English poker pro Sam Holden’s incredible rise to fame and fortune has been documented in a movie that will chart the 888 Poker ambassador’s progress to the World Series of Poker (WSOP) main event final table last year.
The 22-year-old from Eastbourne came close to breaking through the million dollar mark in live tournament earnings in 2011 – falling just short at $937,900 – after pocketing $782,115 for finishing ninth in event #58, the $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Championship, in Las Vegas for a tournament that kicked off on his birthday, July 7.
Now, to celebrate this November Niner’s new-found stardom and amazing journey, 888 Poker have got together with Spade Social – a video social network for poker, casino and sportsbook fans – to create an all-access documentary that premieres next Monday on Sky Channel 231 in the UK and Ireland and throughout continental Europe on more than 20 additional free satellite channels.
Movie Follows Team 888 Poker Pro’s Vegas Stay
The exclusive half-hour documentary will see Team 888 Poker Pro Sam Holden – who now lives in London after some time spent in Canterbury – leave England for Vegas to face up to the best poker pros in the world during the 42nd staging of the renowned series – and in particular the main event final table.
While also finding out Holden’s plans for this year and looking back at his University of Kent education, the film explores the phenomenon that is the arrival of countless highly educated young players that are most definitely changing the world’s best game.
For example, an incredible seven of last year’s nine WSOP main event final table players were in their 20s, with only 47-year-old Bob Bounahra, of Belize, and eventual runner-up Martin Staszko, from the Czech Republic, at 35, beyond that mark to create an average age of just less than 28.
Pius Heinz Wins Main Event Aged Just 22
The other seven were German 22-year-old Pius Heinz – the winner for $8,715,638 – as well as 26-year-olds Ben Lamb, from Tulsa, Vegas duo Matt Giannetti and Phil Collins and Dubliner Eoghan O’Dea, 21-year-old Ukrainian Anton Makiievskyi, and, of course, Holden, who was 22 at the time…and still is!
With Heinz’s victory, that means the last four WSOP main event champions have all been under 23 years old. French-Canadian and Team PokerStars Pro Jonathan Duhamel (2010) was 21, while American Joe Cada (2009) – another Team PokerStars Pro – and Dane Peter Eastgate (2008) were only 22 when lifting the top prize.
This new breed of poker player has grown up with the internet and easy access to numerous poker websites, including 888 Poker, to further their understanding of the game by playing thousands – if not millions – of hands, so the documentary also looks at the influences of technology and social media on the game’s recent staggering development.
Young Brit Seen in Action
Back to the star of the movie, and Holden will also be seen at the tables – paying particular attention to his skills at live events as well as virtual tourneys to provide viewers with a better understanding of the making of a million dollar pro.
In fact, here’s how Holden has closed in on that very mark:
March 4, 2012: ninth place for $966, £500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Super Stack Series High Roller event, Palm Beach Casino, London, England
November 30, 2011: first place for $150,000, Coral Late Night Poker 2011 Final, Cardiff, Wales
November 8, 2011: ninth place for $782,115, $10,000 buy-in World Championship No-Limit Hold’em, 42nd World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2011, Penn and Teller Theatre, Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
June 17, 2011: first place for $5,785, £100 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max, UK & Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) Newcastle, Aspers Casino, Newcastle, England
December 5, 2010: fifth place for $2,090, €220 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em, UK & Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) Galway, Radisson Hotel, Galway
August 22, 2010: 12th for $3,436, £500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event, UK & Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) Edinburgh, Corn Exchange, Edinburgh
Here is the full UK and Ireland schedule for the documentary (all times BST, British Summer Time):
- Monday, April 9: 23.30
- Tuesday, April 10: 01:00
- Thursday, April 19: 23.30
- Thursday, April 26: 01:00
If you can’t wait until next week, here’s a sneak peak at the Sam Holden WSOP documentary:
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