Temple Graduate Living in Philadelphia on Verge of $8 Million Payday With Commanding Lead in World Series of Poker

Scott Blumstein won nearly $200,000 in a tournament at the Borgata in Atlantic City last year.

A recent Temple University grad has climbed to the top of the poker world and is on the verge of winning $8 million.

Scott Blumstein, a native of northern New Jersey who lives in Philadelphia, has a commanding lead in the 2017 World Series of Poker main event going on right now in Las Vegas. He is one of only three players left — out of more than 7,000 that started out the tournament.

He has 226 million chips left, compared to current second-place chip-holder Dan Ott's 88 million and current third-place Benjamin Pollack's 45 million, according to ESPN, which is broadcasting the event.

Ott is also a current Pennsylvanian. He hails from Altoona. Pollack is a French poker professional.

Still, Blumstein isn't getting overly confident just yet.

"If you had to ask me, probably the two guys I would least want to get three-handed with," Blumstein told ESPN. "But with that being said, I have a lot of chips and I'm confident we're going to go home, work on some three-handed poker, and come back ready to play tomorrow."

It's unclear what Blumstein, 25, currently does for a living. He graduated from Temple three years ago with a degree in accounting. According to his Twitter account, he's a "professional liver."

A professional poker website called Poker News describes Blumstein as "an East Coast tournament grinder." A grinder is a player who spends a lot of time at the poker table and who considers poker a career.

He'll likely be a professional poker player, at least for the considerable future. Even if he blows his large lead heading into the final threesome, who return to the table 8:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) Saturday, he's guaranteed at least $3.5 million for third place.

And it won't be his first big score in a poker tournament. He won nearly $200,000 in a tournament at the Borgata in Atlantic City last year.

The "three-handed" final table will be broadcast on ESPN, starting at 9 p.m.

John Locher/Associated Press
The final three players, from left, Scott Blumstein, Benjamin Pollak, of France, and Dan Ott stand at the final table during the World Series of Poker, Friday, July 21, 2017, in Las Vegas.
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