Temple University Grad Wins $8 Million at World Series of Poker

Scott Blumstein, who grew up in New Jersey, beat out more than 7,000 other poker players at the Las Vegas tournament

A recent Temple University graduate took his place atop the poker world early Sunday by winning the world's biggest poker tournament — and hauling in $8 million.

Scott Blumstein, a native of northern New Jersey who lives outside Atlantic City, took down the last two competitors at the final table of the 2017 World Series of Poker main event in Las Vegas. He held a commanding lead going into the final night of play that started Saturday evening, and was one of more than 7,000 that started the tournament.

The 25-year-old, who was described by Poker News as "an East Coast tournament grinder," entered the night with a commanding lead. A grinder is a player who spends a lot of time at the poker table and who considers poker a career.

The win "changes my life," he told ESPN, which broadcast the event.

"I'm really happy with how I played tonight," Blumstein said. "Really happy with the result, really happy with the deuce, because I was playing good, but I'm pretty tired of poker at this point, honestly. To have to go back and battle pretty deep-[stacked] again, I wasn't looking forward to it."

Entering Saturday, Blumstein had 226 million chips, compared to the second-place chip-holder Dan Ott's 88 million and Benjamin Pollack's 45 million.

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

Despite the win, 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."

Blumstein graduated from Temple three years ago with a degree in accounting. According to his Twitter account, he's a "professional liver."

He'll likely be a professional poker player for the considerable future. 

The $8.15 million isn'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.

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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