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  • Sam Holden Makes November Nine

    Saturday, October 29th, 2011 by Nadia

Sam Holden’s first exposure to WSOP’s Main Event was as stressful and challenging as can be expected, considering the importance of the event in the poker world. However, Holden’s first WSOP had career changing consequences for the player. After participating in his first $10,000 (buy in) tournament this year, he was able to qualify for one of the most elite groups in poker – the November Nine 2011. Holden will be one of the nine players who will battle it out for the $8.7 million cash prize.

Holden’s Journey to WSOP

Like many of his counterparts, Holden’s journey began online. While he was at University, he played free-rolls and micro-stakes. Later, he found his niche and began playing in tournaments. After enjoying online poker as a hobby for a few years, Holden decided to cross over and play poker professionally. He began his professional poker career in 2010 and though he won nearly $300,000 from online tournaments, he wanted a chance to play for bigger stakes.

Preparing to Play WSOP

Gearing up for WSOP in 2011 had Holden making a decision that has previously been disastrous for many poker players. He decided to take secure some backers. This is risky because if players don’t perform well, they will find themselves in debt quickly. Holden understood what the outcome could be and went ahead, offering backers a package of events to choose from. One of these events was the WSOP Main Event.

Holden said that he was in a position this year to take a chance at WSOP. The main event was the first large buy-in event that he had taken part in. Sam was not as high profile a player as some others, like fellow Brit, Jake Cody. Additionally, he also lacked the live experience that other players had.

Playing at WSOP

Holden said that he felt comfortable and calm at the table on Day 1. He said that he tried to keep calm and think only about poker. Even at a point where several players were eliminated, Holden kept his cool. His composed playing strategy has since been called one of his best weapons. Knowing that his first $10,000 event was successful, he decided to approach the game one hand at a time.

An online poker veteran, Holden found it easy to remain patient. He was used to playing online tournaments with blind structures and no opportunity to play deep stack. Online tournaments move at faster rates than live ones and pressurize the players as stack sizes are a big part of WSOP. Despite this, Holden entered Day 6 with 100 big blinds.

Winning a Spot on the November Nine

During the game, Holden’s big blinds were depleted to 20. He said that it still felt like a dream to be able to make it to November Nine. He still had some chips remaining and didn’t have any expectations of winning. Nevertheless, he decided to take a shot at it. On Day 7, he managed to up his chip count from 2.2 million to 4.7 million. He began Day 8 at 16th place and managed to get back into the running for November Nine. After John Hewitt was eliminated, Holden found himself at the final table. In the upcoming tournament, he will have a short stack but will have 24 big blinds to help him in his endeavours.

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