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‘Jeopardy!’ champion eliminated at World Series of Poker

"Jeopardy!" champion and professional sports gambler James Holzhauer plays in a tournament at the World Series of Poker on Monday in Las Vegas. (John Locher / Associated Press)
"Jeopardy!" champion and professional sports gambler James Holzhauer plays in a tournament at the World Series of Poker on Monday in Las Vegas. (John Locher / Associated Press)
Associated Press

LAS VEGAS – “Jeopardy!” champion and professional sports gambler James Holzhauer finished out of money in his World Series of Poker debut on Monday, a tournament official said.

Holzhauer finished in 454th place among more than 1,800 entrants in a No-Limit Hold’em event, spokesman Seth Palansky said. Buy-in was $1,500 and Holzhauer didn’t reach the top 281 finishers who will win shares of some $2.5 million in prize money.

Holzhauer moved to his second poker event of the day, to play with Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton in a $1,000 buy-in Tag-Team No-Limit Hold’em tournament. Sexton began play for both of them.

Holzhauer told tournament officials he planned to donate half of any winnings to a Las Vegas nonprofit for homeless, displaced and disadvantaged high school students called Project 150.

Holzhauer played online poker semi-professionally in the early 2000s, but makes a living now with sports betting.

He became a celebrity winning 32 consecutive “Jeopardy!” games and raking in more than $2.4 million before he lost earlier this month. He ended his run a little more than $58,000 shy of the overall earnings record set by Ken Jennings, who won 74 games in 2004.

Holzhauer left with the 16 highest one-day scores in the show’s history.

He has taken part in several events in Las Vegas in recent weeks, and donated $10,000 in May to Project 150. He and his wife Melissa also contributed $10,000 to a nonprofit school dropout prevention program called Communities In Schools of Nevada.

Holzhauer made a recent donation of about $1,100 in “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek’s name to a pancreatic cancer walk in Holzhauer’s hometown, Naperville, Illinois.

Trebek, 78, announced earlier this year that he was being treated for advanced pancreatic cancer. He said last month that doctors told him he’s in “near remission.”

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