Grinding on the World Series of Poker’s site (WSOP.com) in 2021 has certainly paid off for Mike Holtz aka ‘BrockLesnar.’ Holtz was awarded WSOP.com Player of the Year’s title after he ruled the number one spot on the site’s Player of the Year leaderboard. He was given an exclusive ring and $10,000 in cash for winning the award.
The online grinder battled thousands of players for twelve months to grab the top spot. With this incredible success, Holtz now follows in the footsteps of WSOP.com Player of the Year 2020, YK Kwon aka ‘LuckySpewy1.’
Commenting on his achievement, Holtz said, “It was a pipe dream that I had considered before, but if I’m being honest, I thought it would be unattainable. One person gets it per year, you have to beat tens of thousands of people. The truth is I wasn’t playing on WSOP.com at the end of 2020. I had good results, but I was mostly playing on shady phone apps. I felt like I was doing well and didn’t plan on returning to WSOP online at least for the beginning part of 2021.”
“When the Player of the Year rankings came out early, I was in second place by a small margin, but once I was in first place I never looked back. It didn’t become real to me until the summer when the bracelet events were taking place. I started the month with a 3,000-point lead over second place. When the bracelet events had concluded the following month, I was 20,000 points ahead. This was over 50% more points than second place. That’s when I knew I was most likely going to win POY,” he continued.
Hailing from Washington D.C, USA Holtz lived with his mom and younger sister before moving to Las Vegas. He was good at gaming and had travelled the world playing the World Series of Video Gaming, one of the first esports companies. When the World Series of Video Gaming went out of business, he was left taking odd jobs like security, stocking shelves, etc. he was just 18-years old at the time.
While working at a hotel, Holtz was asked if he played poker by a co-worker which he did, two years earlier at a friend’s house. “I hadn’t played seriously for a couple of years but I was itching to play and he offered me a seat in his Tuesday home game,” Holtz recalled. “I remember when I told my boss that they invited me to the game that she was worried about me. She told me they were all sharks and would take my money. I was so nervous to play the game, but after the dust settled, I walked away as the big winner of the night, and I had a ton of fun,” Holtz said. He then played in the Tuesday night home game for the next year which he won and made friends along the way.
“Here I was a young kid playing with all the biggest business owners in town,” he said. “They treated me like I was one of the guys but I was half their age. I don’t know if I would be where I am today without that game. It’s where I built my bankroll and reinvigorated my love for poker.”
Holtz saved $50,000 from that game and made the decision to move to Las Vegas to pursue his poker career.
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Points for the Player of the Year leaderboard were awarded in all of the scheduled multi-table tournaments on WSOP.com between 1st January and 31st December 2021. Tournaments like single-table, multi-table, heads up, satellite SitnGo tournaments were included except the Ladies Only events.
Donna Amo was a writer at Gutshot Magazine. She is a graduate from Sophia College of Women, Mumbai with a degree in English Literature. When this October born foodie is not writing content or poetry, she spends her time laughing at memes or watching series. Based out of Mizoram, she is drawn to all things nature and has a soft spot for puppies.
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