Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 59: Death, Zombies & Spending Time w/Phil Hellmuth
Welcome to the last Hold’em with Holloway of 2015! Instead of focusing on a particular poker hand — and let’s face it, it’d be hard to top last week’s wild four-way all-in hand from the EPT12 Prague Main Event — I’ve decided it’d be fun to scroll through the hundreds of articles I’ve written this year and offer you what I feel are my top 10.
I felt this is fitting given PokerNews will be offering readers the Top 10 Stories of 2015 in the week to come. Now, keep in mind the pieces below aren’t “Top 10” based on hits, but rather those pieces that impacted me personally.
10. Finishing Up The 50-State iGaming Initiative
Long ago I set about an ambitious project — to take a look at the current iGaming landscape in all 50 states. The series was titled The 50-State iGaming Initiative, and each edition took a look at five states at a time.
Way back in January, I finally finished the project by examining the last five states. What’s more, the series inspired PokerNews to create an interactive U.S. Poker Map, which allows readers to assess the iGaming chances for all 50 states.
9. Ben Wiora Wins Wisconsin State Poker Championship
Being from Wisconsin, I take a keen interest in that poker scene. The Mid-States Poker Tour is the state’s biggest poker series, so whenever it rolls into Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells (my home casino) it tends to generate a ton of excitement.
That was the case back in February when the first-ever MSPT Wisconsin State Poker Championship was held. I played, but didn’t do much. On the other hand, Ben Wiora did by winning the whole thing for $114,512.
Ben is a good friend of mine, and I was very excited to see him win (though I didn’t have a piece). I was honored to have commentated on his final table, and even more so to write a feature about him on PokerNews.
On an interesting note, Wiora is now one of my two roommates in Las Vegas.
8. Blaycation Bucket List
At the start of the 2015 World Series of Poker, I had the opportunity to spend a couple days with a number of poker enthusiasts who were a part of a group called Blaycation, a company started to pair people’s bucket lists with experiential travel. It was truly a pleasure to write about people like Kempton MacLeod, a Vegas virgin; Gerry McWeeny, who learned to play by watching poker on the Travel Channel; and an unforgettable duo, “Grumpa & Kenny.”
Spending time with the entire group reminded me of why I fell in love with the game in the first place. It was a refreshing experience and one I’ll remember for many years to come.
7. Appearing on Poker Night in America
Back in April I had the opportunity to appear on Poker Night in America (PNIA) at Sugar House Casino in Philadelphia. It was there I got the chance to play $25/$50 no-limit hold’em against the likes of Phil Hellmuth, Shaun Deeb, and Alec Torelli, just to name a few.
I played some memorable hands, including one involving a huge laydown by Torelli, and another in which I called Hellmuth with jack-deuce offsuit. It was a great experience, and I managed to win a decent amount of money.
6. Phil Ivey Wins the Aussie Millions $250K Challenge… AGAIN!
Back at the 2012 Aussie Millions, Phil Ivey topped a field of 16 entries to win the LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge for A$2 million, and two years after that he’d win it again by outlasting a field of 46 entries to capture the A$4 million first-place prize.
Earlier this year, Ivey did the unthinkable and defended his title to win the prestigious event for the third time in four years, not to mention the A$2.205 million top prize. That meant the three largest cashes of Ivey’s career have all come from the Aussie Millions $250,000 Challenge.
I’ve had the honor of being there for all of them, so that’s something special. I’m looking forward to returning to the Aussie Millions in early 2016 to see if Ivey can do it yet again.
5. Contributing to Jonathan Little’s New Book
Writing my own poker book has always been a dream of mine (I’d rather write something history-related as opposed to strategy), and while I still hope to do that one day, contributing a chapter to D&B Publishing’s Excelling at No-Limit Hold’em — especially alongside a roster of high caliber players — was a very exciting opportunity.
What’s more, my chapter kicked off the book. That was a surprise to me, and I was truly honored. For 2016, I look forward to working again with Jonathan Little to host a couple of webinars related to the book. Keep an eye out for details on those, which will take place in March.
4. Life in the Rast Lane
Without a doubt my favorite pieces to write are in-depth features, and this year one of my favorites was one that delved into Brian Rast’s incredible poker journey. It was great spending time with him during the Aussie Millions, and both he and I were pleased with the final product, which was titled Life in the Rast Lane.
Making it even better was the fact that Rast went on to win the inaugural $500,000 Super High Roller Bowl.
Here are a couple other features I wrote in 2015 that I highly recommend:
- Aaron Mermelstein Battles Whirlwind of Adversity En Route To Becoming a WPT Champ
- Putting In Your Dues: Greg Himmelbrand’s Journey to Becoming a Poker Millionaire
3. Called By Jack-High: The Life and Times of Ellix Powers (1952-2015)
Those who’ve worked with me know I have a deep appreciation for the history of the game, so it should come as no surprise that I enjoy writing about characters of yesteryear. This year, it took the unfortunate passing of Ellix Powers for me to put “pen to paper” and write about one of the poker boom’s most memorable characters, albeit a forgotten one in the modern era of poker.
