James Holzhauer beat the odds during his record run on “Jeopardy!”. Now the Jeopardy champ is trying his hand at the World Series of Poker. The Las Vegas resident will make the short drive to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino and compete in events 56 and 57 on Monday, June 24 in the Rio Convention Center.
Holzhauer will start his day in the $1,500 No Limit Hold ’em Super Turbo Bounty at 11:00am. He’ll then team up with poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton in the $1,000 Tag Team No Limit Hold ’em event.
“I decided to enter because Mike Sexton contacted me and offered to sponsor my buy-ins. I don’t have any plans to enter another WSOP event beyond those two. I played online poker semi-professionally in the early 2000s, but I don’t intend to make a career of it now, as I’m sure I wouldn’t be good enough at it to justify forgoing other opportunities.”
Holzhauer won $2.46 million during a 32-game winning streak on “Jeopardy!” that ended June 3. He’s been grateful and giving along the way while representing so many in the gambling community. Holzhauer plans to donate 50% of any WSOP winnings on June 24 to charity. He and his wife, Melissa, have donated about $300,000 to various charities, he said. That includes a $1,109.14 to the Naperville walk, and left a message on its website, “For Alex Trebek and all the other survivors.” Trebek, 78, is the longtime popular “Jeopardy!” host who has stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The donation amount is in reference to James and Melissa’s 4-year-old daughters birthday of Nov. 9, 2014.
Holzhauer, 34, has been a professional sports bettor for more than a decade. He also says he “played online poker semi-professionally in the early 2000s.” Holzhauer is definitely a numbers guy and understands odds and variance. The trivia sensations IQ shined through during his historic “Jeopardy!” run, and when he finally lost in early June, an estimated 14.5 million viewers tuned in to see his historic run come to an end. The Nielson company reported that Holzhauer left with the 16 highest one-day scores in the show’s history.
Now “Jeopardy!” James goes back to his gambling expertise at the WSOP before turning his attention to the upcoming college and pro football season. Close friend and poker pro Ben Yu told PokerNews that Holzhauer is one of the smartest people he’s met.
“He has a phenomenal gambling mind. We do a lot of sports betting work together, share a lot of information. He’s definitely someone I look up to.”
The World Series of Poker is the gaming industry’s premier event – this year celebrating its 50th year — drawing tens of thousands of poker enthusiasts from around the globe to Las Vegas to compete for millions in prize money and the game’s most coveted trophy – a World Series of Poker Champion’s Bracelet.
Earlier in June, the WSOP drew the largest field ever for one live poker tournament in the BIG 50 No-Limit Hold ’em event #3. The tournament offered a more affordable $500 entry fee and a record 28,371 entrants competed, smashing the 2015 record by nearly 27% set at the 2015 Colossus event which had 22,374 entries. The BIG 50 event had 17,970 unique participants with 10,401 re-entries. The prize pool of $13,509,435 smashed the $5 million event guarantee and the first place prize of $1,147,499 went to first-time WSOP bracelet winner Femi Fashakin. A total of 4,258 players were paid (15% of the field) starting at $750.
Fashakin had just $60,000 in career poker cashes before his huge life-changing win.
“Overwhelmed, it’s really amazing, super excited. I can’t even describe it but I’m also grateful and it’s a humbling experience,” said Fashakin.
That’s an experience and thrill many poker players and gamblers are chasing at the World Series of Poker. A full list of all the 2019 WSOP bracelet winners along with each events final table participants and payouts can be found online at Poker Listings. Additional WSOP and poker industry news is provided by Card Player, who’s publisher Barry Shulman just finished runner-up and cashed-in $222,295 in the WSOP $1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold ’em event #39 that drew a field of 2,650 entries.
The popular Colossus No-Limit Hold ’em event #61 starts June 26 and has a $400 buy-in. The prestigious $50,000 Poker Players Championship (Event #58) starts June 24. The $10,000 No-Limit Hold ’em MAIN EVENT – World Championship (Event #73) begins Wed., July 3.
Three-time $50,000 Players Championship winner Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi won his 5th career WSOP bracelet and cashed in $142,801 in this year’s $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8-or-Better (Event #27). Mizrachi is the first player to win 5 bracelets this decade.
All the WSOP updates, news and daily events are posted at wsop.com and on twitter @WSOP, where starting times are followed by buy-in amounts and event.
9 $185 Mega
11 $1.5K Monster Stk Day 2
12 $1K Ladies FT
12 $800 NL DS 8-Max
12 $625 to $5.3K PPC Mega
1 $250 DS
2 $2.5K O8/S8 Day 3
2 $10K PLO Day 2
3 $1.5K Razz
3:30 $1K @WSOPcom Dbl Stk
4 $200 DS
5 $250 PLO DS
6 $5.3K PPC Mega
7 $400 DST
8 $575 Mega
10 $150 DST
— WSOP (@WSOP) June 23, 2019
Sunday’s schedule includes the final table of the $1,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold ’em event, which drew 968 entrants.
Along with the record turnout at the BIG 50 event, other records during the 2019 WSOP have included:
Largest $1,500 buy-in tournament in history (Event #19, Millionaire Maker, 8,809 entries)
Largest $600 buy-in tournament in history (Event #9, Deepstack No-Limit Hold ’em, 6,150 entries)
All WSOP bracelet events are streamed lived at Poker Central, which partnered with CBS to bring the popularity of poker and the biggest WSOP events to online platforms including PokerGo and CBS All Access.