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888poker’s Sam Holden Looking to Repeat at WSOP
It’s been one year since the WSOP Main Event that changed Sam Holden's life and the young Brit is back in Las Vegas looking to do it all over again.
Holden, a 23-year-old poker pro from Herstmonceux, East Sussex finished 9th out of 6,865 at the $10,000 WSOP world championship last year. It was an accomplishment that changed his life in a big way.
Now a sponsored pro at 888poker, Holden has been splitting his time between the live circuit and his home in London where he plays online. And he’s even had a television documentary done on him which aired in the UK and on international sports networks around the world.
Holden arrived in Las Vegas just a few days ago, opting to attend only the final three weeks of the 2012 World Series of Poker.
“I’ve been so excited to come back,” Holden told PokerListings.com. “But I chose to come out a bit later because seven weeks of live poker is just way too much for me.”
“One of the big reasons is that I can’t play online poker out here obviously and I really like to be able to do both,” said Holden.
Holden picked up poker while studying forensic science at the University of Kent and had just a few small poker results before hitting it big at the WSOP.
From Unknown to UK Poker Hero
A complete unknown to the poker world at large before last summer, Holden now has the widespread support of his countrymen, as well as friends and family.
“It is a lot different because before last year’s WSOP no one knew who I was,” said Holden.
“Even my friends who don’t know anything about poker know what the World Series is after last year and they’ve been wishing me luck,” he added.
Having successfully run the gauntlet that is the Main Event Holden believes he’s in a great spot should he make it into the money this year.
Television cameras, crowds, big money jumps and top professional players are just a few of the obstacles one must overcome to make the Main Event final table, and Holden has experience with them all.
“The run I went on last year definitely gave me a ton of confidence,” said Holden. “So I can be pretty chilled and calm about it this year, especially if I end up going deeper.”
“Around the bubble and in the money the experience is definitely going to help. Last year when I first moved to the feature table I knew it was a disadvantage for me because I had never done it before,” he said.
“But as I went deeper I became more comfortable so I’d definitely want to be on the feature table this year,” he added.
Holden Happy on Team 888
After making the November Nine last year Sam Holden was picked up by 888poker and has been wearing the patch ever since.
In addition to acting as a brand ambassador for the online poker room Holden also provides insight into how the software, game selection and user experience can be improved.
“Being sponsored by 888 has been awesome. They’re a great bunch of people to work with and having the chance to give some input into how the site is developed is really a privilege,” said Holden.
And with the addition of UFC superstar Georges St-Pierre, being a member of Team 888 is becoming even more exciting.
“I don’t follow MMA but I love all sports so I’m really looking forward to meeting Georges St-Pierre. A lot of those fights happen here in Vegas so I’d definitely be up for seeing one,” said Holden.
“I think by signing big sports stars like Shane Warne and now Georges St-Pierre, 888 is really showing that they're about more than just the poker,” he said. "They’re about having fun and being inclusive and bringing new players into the game.”
“888 has a very global base now and I really enjoy playing poker there. It’s definitely gaining new players all the time which is great as a player,” added Holden.