Mike “BrockLesnar” Holtz Wins 2021 WSOP.com Participant of the Yr

After an extended, twelve-month fight in opposition to hundreds of alternative avid gamers, Mike “BrockLesnar” Holtz handily completed atop the 2021 WSOP.com Participant of the Yr leaderboard to win $10,000 in money and an unique WSOP.com Participant of the Yr ring.

Holtz follows within the footsteps of YK “LuckySpewy1” Kwon, who won WSOP.com Player of the Year in 2020.

“It was once a pipe dream that I had thought to be sooner than, but when I’m being fair, I assumed it will be unimaginable,” Holtz instructed PokerNews. “One individual will get it in line with 12 months, it’s a must to beat out tens of hundreds of other folks. In actual fact I wasn’t enjoying on WSOP.com on the finish of 2020. I had excellent effects however I used to be most commonly enjoying on shady telephone apps. I felt like I used to be doing neatly and didn’t plan on returning to WSOP on-line no less than for the start a part of 2021.”

He persisted: “When the Participant of the Yr ratings got here out early I used to be in 2nd position by means of a small margin, however as soon as I used to be in first position I by no means appeared again. It didn’t turn out to be actual to me till the summer time when the bracelet occasions had been going down. I began the month with a three,000-point lead over 2nd position. When the bracelet occasions had concluded the next month, I used to be 20,000 issues forward. This was once over 50% extra issues than 2nd position. That’s once I knew I used to be most commonly most likely going to win POY.”

Participant of the Yr issues had been awarded in all scheduled Multi-Desk Tournaments (MTTs) that award edcash prizes between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021. Unmarried-table, multi-table, heads up, and satellite tv for pc Sit down & Cross (SNG) tournaments weren’t incorporated within the issues calculations, whilst limited occasions equivalent to Women Best and invitational occasions had been excluded.

Right here’s how issues stacked up on the finish of 2021:

Position Participant Issues
1 Mike “BrockLesnar” Holtz 84,095.07
2 Krista “Pollux” Gifford 69,381.14
3 Christopher “Basile28” Basile 55,894.93
4 Qinghai “011POKERDR” Pan 53,726.89
5 YK “LuckySpewy1” Kwon 53,399.29
6 Mike “Mkspresident” Shin 53,117.68
7 Thomas “Zebra_Debra” Sabatino 53,089.25
8 Dan “Feeltheflow” Sindelar 50,953.87
9 Anthony “boom81boom” Chin 49,715.63
10 Jonathan “Artwork.Vandelay” Dokler 49,554.33

Who’s Mike “BrockLesnar” Holtz?

Mike “brocklesnar” Holtz
Mike “BrockLesnar” Holtz in WSOP motion.

Whilst born in Washington D.C., Holtz lived the vast majority of his lifestyles in Ocean Town, Maryland together with his mother and more youthful sister sooner than just lately relocating to Las Vegas. He graduated from Stephen Decatur Top Faculty and went to Wor-Wic Group school for hospitality control, however pursuing training was once by no means truly his factor.

“I by no means did specifically neatly at school,” Holtz admitted. “I hated learning and I’m an excessive procrastinator. What I used to be excellent at had been video games. When I used to be 17, I used to be one of the most perfect International of Warcraft avid gamers on this planet. I traveled the sector enjoying the International Collection of Video Gaming, one of the most unique Esports corporations. I felt like I used to be on most sensible of the sector however in truth that couldn’t were farther from the reality.”

Because it took place, the International Collection of Video Gaming went into chapter 11 and Holtz discovered himself a broke 18-year-old highschool graduate with out a lot ambition. He took bizarre jobs stocking cabinets, operating safety, or even doing telemarketing. On the other hand, the speculation of creating more cash led him to promoting marijuana, for which he was once sooner or later arrested.

“Whilst I used to be in prison I used to be given a chance to get out on paintings free up on a daily basis and paintings at a spot known as Park Position Lodge. I had a number of other folks there that supported me and helped me flip my lifestyles round. Once I were given out of prison I persisted to paintings on the lodge, sooner or later shifting as much as a entrance table control place.”

It was once whilst operating on the lodge {that a} coworker requested if Holtz performed poker, which he had began enjoying a few years previous in a $20 buy-in money sport at a pal’s space.

