George Holmes is predominantly a cash game player and has been interested in the game since 1999. Holmes is originally from New Jersey, and he currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia where he plays in a weekly home game.
Holmes is no stranger to a deep run in the World Series of Poker Main Event. In 2019, the Home Game Hero managed a 213th place-finish for $50,855, interestingly it is his only recorded live tournament cash at the time. Two years later, Holmes did the unthinkable and made it to heads-up play in the 2021 WSOP Main Event. He would eventually be defeated by Koray Aldemir but the recreational player pocketed $4.3 million for his efforts.
2021 World Series of Poker
In the midst of the second level of Day 7, Holmes found himself with just over one big blind left after a failed attempt to oust Jack Oliver from the Main Event. Holmes had shoved his last 9 million into the middle with king-queen, and Oliver, an up-and-coming poker star from England, called with ace-king. The board ran out with no favors for Holmes, and he was left with just 475,000 in tournament chips.
A few hands later, Holmes got it in with four callers and won a pot to give himself some life with just over 2 million chips. Within 90 minutes, he had 16 million. When Day 7 broke for dinner he had 20 million, and by the end of the fourth level of the day, Holmes had amassed over 32 million in chips and had become a legitimate problem for the remaining Main Event hopefuls.
As Day 7 reached midnight Las Vegas time, Holmes sat near the chip lead on a mountain of 68 million chips after picking up pocket aces to bust Chance Kornuth.
Chance Kornuth opened to 1,200,000 from under the gun and George Holmes three-bet to 3,000,000 in the cutoff. The action folded back to Kornuth who four-bet shoved all in for 25,700,000. Holmes snap-called and the cards were on their backs.
It was a cooler for Kornuth who's would require a lot of help. The flop came which left Kornuth drawing dead. The turn and the river completed the board and Kornuth was forced to exit in 16th place.
Holmes would head to the final table third in chips and would eventually get heads-up with Aldemir for the World Champion of Poker title.
On the last hand of the night Holmes raised to 6,000,000 and Koray Aldemir called. On the flop, Aldemir checked, Holmes bet 6,000,000, and Aldemir check-raised to 19,000,000 after about a minute. Holmes called after some thought.
The landed on the turn and Aldemir took nearly two minutes before betting 36,500,000. Holmes took about a minute before coming along with the call, creating a pot of over 100,000,000 in the process.
The crowd held their collective breath as the was dealt on the river. Taking around 90 seconds, Aldemir decided to check. Within twenty seconds, Holmes moved all in for 133,000,000, more than the size of the pot.
Aldemir, who covered Holmes by a mere ten million, went deep in the tank to try and analyse the situation. The German high roller spent nearly three minutes before ultimately settling on a call, which had everyone in the Amazon room jolting out of their seats to watch the showdown unfold.
Holmes showed for a pair of kings and Aldemir slapped on the table for two pair. Just like that, with one amazing call, the 2021 World Series of Poker Main Event came to an end.
Holmes, the home game hero, can reflect on an unforgettable run. With just one previously recorded cash to his name, he left the stage $4,300,000 richer, all while capturing the hearts of many poker fans around the world in the process with his style of play.