Ever?
The 2017 World Series of Poker has concluded. The two month long gathering consisted of over 70 separate tournaments, with the WSOP main event bracelet being the most coveted WSOP bracelet. Oh, and it might help that the bracelet also comes with a guaranteed cash prize of 10 million dollars. The 2017 first prize as dictated by entries was just over 8.1 million dollars. But this year 888poker guaranteed a first prize of $10 million so they would make up the balance. Each of the 9 players at the final table will receive at least $1 million dollars. The 9 top cash prizes are awarded in the following way.
- 1st place: $8,150,000
- 2nd place: $4,700,000
- 3rd place: $3,500,000
- 4th place: $2,600,000
- 5th place: $2,000,000
- 6th place: $1,675,000
- 7th place: $1,425,000
- 8th place: $1,200,000
- 9th place: $1,000,000
Scott Blumstein was the youngest of the 9 players at the final table. The Brigantine, New Jersey native has never cashed in any World Series of Poker event. His live tournament winnings prior to the 2017 Main Event were $312,142, His previous highest cash was a first-place finish in a $560 buy-in poker tournament last summer in Atlantic City where he won $199,854. This Main event win guarantee will be a lot more than that. Blumstein graduated from Temple University with a degree in accounting. Even more impressive was that the 2017 WSOP Main Event was the only WSOP gold bracelet event he entered this summer. And now Blumstein is the 2017 main event champion.
The final table is represented by four countries – Argentina, France, United Kingdom and the United States. The total amount of prize money allocated this year was $67,877,400, with the top 15% of players sharing in that prize. The winner of course will receive the guaranteed $8,150,000, plus the additional 1.75 million guaranteed by 888poker and the other eight players at the final table will split another $18 million.
The WSOP Main Event Final Table was made up of the following players:
JOHN HESPHesp was the oldest player remaining at the final table. The 64-year-old hails from Bridlington, United Kingdom, a coastal town off the North Sea. Hesp was a fan favorite in this tournament, with his colorful outfits, Panama hat and the light hearted attitude while at the table. This is his first time playing at the WSOP, and it was on his bucket list, and his wife gave him the go ahead to come this year. He chose the Main Event and there he was at the final table. With just $2,207 in known live poker tournament winnings, Hesp made the most of his opportunity. The grandfather of seven extended his return trip home a couple times, and has promised to treat his family to nice gifts when he returns. A recreational poker player for more than 20 years, Hesp strived to be the oldest Main Event winner since 1974 with Johnny Moss. But it was not meant to be.
BENJAMIN POLLAKFrenchman Benjamin Pollak is an accomplished 34-year-old poker professional from Paris who is now lives in London. With $2,967,782 in live poker tournament winnings heading into this event, Pollak is no stranger to going deep in the WSOP Main Event, finishing 27th in 2013.. Pollak has 12 previous WSOP cashes, $466,826 in previous earnings here, and also has a victory in a European event on his resume. Pollak is the first Frenchman to make the WSOP Main Event final table since Sylvain Loosli in 2013.
BRYAN PICCIOLIWSOP gold bracelet winner Bryan Piccioli, is a 28-year-old from San Diego, California has the most WSOP cashes of anyone at this year’s final table, with 26. Piccioli career live poker tournament winnings prior to the 48th WSOP was $1,909,374. He was one of only two players with a WSOP gold bracelet at this year’s final table. Piccioli played in 25 WSOP gold bracelet events in 2017 and cashed three times. This was the third consecutive year he has cashed in the WSOP Main Event, finishing 84th in 2016 and 958th in 2015.
DANIEL OTTOtt is a 25-year-old from Altoona, Pennsylvania, Daniel Ott isn’t a well-known live tournament poker player. His live tournament winnings total $3,656, those coming from two previous cashes at this summer’s WSOP. Ott played in10 events at the WSOP, including the Main Event, and cashed in three of them, including the Main Event. This was his first-ever WSOP Main Event cash. Ott is a graduate of Penn State University with a marketing degree. He and his twin brother cashed in the $1,000 Tag Team event.
