Holden entered the final table ninth in chips and was unable to move up the payouts before hitting the rail courtesy of Ben Lamb.
Holden is just 22 years old but has enough perspective to see today’s result for what it is.
“I’m obviously disappointed now that I’ve just busted,” Holden told the media moments after his exit.
“It couldn’t have gone any worse than ninth coming into to it but I was happy with how I played which is important to me.
“I’m happy with the tournament and in a few days and certainly in a few years I’ll look back at it as a great result and a great experience,” he said.
Holden recently moved to London and he’s seeing firsthand just how popular poker is becoming in the UK. Having spent the last four months as the center of attention in UK poker, Holden hopes his accomplishment will raise poker’s profile even further.
“Poker’s done so well in the last couple of years in the UK I’d really like to see it keep getting bigger and bigger,” said Holden.
“It’s really thriving over there so hopefully this will bring a little more attention to the game.”
And Holden agrees that the live coverage provided by ESPN will help. 2011 marks the first time the WSOP has been available in its entirety, with hole-cards, shown on a 15-minute delay.
“The live coverage certainly opens it up to a real TV sport in live time,” he said.
“The outside world always enjoyed the edited footage but often the poker community usually knows the results before that ever airs so I think it’s really good for the game,” Holden added.
This represents far and away Holden’s biggest tournament accomplishment. In fact, Holden barely had $10,000 in earnings prior to making the November Nine.
Now armed with an increased bankroll, an endorsement deal from 888.com, and the experience gained by outlasting over 6,800 players in poker’s biggest event, Holden plans to spend even more time playing poker.
“My focus is always to enjoy the game and make money so I’m going to keep doing things to have fun and earn a living,”
Sam Holden’s Final Table Story
Sam Holden came into the final table with 12,375,000 and lasted 51 hands before busting.
Holden got things started on the fourth hand by open-raising and picking up the blinds and antes. Then on Hand 28 he open-shoved from middle position and got no callers.
The same thing happened on Hand 46 with Holden keeping his head above water by once again picking up the dead money.
Holden’s final hand began with Ben Lamb opening A-K from under the gun and Holden shoving his last 11 million or so in from the small blind with A-J.
Lamb made the call and his hand held up to send Holden home in ninth place.