April 08 2014, by Jennifer Newell

Holden Semi-Retires, Walker Wins WNYPC, Anderson Wins MSPT

Sam Holden Set for Semi-Retirement

Former WSOP Main Event final tablist Sam Holden has chosen education over poker. He announced this weekend on his 888poker blog that he is giving up his online poker sponsorship and withdrawing from full-time poker playing.

Holden wrote that he was accepted to the University of Kent to pursue a philosophy degree. He also noted that he has lost “a lot of drive to play poker, especially in live tournaments.”

He wrote, “I am pleased to finally have the uncertainty over my future lifted and have begun to start planning the next three years of my life.” Even so, he plans to play the occasional tournament, having already qualified for an upcoming UKIPT event in Nottingham and noting that Australia and Barcelona events have been good. He plans to “enjoy this great game as a hobby for the rest of my life.”

Walker Wins WNY Poker Challenge

When the 2014 Western New York Poker Challenge started its Main Event, it was in the midst of a 16-event series at the Seneca Poker Room in Niagara Falls. The $1,100 tournament was the highlight and offered a $100K guarantee. And with 183 entries, the actual prize pool soared to $176,595.

Day 2 thinned the field from 34 players, through the money, and on to the final table action. That began with Nicholas Walker in the chip lead, and he took that into three-handed play. The trio came to an agreement on payouts, Andre Smith promptly busted, and Walker quickly dispatched of Kyle Gay in second place to claim the title.


1st place: Nicholas Walker ($37,061)

2nd place: Kyle Gay ($32,095)

3rd place: Andre Smith ($25,676)

4th place: Louis Aquilina ($15,011)

5th place: Bob De Wolfe ($11,125)

6th place: Travell Thomas ($8,653)

7th place: Pete Kaemmerlen ($6,534)

8th place: Johannes Mueller ($5,121)

9th place: Joe Cruz ($4,062)

Anderson Wins MSPT Meskwaki

Meskwaki Casino hosted the most recent stop on the Mid-States Poker Tour, and quite a few players came to Tama, Iowa, to play. The $1,100 Main Event offered a $300K guarantee, but the 389 entries set an even greater prize pool.

Day 2 worked its way into the money and headed to the final table with Matthew Anderson near the top of the leaderboard. He stayed strong and took a 2-to-1 lead to heads-up play, ending it quickly with a MSPT win.


1st place: Matthew Anderson ($100,075)

2nd place: Matt Kirby ($54,481)

3rd place: Jeremy Putthoff ($36,070)

4th place: Taylor Howard ($24,423)

5th place: Ken Payne ($18,787)

6th place: Aaron Johnson ($15,029)

7th place: Rick McGown ($13,151)

8th place: Marty Martimo ($11,272)

9th place: Ryan Tepen ($9,393)

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About the author

Jennifer Newell fell in love with poker while working for the World Poker Tour in Los Angeles. She left the company to live as a freelance writer with a heavy concentration on the poker world. It is not often that she travels to poker tournaments and less often that she plays the game, but she can always be found reading and writing about poker. You can find her on her FreelanceWriterJen Facebook page or @WriterJen on Twitter.