The Weekly Review: The 2017 WSOP Wraps Up

The Weekly Review PokerNews Canada

The 2017 WSOP has come and gone. American Scott Blumstein outlasted the Main Event field of 7,221 players to become the new WSOP Main Event Champion along with capturing $8,150,000. With all eyes on the Main Event there is not much else to recap this week. The Canadian Global Poker Index (GPI) rankings stayed pretty much the same but a few names moved up and down the ladder. With the conclusion of the WSOP, we also look back at the Canadian attendance at this year’s WSOP.

WSOP Main Event Recap

Day 1: Nine Down to Six

The original plan was to play from nine players down to six. With a couple of short stacks looming to start the night, the first eliminated was one of the two players to have reached the WSOP Main Event final table before in Ben Lamb. Lamb three-bet shoved his remaining stack on the fourth hand of the final table, into the middle with ace-nine suited after the button open of Jack Sinclair. Sinclair called with ace-queen and Sinclair’s hand held to eliminate Lamb in ninth place for $1,000,000.

Sinclair would be the next to fall when he moved all in with king-jack suited and was called by the pocket aces of Bryan Piccioli. The aces held and Piccioli sent Sinclair to the rail to collect his $1,200,000 payday.

The top two stacks in John Hesp and Scott Blumstein tangled near the end of the night when Hesp turned two pairs holding ace-ten but ran into Blumstein’s pocket aces for top set. Hesp had Blumstein covered and was left as one of the short stacks to end the night while giving Blumstein a commanding chip lead with almost 50% of the chips in play with seven left.

At the end of the night the tournament organizers placed the bags in front of the seven remaining players with the plan to still play down to three players the next night.

Day 2: Seven Down to Three

With an extra person to start the day and a lot of shallow stacks, the play slowed down a bit with some big pay jumps to come.

Short-stacked Antoine Saout and John Hesp both doubled to start the second day of the final table within the first 20 hands of play.

Argentinian Damian Salas was, however, unlucky to not join his other two opponents in receiving a double-up and ended up being the first player on the rail on the night when Salas and Dan Ott got all the chips in the middle on a flop of {A-Hearts}{2-Diamonds}{3-Hearts}. Salas held {A-}{10-} for top pair of aces while Ott held {4-}{4-} for a straight draw and a pair of fours. The turn was the {6-Diamonds} which had Salas ready for a double up but the {5-Spades} came on the river to deliver the knock out blow to Salas and end his Main Event dreams, collecting $1,425,000 for his seventh-place finish.

Piccioli ended up getting withered down to nine big blinds and made a move holding ace-seven shoving in the small blind in an unopened pot. Ott woke up with pocket kings and held, eliminating Piccioli in sixth for $1,675,000.

A short while later, Saout joined the parade to the rail when he got involved with the chip leader Scott Blumstein. Blumstein raised on the button and got called by Saout in the small blind. Saout and Blumstein both checked the {J-Clubs}{6-Clubs}{7-Diamonds} flop. Saout then check-called the turn which brought the {4-Clubs}. The {J-Hearts} came on the river and Saout checked again. Blumstein then shoved all in, putting Saout into the tank to think about calling off his remaining 26.1 million chips. Saout did just that, calling for his tournament life and tabling {K-Clubs}{J-Diamonds} for trip jacks. Blumstein turned over {5-Spades}{3-Spades} for a straight and to knock out Saout in fifth place for $2,000,000.

John Hesp, who was also short at the time, shoved his remaining six big blinds into the middle minutes after the Saout elimination and was called by Benjamin Pollack. Pollack held {A-}{J-} while Hesp held {9-Clubs}{7-Clubs}. Hesp wasn’t in good shape but received some help on the flop of {K-Spades}{10-Spades}{6-Hearts} giving him four additional outs with an eight to make a straight along with a nine or seven to make a pair. The turn and river were both fours giving Pollack the win and eliminating the fan favourite Hesp in fourth place for $2,600,000.

That ended the night with Blumstein having over 60% of the chips in play with 226,450,00. Dan Ott sits second in chips with 88,375,000 while Pollak sits as the short stack with 45,850,000 heading into the third and final day of play for the final table.

Day 3: Scott Blumstein is the 2017 WSOP Main Event Champion

After 13 days of play, the end of the 2017 WSOP was in sight. The first elimination of the day happened when all three players ended up getting all in with Blumstein being in the lead and having a chance to win the tournament in one massive double-knockout blow. Blumstein held {A-}{Q-} while Benjamin Pollak, the shortest stack, held {Q-}{10-}, and Dan Ott held {K-}{9-}. Ott flopped a king to make a pair and after the board bricked out, that was good enough to collect the pot and eliminated Pollak in third place to collect $3,500,000.

During heads-up play, Blumstein grinded down what looked to be an inexperienced Ott at heads-up poker, bullying his American counterpart at times. Ott doubled to get his stack up over 10 big blinds, but then Scott Blumstein etched his name in poker lore when both players got their stacks into the middle with Ott being at risk holding {A-}{8-} while Blumstein held a dominated {A-}{2-}. The board bricked on the flop and turn but Blumstein caught gin on the river, catching a deuce to become the newest WSOP Main Event champion and to collect $8,150,000! Dan Ott took home $4,700,000 for the runner-up finish.

Canadian Attendance Rises at WSOP While Overall Percentage Down

With five more additional bracelets from last year, this year's WSOP saw Canadian attendance increased by 365 entries from the previous year to a total of 4,951 entries.

Canada was able to capture one bracelet this year when a relative unknown in the live poker realm, Montreal’s Pablo Mariz had only $40,000 to his name in live tournament winnings ended up winning the Million Maker, capturing over a million dollars and a WSOP bracelet for the victory. He also had a runner-up finish in the $1,000 tag team event to start the year. Mariz had himself a summer to remember and added a staggering $1,322,202 in tournament winnings to his name.

With the WSOP posting record numbers due to the increase in bracelet events there was a total of 120,995 entries across all events in the WSOP, along with a record total of $231,010,874 in prizes awarded.

The telling stat though due to all the inflation of numbers comparing the last two years with Canadian numbers is to look at the percentage of Canadian attendance based on the total field. This year, Canadians made up only 4.1% of the entries, this is a .2% decline from 2016, which saw 4.3% of the overall field being Canadian. The five-year peak happened in 2014 when an amazing 7.3% of the total field was Canadian. The trend has been a decline since then in the attendance at the WSOP. Be it the bad Canadian dollar, travel costs, and a roughly 30% tax on winnings, the Canadian attendance still continues a decline even with more people showing up at this years WSOP.

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GPI: Mike Leah climbs up Top 10 Canadian Ranks While Daniel Negreanu Falls in Canada POY Race

The overall GPI top 10 Canadians list remained mostly stagnant over the past week. Ari Engel still holds onto the lead in this category for the 38th-straight week. Mike Leah moved up one spot, leap-frogging Timothy Adams for the No. 4 spot. Sam Chartier also climbed one spot, sitting in No 7.

In the 2017 GPI Canadian Player of the Year race, Engel still holds onto the lead over Daniel Dvoress while Timothy Adams moved ahead of Daniel Negreanu for the third spot. Mike Leah rounds out the top five in this category.

In the global 2017 GPI Player of the Year race, Ari Engel fell another spot to No. 8 on the list. Dario Sammartino took over the lead in the POY race from Nick Petrangelo, thanks to a deep run in the Main Event.

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