Scott Blumstein joined the most exclusive club in poker as a Word Series of Poker Main Event Champion and the 25-year-old poker pro New Jersey stayed humble through ensuing circus. Blumstein sat for an extended chat with Remko Rinkema for “Heads Up with Remko” and revealed quite a bit about himself.
Winning the biggest tournament of the year changes lives, but Blumstein was reluctant $8.15 million win change him. “Nothing too drastic has changed honestly,” he said. “The idea of going from being a grinder to kind of not being a grinder now I’m kind of going with the flow That’s really the biggest takeaway for me from a poker perspective.”
“I literally wasn’t the best grinder to begin with,” he admitted. “So, I would have probably taken a little bit of time off. I would have been back to the East Coast and back to work. Fortunately, I don’t have to consider what would have happened with a min-cash.”
Blumstein sees a world of opportunity in front of him now his bankroll is padded. “The cool thing about being a professional poker player in America there is no shortage of events to play all over the country,” he said. “I never played a hand in poker in Florida or Oklahoma – the list goes on and on.”
Blumstein touched on the quick turnaround for the Final Table this year, “Honestly, I was a prisoner of the moment where I think I did a really good job of not over thinking anything and just going out and playing,” he said. “It def makes it easier with a chip lead like that because there’s not too much to worry about.”
“My main goal was to come in and make some plays that I thought were correct plays and let some people bust,” said Blumstein. “Because every person that busts is a pay jump and one place closer to first and that’s never a bad thing when that happens. I didn’t want to force the issue and things went according to plan.”
He avoided the bright lights of the ESPN Main Feature Table for quite a bit. “One thing I had never done in my career is play on any kind of live streamed table, said Blumstein. “As the player pool shrunk, I realized my chances of being at a table like that would increase. But every day I continued to fade it.”
“I had Ben Lamb on my right and Jake Bazeley on my left, it was a really tough table,” he said. “I thought I was going to get on to get a chance to get used to it. I didn’t actually make a feature table until three tables left, but I was on the outer without hole cards.”
“The nerves – when we finally got to 18 and they put me on the Main Table there wasn’t any time to be nervous or let it affect me because we still had a lot of poker left.”
Scott looking Hesp up during a hand at the Main Event Final Table. (Photo: PokerPhotoArchive.com)
Blumstein said he had the best seat in the house playing next to John Hesp. “At the end of the day the way I see it, it’s what poker should kind of be about – if you’re not having fun when you play, then I don’t think there’s any point to playing the game.”
“It doesn’t matter the stage, or context – it was great seeing John Hesp having a great time, it was infectious. It personally took some of the pressure off. When you’re laughing, smiling and having fun it’s easy to not worry about the task at hand.”
Listen to the rest of Blumstein had to say and his analysis of some key hands at the Final Table.
If you’ve missed any of Blumstein’s big hands, go to PokerGO and relive every day of the Main Event up until the Final Table. The Main Event final table replays on PokerGO are available for customers in non-ESPN affiliated regions only. Blackouts apply. Follow Scott on Twitter and sign up for PokerGO.