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‘Jeopardy!’ champ out of debut World Series of Poker event

/ 09:35 PM June 25, 2019
James Holzhauer

“Jeopardy!” champion and professional sports gambler James Holzhauer plays in a tournament at the World Series of Poker. Image: AP/John Locher

“Jeopardy!” champion and professional sports gambler James Holzhauer finished out of money in his World Series of Poker debut last Monday, June 24, a tournament official said.

Holzhauer finished in 454th place among more than 1,800 entrants in a No-Limit Hold’em event, spokesman Seth Palansky said. Buy-in was $1,500 (about P77,000) and Holzhauer did not reach the top 281 finishers who will win shares of some $2.5 million (about P128 million) in prize money.

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Holzhauer moved to his second poker event of the day, to play with Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton in a $1,000 (about P51,000) buy-in Tag-Team No-Limit Hold’em tournament. Sexton began to play for both of them.

Holzhauer told tournament officials he plans to donate half of any winnings to a Las Vegas nonprofit for homeless, displaced and disadvantaged high school students called Project 150.

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Holzhauer played online poker semi-professionally in the early 2000s but makes a living now with sports betting.

He became a celebrity winning 32 consecutive “Jeopardy!” games and raking in more than $2.4 million (about P123 million) before he lost in early June. He ended his run a little more than $58,000 (about P2.9 million) shy of the overall earnings record set by Ken Jennings, who won 74 games in 2004.

Holzhauer left with the 16 highest one-day scores in the show’s history.

He has taken part in several events in Las Vegas in recent weeks and donated $10,000 (about (P513,000) in May to Project 150. He and his wife Melissa also contributed $10,000 to a different nonprofit school dropout prevention program called Communities In Schools of Nevada.

Holzhauer made a recent donation of about $1,100 (about P56,000) in “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek’s name to a pancreatic cancer walk in Holzhauer’s hometown, Naperville, Illinois.

Trebek, 78, announced earlier this year that he was being treated for advanced pancreatic cancer. He said last month that doctors told him he is in “near remission.” HM/JB

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TAGS: ‘jeopardy’, Alex Trebek, game show, James Holzhauer, poker
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