Mike Holtz
Mike Holtz and buddies enjoying poker again within the day.

“I hadn’t performed severely for a few years however I used to be itching to play and he presented me a seat in his Tuesday house sport,” Holtz recalled. “I have in mind once I instructed my boss that they invited me to the sport that she was once anxious for me. She instructed me they had been all sharks that may take my cash. I used to be so worried to play the sport, however after the mud was once settled I walked away the large winner for the night time, and I had a ton of amusing.”

For the following 12 months, Holtz performed within the Tuesday night time house sport, and no longer most effective did he win, however he additionally made buddies alongside the way in which.

“Right here I used to be a tender child enjoying with all of the greatest trade homeowners on the town,” he stated. “They handled me like I used to be one of the most guys however I used to be part their age. I don’t know if I might be the place I’m nowadays with out that sport. It is the place I constructed my bankroll and reinvigorated my love for poker.”

After saving $50,000 from that sport and padding his bankroll on the native on line casino, Holtz took the plunge and moved to Las Vegas.

Development a Legacy at the Grind

When he first moved to Vegas, Holtz would spend 5-6 days every week enjoying $1/$3 or $2/$5 NLH on the Wynn, which is slated to host the second annual Wynn Millions in March. Middling good fortune and tedium drove him clear of money and into the loving palms of on-line tournaments the place he had some excellent effects.

“I began enjoying extra ceaselessly all through the pandemic. I performed a number of months in a row and felt like I used to be getting higher and having nice effects,” Holtz defined. “That’s once I absolutely made the transition to tournaments. I in truth simply picked up blended video games this 12 months. I had performed a tiny little bit of PLO sooner than this however not anything critical. This 12 months I gained training in blended video games from considered one of my excellent buddies, [2006 WSOP POY] Jeff Madsen. He has been instrumental within the good fortune and growth of my blended video games. We did 12 hours of classes sooner than the large PLO bracelet occasions, the place I had two huge five-figure ratings again to again.”

Mike Holtz, Jeff Madsen, Kyle Miholich
Mike Holtz, Jeff Madsen & Kyle Miholich

Certainly, this previous summer time he completed 2nd within the WSOP On-line Home Match #21: $600 PLO 6-Passed for $42,816, after which 5 days later took 3rd in Match #27: $1,000 PLO Championship for $36,742. In November this 12 months, he additionally claimed his first gold ring by means of successful the WSOP On-line Paris Las Vegas Circuit Match #11: $215 No-Restrict Dangle’em for $16,621.

He did so all below the display screen title “BrockLesnar” after the famed UFC fighter and WWE wrestler.

“Wish to know the humorous section? I’m no longer even partial to Brock Lesnar,” Holtz admitted. “I made the display screen title as a shaggy dog story once I slightly performed on-line. I simply sought after other folks to peer my display screen title and feature a chortle. Now part of my buddies name me Brock as an alternative of Mike. I assume I deserve that one.”

Profitable the 2021 WSOP.com Participant of the Yr is Holtz’s proudest poker accomplishment so far, and poker enthusiasts will have the ability to mirror again on his adventure in a yet-to-be-released documentary.

“I in truth did a documentary with filmmaker Mike Bailey masking my daily regimen,” Holtz published. “He adopted me the remaining 4 months of the 12 months and plans to free up a brief movie documenting all of the adventure. We plan to free up the completed movie mid-January on his YouTube channel For Love or Money.”

As for what’s subsequent for Holtz, successful a WSOP gold bracelet is on the most sensible of his checklist. Within the intervening time, he hopes to get the risk to play with a few of his poker idols together with Tom Dwan, Phil Hellmuth, and Phil Ivey.


The race for the 2022 WSOP.com Participant of the Yr has already begun. That race will run from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022.

Yr Winner
2021 Mike “BrockLesnar” Holtz
2020 YK “LuckySpewy1” Kwon
2019 Krista “Pollux” Gifford
2018 Timothy “olmuggins” Phillips
2017 Andrew “smaulerg” Glauberg
2016 Ian “ApokerJoker2” Steinman
2015 Paul “ToTheMoon” Dewald

*Photographs courtesy of Mike Holtz.

Author: Bradley Watson