Saying the hit American game show “Jeopardy!” has had a wild rollercoaster year would be an enormous understatement. Earlier this year “Jeopardy!” 30-plus year host Alex Trebek announced to his beloved fans he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
Soon after, they got James Holzhauer who’s probably not only the greatest contestant in “Jeopardy!” history, but probably in American game show history. During his reign, Trebek ingratiated our spirits by announcing he was in remission.
Holzhauer finally lost and has moved on but now the renowned one they nicknamed “Jeopardy James” – for all the records he obliterated – has a new venture and you’ll never believe what it is.
It’s without a doubt the most impressive run by any contestant on any game show of all time that’s reminiscent of a movie based on a true story, Robert Redford’s “Quiz Show,” – emulating a classic case of how life imitates art.
In his first week, Holzhauer became the first player to win more than $100,000 in a single episode with $110,914. But it didn’t take long for him to break his own record because on April 17th, Holzhauer won $131,127, topping his own one-day record of $110,914 he set earlier in his run. The previous single-day record-holder was Roger Craig, who won $77,000 in a 2010 game.
And then on his last Monday, he was right on the heels of overtaking the biggest record set by 2004 contestant Ken Jennings when he went on a 74-game winning streak with a total earnings of $2,520,700, but he lost likely only one game shy of overtaking the all-time record.
But Jeopardy James lost, finishing with $2,462,216 in 32 days. He was short by only $58,484 and he would’ve done it in about half the time.
“Jeopardy James’” reign is over and now he’s moved on to new ventures as a millionaire (after taxes).
Next up: the annual World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Rio Convention Center.
Holzhauer, 34, will participate in two events on Monday, the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’Em Super Turbo Bounty tournament and the $1,000 buy-in Tag Team No-Limit Hold’Em.
Poker is no new thing for Holzhauer and that shouldn’t be surprising at all considering he seems like a jack-of-all-trades know-it-all. ‘Jeopardy James’ knows everything; why wouldn’t he know the ins and outs of poker too?
But he admits he’s rusty and needs a refresher, which is probably why he’s not participating in the main event $10,000 buy-in yet. Holzhauer may just test to see where his skill set is at before he makes that commitment.
Holzhauer told the Review-Journal, “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.”
Some can argue that poker is one of those skills like riding a bike. You can play years later at the same level and it’s like you never left. Holzhauer didn’t stop playing because he got bored or didn’t feel he was good at it any longer.
He said, “I stopped playing online poker due to a combination of the UIGEA legislation and realizing that I could make more money with less effort by betting sports. Honestly, my poker skills are so rusty that my main goal is to get lucky.”
But it’s also no secret that he’s phenomenal at betting. Look at what he did on “Jeopardy!” Holzhauer was right to risk so much when did; which he did frequently.
He also told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “In poker, the smartest people are probably like Scott Seiver, Isaac Haxton — [Holzhauer’s] right up there with them for sure. He has a phenomenal gambling mind. We do a lot of sports betting work together, share a lot of information. He’s definitely someone I look up to.”