Sadly, I didn’t learn of Powers’ passing until a month after it’d happened. (it seemed the poker world as a whole was largely unaware.) Given the time delay, I didn’t feel a news piece would be the best choice, so instead I opted for a full-length feature looking back at his life and contribution to poker.
Over the next few weeks I spent time talking to friends of Powers and listening to their stories. I did my best to compile it into a piece that properly honors the man memorably “called by jack-high.”
2. Attending Phil Hellmuth’s 14th Bracelet Celebration
What did Phil Hellmuth do last night after winning his record 14th World Series of Poker bracelet? I had the chance to find out as the “Poker Brat” saw fit to invite me to the private celebration at ARIA’s High Limit Lounge. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to what proved to be a very intimate affair. If you haven’t already, you can read about that special night by clicking here.
1. World Series of Zombies (WSOZ)
This wasn’t an article per se, but it is without a doubt the most meaningful thing I did this year. For those who don’t know, I created a comic book with the premise of a zombie outbreak during the World Series of Poker, and then sold it this past summer during the WSOP.
It was a blast. Dozens of poker pros, many of whom appear in the comic, got a kick out of it, and poker fans seemed to enjoy it, too. On the comic side of things, I got former Survivor contestant Erik Reichenbach to do the limited edition Daniel Negreanu variant cover, managed to get numerous comic shops in Vegas to stock it (including Maximum Comics), and was even invited to attend the Great American Comic Con in Vegas.
WSOZ was a fulfilling personal project, and I thank everyone who supported me in bringing it to life. For those interested in a copy of WSOZ, you can either hit me up on Twitter @ChadAHolloway or read an electronic copy at Comixology.
Honorable Mention: I had the opportunity to interview the legendary Doyle Brunson very briefly during the 2015 WSOP. Brunson literally shooed away other reporters, and I believe I was the only one who got a chance to talk with him. It was definitely a highlight of the summer, which you can read here.
Bonus Fact: Interestingly, none of the articles listed above proved to be my most popular based on hits. Not surprisingly, the piece that garnered the most views for me in 2015 was Dwyte Pilgrim Shocks Poker World Amid Accusations of Hustling Players.
In this Series
- 1 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 1: Making Reads and Trusting Them
- 2 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 2: Playing in Poker Charity Events
- 3 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 3: Throttle Back Before You End Up Punting
- 4 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 4: Punish the Satellite Bubble
- 5 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 5: What is Proper Accumulator Strategy?
- 6 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 6: A Chip and a Chair Story with “SirWatts”
- 7 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 7: 15 Things About Poker I Wish I’d Known Sooner
- 8 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 8: Examining the Largest Overlay in Poker History
- 9 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 9: Differences Between Rebuys and Reentries
- 10 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 10: Five Must-Read Poker Books of 2014
- 11 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 11: When Will You Finally Break Through?
- 12 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 12: Dealing with a Target on Your Back
- 13 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 13: Knowing When to Call It Quits
- 14 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 14: Embarking on a Year-Long Weight Loss Journey
- 15 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 15: Navigating Multiple Decision Points in a Poker Hand
- 16 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 16: Chris Moorman Tells Me How Badly I Play Poker
- 17 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 17: Richard “nutsinho” Lyndaker on Getting It in Marginal
- 18 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 18: Getting Inside the Head of Poker Pro Brian Rast
- 19 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 19: Stupid Calls & Lucky Draws in MSPT WI Championship
- 20 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 20: Talking Ante-Only Strategy with Greg “FossilMan” Raymer
- 21 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 21: Contributing to Jonathan Little’s New Book
- 22 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 22: Consequences of Acting Out of Turn & Tossing in Chips
- 23 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 23: When It Comes to Chops, Do What’s In Your Best Interest
- 24 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 24: Accepting Bad Beats & Lessons in Selling Action
- 25 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 25: Heinz’ Ace-High Call Shows Why He's a World Champ
- 26 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 26: Is Keeping the Short Stack Alive Collusion?
- 27 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 27: Great Laydown or Bad Fold on Poker Night in America?
- 28 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 28: Calling Hellmuth with Jack-Deuce Offsuit
- 29 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 29: The Philosophy of "No-Chop" Chad
- 30 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 30: Preparing to Play the World Series of Poker
- 31 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 31: Staying on Your Grind at the World Series of Poker
- 32 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 32: The Perilous Decision to Call Off with Ace-Queen
- 33 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 33: Using Poker Skills in Reality TV Competitions
- 34 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 34: Esfandiari Explains How to Recover from Bad Beats
- 35 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 35: Tilly vs. Brunson in Super High Roller Cash Game Hand
- 36 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol 36: Unconventional Play Leads to Good WSOP Main Event Start
- 37 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 37: Lessons in Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low w/ Evan Jarvis
- 38 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 38: Things to Say and Do When You Bust a Poker Tournament
- 39 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 39: How Much Did I Have to Raise to Get You to Fold?