DAMIAN SALASDamian Salas became the first Argentinian-born player to make the WSOP Main Event final 9. The 42-year-old professional poker player from Chascomus has $919,525 in career live tournament winnings. With his 2017 final table cash he approximately doubled his lifetime winnings. Salas played seven events at the WSOP this summer, cashing in three of them. He has also cashed twice previously in the WSOP Main Event, last year in 418th place and in 2013 in 606th place. Salas has a previous WSOP final table on his resume, finishing fifth last year in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout event. With $177,983 career WSOP earnings and 13 career cashes, this was Salas’ biggest moment in his WSOP career. Salas also is a business lawyer, with a Master’s degree and a JD.
ANTOINE SAOUTAntoine Saout, from Morlaix, France, has masterfully navigated his way through a crowded WSOP Main Event field to the final table for the second time. The 33-year-old Frenchman finished third in the Main Event in 2009, outlasting 6,492 others and bursting on to the poker scene with a large $3,479,669 payday. Nine years later, Saout is a hardened poker veteran, amassing over $5.5 million in live poker tournament winnings. The former Information Technology student turned poker pro has played 20 events at the 2017 WSOP. He cashed in four of them including the Main Event.
JACK SINCLAIRJack Sinclair is a 26-year-old from London, England who has just $13,500 in live poker tournament winnings and made his first-ever trip to Las Vegas this summer. He played 11 events at the 2017 WSOP, and the Main Event marked his third cash of the 2017 WSOP. His best ever live tournament was earlier this year when he finished in 161st place earning just over $9,000. Sinclair plays online poker typically, initially learning his way via free-to-play social poker games. He won a 60-million chip pot holding pocket Kings versus an opponent’s pocket Queens with 17 players remaining to propel his way to poker’s richest final table. Sinclair can become just the second Brit to win poker’s ultimate crown, joining Mansour Matloubi, who won the event in 1990.
BEN LAMBIt’s hard to argue that what Ben Lamb has done in the last 9 years at the WSOP Main Event isn’t among the greatest in history. It is his third top-14 finish. The 32-year-old former Tulsa, Oklahoma native now residing in Las Vegas, bested 6,480 players and picked up $633,022 at the 2009 WSOP Main Event. As an encore he finished third at the 2011 WSOP Main Event, winning $4,021,138 and outlasting 6,863 players. Now he has made his second WSOP Main Event final table in seven years, beating 7,213 players in the process. Lamb has endured over 20,556 other players in his three deep runs in poker’s largest annual tournament. His winnings in 14 previous WSOP events total $6,209,724, including winning a WSOP gold bracelet in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha championship at the 2011 WSOP, where he added $814,436 in prize money. Lamb is primarily a high stakes cash games but he couldn’t resist the lure of the Main Event. The 2017 WSOP Main Event was one of only seven events he played this year, and he has cashed twice.
WSOP 2017 MOMENTSOutside the final hand there was one note-worthy moments at the 2017 WSOP main event. Noted tournament player Vanessa Selbt was eliminated from the main event after approximately one hour of play. The blockbuster hand came when Seblt opened the betting with $400, Bauman and Schwartz called and the flop came A♣ 7♣ 5♣. Schwartz checked the flop and then Seblt bet $700 and Bauman called, Schwartz then mucked. The turn came a 7♠, Seblt checked and Bauman raised the pot to $1700. Seblt checked raised to $5800. Bauman sat stone faced and motionless and then called. The turn came and 4♦. Seblt took a minute then bet $16,200. Bauman raised the bet an additional $5,000 forcing Seblt to go all in. And she did just that.
Before the cards were even turned over Seblt knew her Aces full of 7s had lost to Bauman’s four 7s. After what seemed to be several minutes of ranting she gathered herself and exited the feature table area. In the end that’s just how the cards sometimes fall. This was just another memorable WSOP Main Event moment.
The 2017 Main Event capped the largest-ever WSOP in terms of entrants in the 48-year history of the event. A total of 120,995 players from 111 countries entered the 74 events on this summer’s WSOP schedule, generating a total prize pool of $231,010,874. The average age of entrants for the main event was 40.59 years old, with the oldest entrant, Carmel, New York resident William Wachter age 96, and the youngest, Alex Conklin, from Webster, New York, who turned 21 years old the day he began play on July 9. Over all it was a exciting tournament, until next year.