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James Holzhauer Ends up Playing Poker after His Elimination from 'Jeopardy!'

Junie Sihlangu
Jun 25, 2019
12:29 P.M.

A Jeopardy! contestant that became a household name after winning millions has now tried his hand at playing poker. However, he intends on donating half of his winnings.

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James Holzhauer, 34, built a record for himself on Jeopardy! after walking away with $2.46 million during a 32-game winning streak. His luck eventually ended on June 3.

Instead of taking a long deserved break from competitions and shows, the star has now tried his hand at the World Series of Poker. Holzhauer headed to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino from his Las Vegas home to compete.

He took part in events 56 and 57 on Monday at the Rio Convention Center. At 11:00 a.m. the game show contestant started his day in the $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Super Turbo Bounty.

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For the $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold'em event Holzhauer partnered with Hall of Famer Mike Sexton. In a statement, he explained why he had gone into the competition.

The Jeopardy! winner said:

"I decided to enter because Mike Sexton contacted me and offered to sponsor my buy-ins. I don't have any plans to enter another WSOP event beyond those two. I played online poker semi-professionally in the early 2000s, but I don't intend to make a career of it now, as I'm sure I wouldn't be good enough at it to justify forgoing other opportunities."

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Half of his winnings from the competition were meant to be given to the charity Project 150. The organization's Twitter account says it serves “the needs of more than 6,300 homeless, displaced and disadvantaged high school students at 58 high schools in Nevada and 20 high schools in Reno."

However, on Monday it was revealed that the sports gambler finished in 454th place among more than 1,800 entrants in a No-Limit Hold’em event. In his second poker event, Sexton began playing for both of them.

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So far, Holzhauer and his wife, Melissa, have donated around $300,000 to various charities. For more than 10 years he’s been a professional sports bettor.

His prowess was quite evident when he had about 14.5 million people tuned in to see his historic run come to an end Jeopardy! According to Nielson, the gambler left the show with the 16 highest one-day scores in its history.

Holzhauer revealed before the poker games that his strategy was to simply not embarrass himself at the World Series of Poker. He played well enough but finished 0-for-2 and out of money.

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