Scott Blumstein Returns To The WSOP Motivated And Ready To Defend

Matthew Clark June 8, 2018 489 Reads
Scott Blumstein

Scott Blumstein’s summer is off to a different start than one year ago. The reigning World Series of Poker Main Event Champion couldn’t afford to play a full schedule in 2017. Instead, he focused on preparing himself for the one tournament he knew he would compete in.

The repeat

Returning to the home of his life’s achievement brings motivation to prove his win was not a fluke to both himself and any doubters.

“I’m more excited to have another shot to try and have more success, especially in the Main Event,” Blumstein said. “I’m not looking at to more pressure on myself but it is an opportunity to do something really cool and make another run and prove that I’m doing something right on a larger scale.”

Blumstein’s confidence in his game never wavered even if his bankroll couldn’t support the level he knew he was capable of playing.

Rather than over-extend himself and put more of his winnings on the line than necessary, Blumstein sold a package of events for his summer schedule. The list of those events is not exclusively limited to No Limit Hold’em as evidenced by the first tournament registered by Blumstein: the $1,500 HORSE.

Blumstein says he enjoys the variation and has a background in Limit Hold’em cash games. There is no Day 2 for Blumstein in the HORSE but perhaps more Limit Hold’em events are on his schedule for 2018.

“It feels a little different,” Blumstein said about his first full summer at the WSOP. “It’s a nice luxury to be more selective in what I play. I feel more like someone who is here to have a little bit more fun than if it were a grind. I would like to think that no matter what, I’ll be smart about how many tournaments I play. It’s a long summer and you want to be smart about it.”

Blumstein is busy with other poker-related items outside of playing tournaments. Day 2 of the Big Blind Ante $1,500 No Limit event featured Blumstein in the commentary booth on Twitch. Those appearances are starting to grow and Blumstein’s New Jersey drawl is going to become more familiar to listeners throughout the summer.

Stay in playing shape

Blumstein shed weight between May 2017 and his trip to Las Vegas by eating better and walking the golf course to move from 330 to his literal title weight of 305. Those numbers are down to 280 heading into the summer.

In the last year, Blumstein has focused more on his individual health than his game. The 26-year-old calls Las Vegas, Nevada home now but spent a lot of time traveling for various charity events across the country.

Due to his physical condition and how it affected his mental game, Blumstein admits that he was not ready for a full summer at the same point a year ago. The work he put in away from the table paid major dividends during the epic grind of the Main Event. To stay sharp through all the hours is a testament to the self-reflection Blumstein says was necessary for him to win the $8.1 million.

“In general, I think it’s important to be healthy, not just physically but mentally,” Blumstein said. “If that means you don’t have the right means to be out here for a full summer playing, then so be it. I just didn’t feel prepared and I wanted to be in a good spot to come out and not put in quantity, but quality. Play a few tournaments and play them well. I feel good and I was able to make the changes in my health that I needed to do. Going to from 330 to 305 doesn’t seem large; the drastic change helped me with my poker game.”

Advice for newcomers

Blumstein won the Main Event in his first attempt and hundreds will attempt to join him in that feat come July 2. Their journey is not going to be the same as Blumstein’s but he offers wisdom on how the preparation can be replicated.

“It’s not hard, come out and play your best. Decide to take advantage of the opportunity. Make the right plays beforehand to prepare and execute.”

Lead image courtesy of WPT/Flickr