- 40 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 40: Practicing Patience in My Deep PPC Poker Tour Run
- 41 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 41: Analyzing a Questionable SHRPO Main Event Hand
- 42 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 42: Analyzing the Play of Neymar Jr. at EPT Barcelona
- 43 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 43: The Value of a Reliable Poker Reputation
- 44 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 44: John “KasinoKrime” Beauprez Rips My PLO Game Apart
- 45 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 45: Satellite Dilemmas -- To Call or Not to Call
- 46 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 46: Seiver Leverages the River in Super High Roller Bowl
- 47 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 47: What Untraditional Moves in Poker Might Mean
- 48 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 48: Thinking About the Future with Sam Grizzle
- 49 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 49: WCOOP Champ “Coenaldinho7” Offers Up His Biggest Hands
- 50 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 50: The Peril of Shoving Weak Aces
- 51 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 51: The Importance of Not Giving Up in Poker Tournaments
- 52 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 52: Does Asking “Check” Actually Constitute a Check?
- 53 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 53: Thomas Cannuli Impresses Even After Main Event Bustout
- 54 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 54: Dealers Aren’t Always Right
- 55 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 55: Don’t Get Married to Pocket Aces
- 56 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 56: Bazeley’s Survival Instinct Leads to Continued Success
- 57 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 57: Playing “Deuces Wild” on the European Poker Tour
- 58 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 58: The Wildest Hand in European Poker Tour History
- 59 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 59: Death, Zombies & Spending Time w/Phil Hellmuth
- 60 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 60: How the Unstoppable Fedor Holz Managed to Win Again
- 61 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 61: Lessons To Be Learned When You Hit the Big Stage
- 62 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 62: Steve O’Dwyer Explains the “Oreo Cookie Tell”
- 63 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 63: What Would Happen to a Chip Stack If a November Niner Died?
- 64 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 64: Forgetting One Chip -- Should It Still Be an All-In Bet?
- 65 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 65: Todd “sharkslayerrr” Breyfogle on Bankroll Management
- 66 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 66: Cash Game Pro Daniel Arfin Offers Sound Bankroll Advice
- 67 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 67: Honeyman Plays Kings to Keep in Opponent’s Bluff Range
- 68 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 68: Why Do I Even Bother Drinking at the Poker Table?
- 69 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 69: Is Your Favorite Poker Pro Left- or Right-Handed?
- 70 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 70: In Order to Live You Have to Be Willing to Die
- 71 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 71: How to Amass a Big Stack Early in a Poker Tournament
- 72 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 72: Answering User-Submitted Poker Scenarios
- 73 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 73: Saying Goodbye with a Top Five List
- 74 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 74: We're Back, Baby!
- 75 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 75: Jivkov on Exploiting Capped Ranges
- 76 Hold’em with Holloway, Vol. 76: Matt Bretzfield Gets Tricky With Aces
- 77 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 77: Joseph Cheong Gets Crazy with a Pair of Ladies
- 78 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 78: Wyoming Poker Action & Wild South Dakota Hand
- 79 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 79: Calling Controversy at WinStar
- 80 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 80: Going for Value with Matt Hunt
- 81 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 81: Bracelet Winner Ryan Leng on Bad Call
- 82 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 82: Romeopro33 Recounts XL Eclipse Victory
- 83 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 83: Men The Master Doesn't Get Paid
- 84 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 84: Harman Hits Back-to-Back Miracle Turns
- 85 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 85: Jamie Kerstetter on Dealing with Bounties
- 86 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 86: Matt Stout Develops a Limp Dynamic
- 87 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 87: Matt Alexander Caught in Between w/ Two Red Aces
- 88 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 88: John Beauprez on Why He Folded a Set of Jacks
- 89 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 89: Alex Aqel Lets Opponent Hang Himself with Aces
- 90 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 90: David Peters Makes Beastly Call Against Will Givens
- 91 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 91: Poker Lessons from a Game of Risk
- 92 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 92: My Upstuck Diagnosis by the CLC Squad
- 93 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 93: Alex Foxen Coolers Nick Petrangelo in SHRB
- 94 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 94: My $25,000 PSPC Experience at 2019 PCA
- 95 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 95: The Equity of Leveraging Time Extensions
- 96 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 96: Dan O'Brien on Developing Healthy Routines
- 97 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 97: Big Hands From the WSOP-C Potawatomi
- 98 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 98: Simon Deadman Rips Apart My NLH Tourney Play
- 99 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 99: Shoving 10-6 Smack Dab Into Pocket Aces
- 100 Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 100: The Revived Re-Entries Debate