Great Britain’s Only Championship Finalist Busts Out – Pius Heinz Seizes Chip Lead
Sam Holden’s dream is over.
The professional poker player from Sussex, UK became the first player to exit from the WSOP Main Event Championship Final Table when Ben Lamb held the dominant hand and knocked out Great Britain's top championship finisher.
The odds were stacked against Holden from the start. He arrived at the finale as the shortest-stacked player, outchipped by a margin of more than 3 to 1 by the chip leader, Martin Staszko. Holden lost part of his stack early and needed to make a major move in an attempt to double up into contention. But his bold attempt to climb back into the final table race failed. Accordingly, Holden joined the ranks of 6,856 other (eliminated) players who entered this year’s championship, the third largest live tournament ever, who are now forced to look forward to next year, and beyond.
Holden was eliminated after more than three hours elapsed at the final table. The fateful hand came as follows:
Holden moved all-in pre-flop, and was called by Lamb, who had about three times as many chips as his opponent. The flop brought an ace, which gave both players top pair. But Holden had serious kicker problems. Making matters worse, three clubs flopped and Lamb had the only club. The queen of clubs on the turn ended Holden's shot of survival. A river blank gave Lamb the 20,000,000 pot and knocked Holden to the rail in ninth place.
Nonetheless, Holden could certainly take great pride in what was a remarkable accomplishment. He collected his biggest poker payout ever, $782,115 for ninth place. This marked his first time to cash in any WSOP event. Had Holden managed to win, he would have become only the second British poker champion in history, after fellow-Englishman Mansour Matloubi’s surprising victory in the Main Event 21 years ago.
With eight players remaining, there is a still lot more poker to be played. Final table action is expected to last most of the day and will likely play deep into the night (Sunday). Play will be suspended once the final three players have been determined. The last three players will return to the same stage at the Rio on Tuesday night, with the final stage of poker’s world championship starting at 5:30 pm.
For the first time in history, poker players and fans everywhere can tune in and watch all the action live. Comprehensive coverage with expert analysis also includes player hole cards being shown to viewers – a WSOP first.
CLICK HERE to watch live WSOP Main Event final table action. For those who prefer to read a written account of the action, CLICK HERE to see the live log of every final table hand.
To see the latest chip counts of all remaining players, CLICK HERE. Updates will be posted regularly as players are eliminated and chip counts change.
The official report of the entire tournament, complete with statistics, historical information, records, and quotes from each of the nine players will be posted to WSOP.com at the conclusion of the tournament.