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2017 World Series of Poker Main Event: Scott Blumstein Runaway Leader With Three Remaining

Benjamin Pollak and Daniel Ott Round Out The Final Three Vying For $8.15 Million Top Prize

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Only two more eliminations are needed before the 2017 World Series of Poker $10,000 no-limit hold’em main event champion is decided. From a field of 7,221 entries, there are now only three players remaining with a shot at the championship bracelet and the first-place prize of $8,150,000.

The runaway chip leader is Scott Blumstein with 226,450,000, or just under two-thirds of the chips in play. The 25-year-old poker pro from New Jersey came into the final table as the chip leader and has now ended each of the first two nights of play on top of the leaderboard. By the end of play on Saturday, July 21 there will be no more chip leader, only a champion.

Second in chips is Daniel OttJoining Blumstein in the final three are Pennsylvania-based Daniel Ott and France’s Benjamin Pollak. Ott, a 25-year-old poker pro, will return for the final day of the main event in second chip position with 88,375,000. Pollak, a 34-year-old poker pro, rounds out the field with 45,850,000.

Blumstein entered the second day of the final table with roughly half of the chips in play, and although he increased his stack by nearly 50 million, he only scored one knockout from the four eliminations that took place.

The first player to hit the rail was 42-year-old Damian Salas, the first player ever from Argentina to make the main event final table. Daniel Ott raised and Salas called from the big blind. The flop brought the AHeart Suit3Heart Suit2Diamond Suit and Salas checked. Ott moved all-in and Salas called instantly with the AClub Suit10Heart Suit for top pair. Ott held the 4Spade Suit4Diamond Suit and was drawing to a straight or a set. The turn brought the 6Diamond Suit and the river the 5Spade Suit to give Ott the straight and send Salas to the rail in seventh place, earning $1,425,000.

Ott also scored the second knockout of the night. Action folded to Bryan Piccioli in the small blind and he moved all-in for less than ten big blinds. Ott snap-called with the KSpade SuitKClub Suit. The board improved neither player and the 28-year-old poker pro was awarded $1,675,000 for his deep run.

Fifth-place finisher Antoine SaoutBlumstein was still well out in the lead at that point, and he only cemented his advantage further when he scored the next knockout. Blumstein raised to 4.2 million from the button and 2009 WSOP main event third place finisher Antoine Saout called from the small blind.

The JClub Suit7Diamond Suit6Club Suit hit the flop and Saout checked. Blumstein checked behind and the 4Club Suit hit the turn.

Saout check-called a 5.6 million bet from Saout and the JHeart Suit completed the board. Saout checked yet again and Blumstein moved all in. Saout, who sat with 26.1 million, thought it over for a while before electing to call for his tournament life with the KClub SuitJDiamond Suit for trip jacks, only to have Blumstein show him the 5Spade Suit3Spade Suit for a turned straight.

With that Blumstein surpassed the 200,000,000 mark while Saout was sent to the rail in fifth place with $2,000,000 for his second main event final-table finish.

Fourth-place finisherJohn HespPlay ended for the night following the elimination of fan-favorite John Hesp. The 64-year-old father of four and grandfather to seven held the chip lead at one point during the first day of the final table, but his top two pair ran into the top set of Blumstein to see him fall to one of the short stacks.

Hesp was able to find a double up when his ASpade SuitAClub Suit held up against Pollak’s AHeart SuitKSpade Suit, but after that ray of hope he was never able to build any momentum and he soon found himself as the shortest stack.

His stack was ground down to just under 12 million by the time his final hand arose. It folded to Hesp and he moved all-in from the cutoff and Benjamin Pollak moved all-in from the small blind. Nobody else called and Hesp revealed the 9Club Suit7Club Suit. Pollak was ahead with the ADiamond SuitJSpade Suit and remained in the lead after a KSpade Suit10Spade Suit6Heart Suit4Club Suit4Heart Suit runout. With that Hesp was sent to the rail in fourth place, earning $2,600,000 for his incredible run in the biggest poker tournament in the world.

With Hesp’s elimination the remaining players guaranteed themselves paydays of at least $3,500,000. The final three will return to the Rio at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday with an hour and a half remaining in Level 41 and blinds of 1,000,000-2,000,000 with an ante of 300,000.

Here is a look at the chip counts for the final three:

Rank Player Chip Count
1 Scott Blumstein 226,450,000
2 Daniel Ott 88,375,000
3 Benjamin Pollak 45,850,000

Here are the results from the final table so far:

Place Player Earnings
4 John Hesp $2,600,000
5 Antoine Saout $2,000,000
6 Bryan Piccioli $1,675,000
7 Damian Salas $1,425,000
8 Jack Sinclair $1,200,000
9 Ben Lamb $1,000,000

For more coverage from the summer series, visit the 2017 WSOP landing page complete with a full schedule, news, player interviews and event recaps.

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