Poker Coverage: Poker Legislation Poker Tournaments U.S. Poker Markets Sports Betting

Jeopardy! Star James Holzhauer Takes A Seat At The 2019 World Series Of Poker

The Second Highest Earning Regular-Play Contestant In Jeopardy! History Is Taking A Shot At Poker's Biggest Series

Print-icon
 

James Holzhauer earned more than $2.4 million in 33 appearances on the popular game show Jeopardy!, enough to make him the second highest earning regular-play contestant in the show’s history. On Monday, June 23, the 35-year-old professional sports gambler based out of Las Vegas is making his debut at another decades-old staple of American games: the World Series of Poker.

Holzhauer used to play a bit of online poker and was formerly roommates with Jameson Painter, a ten-time WSOP final tablist.

Poker Hall of Famer and WSOP bracelet winner Mike Sexton reached out to Holzhauer recently with a sponsorship opportunity from online card room partypoker. Sexton, partpoker’s Chairmen, initially invited Holzhauer to play in the WSOP main event, but there was a scheduling conflict. Holzhauer ultimately agreed to play in the $1,500 no-limit hold’em super turbo bounty event and the $1,000 no-limit hold’em tag-team event, teaming up with Sexton in that unique event which allows teams of multiple players to take turns playing the same stack.

“It will 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 that’s gravy,” said Holzhauer when asked about his expectations in the two tournaments. “I have several friends who are bracelet winners and they’re giving me some quick coaching sessions, that I’m sure will not help.”

Holzhauer admitted to having played very little live poker, estimating less than 50 hours on the felt outside of online experience.

Holzhauer and Sexton committed to donating half of any winnings they might earn to Project 150, a Nevadan charity that aims to help homeless and disadvantaged high school students at 61 high schools in the Southern Nevada region and another 20 in the Reno area.

“There are 6,400 homeless teens in the community that really need assistance with everything: food, clothing, a place to sleep at night… they’re giving these teens a shot to break the cycle of poverty,” said Holzhauer about Project 150.

“The only other time I declared that I was going to donate 50 percent of my winnings to charity, I won the WSOP Tournament of Champions for a million dollars,” recalled Sexton. “So hopefully the run-good keeps going.”

Check out the video below to see Holzhauer in action at the WSOP and to see the entirety of a press conference featuring Holzhauer, Sexton and Project 150 Executive Director Kelli Kristo.