Jeopardy! Star James Holzhauer Goes All In at the WSOP, Patches with partypoker
Up until June 3, the poker world had been watching intently as Jeopardy! star and professional sports gambler James Holzhauer inched closer to breaking the show's all-time money record.
That amazing streak snapped after 32 games, bringing his earnings to $2,462,216, just $58,484 shy of the record held by Ken Jennings.
Today, Holzhauer looks to compete in a different arena, taking a seat on poker's biggest stage at the 50th annual World Series of Poker. Long-time poker Ambassador and partypoker Chairman Mike Sexton invited Holzhauer out for lunch to talk about representing the online poker brand in some live events and the Jeopardy! star has obliged.
"Like everyone, I was an avid fan of watching Jeopardy! when James was on his big run there," Sexton told the media in a press conference at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. "I'm watching him - sports bettor from Vegas, online poker player back in his college days and all."
Taking a Shot at the WSOP
While he won't be available to play in the big one because of a planned vacation, Holzhauer agreed to fire Event #56: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Super Turbo Bounty that kicked off at 11:00 a.m. and will be entering the $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold'em as Sexton's partner. Additionally, Holzhauer has been invited to play in the $10,000 partypoker Millions Main Event with $5,000,000 guaranteed in the Bahamas in November.
"It would be nice if I don't embarrass myself," laughed Holzhauer. "But I'm just really hoping to have a good time, and if I happen to win, then you know, that's gravy."
"It is a priority to give some money back to the community that needs it."
Holzhauer has no shortage of friends who are high-level poker players with ample WSOP final table experience, including his former college roommate Jameson Painter as well as Ben Yu.
"Several friends who are bracelet winners have been giving me quick coaching sessions," said Holzhauer. "It's good to have people in the community. They're great people - I'd trust them with my life."
Sexton will be showing Holzhauer the ropes at the WSOP, but assured him there's no pressure on the felt. “I just want him to have a good time playing. He’s come in to our world and we’re all blessed that he’s here."
Supporting Project 150
Sexton suggested to Holzhauer that he donate 50% of what he wins to charity, which "Jeopardy James" saw as a perfect opportunity to give back.
"He lit up like a Christmas tree when I said that, and he said yes," said Sexton. Holzhauer has always been about charity and giving back, and has chosen to donate to Project 150, at the suggestion of his wife, Melissa.
"She was really a driving force behind this particular one," Holzhauer explained.
"It would be nice if I don't embarrass myself. But I'm just really hoping to have a good time, and if I happen to win, then you know, that's gravy."
"There are 6,400 homeless teens and communities that realliy need assistance with everything. Food, clothing, a place to sleep at night, basic essentials, toiletries. All the things that high schoolers take for granted. They are giving these teens a shot at breaking the cycle of poverty," said a passionate Holzhauer.
Executive Director Kelli Kristo talked about encouraging students to "stay enrolled in school, graduate, and then hopefully with the support of the community, we can change the trajectory of their lives."
"It is a priority to give some money back to the community that needs it," Holzhauer said of the charity choice. "It's a really tough age being in high school. It could make or break your whole life. I think that we're giving a lot of teens a chance at a life they never would've known otherwise."
PokerNews will be following James Holzhauer's progress throughout the WSOP, so follow along to see how the Jeopardy! star does this week.