It took three hours, but Sam Holden has become the first player to be eliminated at the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event final table, earning $782k (actually only $305k, as Holden admitted to owning only “39% of myself” due to 11 backers having a stake in his result). Holden began the day with the shortest stack, and despite picking up small pot or two, couldn’t make much progress up the leader board. Holden’s ouster came at the hands of 2011 WSOP Player of the Year Ben Lamb, who picked up a flush on the turn, from which Holden’s pair of aces couldn’t recover. Holden’s exit means the UK is officially out of the WSOP running, which will come as a blow to Holden’s rowdy railbirds, who were all wearing distinctive Holden-style curlicue wigs to show their support.
Pius Heinz is your current chip leader with over 49m, followed by Martin Staszko with over 43m, Lamb at 34.4m, Matt Giannetti at 26m, Phil Collins at 15.6m, Badih ‘Bob’ Bou-Nahra at 13.9m, Eoghan O’Dea at 12.9m and Anton Makiievskyi at 10.1m.
This year’s WSOP final table is an experiment in if/how ESPN’s ‘live’ 15-minute-delayed hole-cards-visible broadcast will affect players’ style of play. During breaks, players will be checking with their internet-enabled railbirds for insights into how opponents played the hands they were dealt. Prior to Sunday’s play, Collins told ESPN that he could depend on the help of a few friends “who’ll be watching the broadcast and then relaying the information for when I step away from the table a bit.” Following his exit, Collins said the technological change hadn’t affected his play and/or the outcome.