Name: Neil Blumenfield
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
In a normal year, the Bay Area’s Neil Blumenfield would be the oldest player at the 2015 World Series of Poker Championship Event final table (that honor will go to Belgium’s Pierre Neuville, however). That “age and wisdom” has come in handy for Blumenfield, who will come to the final table with a healthy 22 million in chips when action resumes this fall.
Prior to this deep run in the Championship Event, Blumenfield was best known for being the first ever State of Nevada Poker Champion. In 2008 at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, NV, Blumenfield defeated 70 other players in a $1000 buy-in event to take those honors and the $15,930 first place prize. For the most part, Blumenfield would enjoy playing in smaller events around the Northern California/Nevada following that and would earn his first ever WSOP cash in 2010 in a $1500 No Limit Hold’em tournament.
Since then, Blumenfield has been more of a presence in the tournament realm. Blumenfield finished in 285th place in the 2012 WSOP Championship Event, his best prior finish in this tournament and his previous best ever cash of $38,453. In 2014, Blumenfield would final table a Heartland Poker Tour Main Event at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort and, a year later, cash in two other tournaments on the HPT schedule at the same casino. Most recently, Blumenfield picked up his third WSOP cash at the Senior’s Event in June.
HOW HE GOT HERE
Day 1(B): 36,825
Day 2(A): 149,500
Day 3: 370,500
Day 4: 835,000
Day 5: 570,000
Day 6: 4.315 million
It seriously didn’t look as if Blumenfield would be sitting in this position after his performance on Day 5. Even as late as Day 7, when the “November Nine” were determined, Blumenfield was consistently battling from the short stack. There was one hand on Day 6 that ensured that Blumenfield would be around to fulfil the dream of being at the WSOP Championship Event final table.
Leading out from under the gun against Wasim Ahmar and Daniel Negreanu, Blumenfield would fire three consecutive bullets on an intriguing 10♠ 9♠ 6♣ 5♣ 6♥ board, eventually getting all his chips to the center. While Negreanu didn’t stick around following the flop, Ahmar would call both the flop and turn before backing out at the river. Taking down the nearly three million chip pot allowed for some breathing room for Blumenfield, room that allowed him to grind his way to the final table of the 2015 WSOP Championship Event in a very healthy third place.