Sam Holden Retires From Poker Aged 24

Sam Holden Retires From Poker Aged 24After four years as a professional poker player in which he amassed $1,195,067 playing live tournaments, and a further $821,965 grinding online under the screen name “SamDMND”, Sam Holden has announced he has stepped down as an 888poker brand ambassador and would be retiring from the game altogether. Well, a more accurate description would be “semi-retirement” as although Holden said would now pursue a three-year philosophy degree at the University of Kent, the 24 year old also commented:
“I’ll still play the odd live tournament.. I’ll still play a bit online, hopefully ticking over enough money to pay a few bills. I do still enjoy the game, throughout my career I’ve been lucky enough to only have to play when I want to; this has had the added bonus of ensuring that I play closer to my best. I [intend to] continue to enjoy this great game as a hobby for the rest of my life.”
In 2011, UK pro Sam Holden was propelled into poker’s limelight after reaching the $10k WSOP Main Event final table, eventually finishing in 9th place for a $782,115 payday. The following year, Holden then managed another deep run in the showcase event, this time finishing in 55th place for a further $128,384.
As well as the decision to further his education, it is likely Sam Holden must have recognized the industry has gotten much more competitive in recent years, and with slimmer profits ahead for most pros decided to explore a new future career path. As Holden explains:
“While earning money playing a game, is a privilege not lost on me, and a journey that has taught me a lot. More recently though, I have lost a lot of drive to play poker, especially at live tournaments.”
Nevertheless,  as a university student it would appear Holden will not miss the globe trotting, fast lifestyle afforded to him as a poker pro, and as the Canterbury resident, states:
“The fancy clubs, restaurants and hotels were a lot of fun but I realized quickly that the things that matter most to me, are the relationships with my friends. Their company and intelligence, their insight and their humor. The truth is that I couldn’t really care less where we go, as long as the company is good. A cheap pub will do just fine.”

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