Holdem is a “star” of the Beasts Pirates and resides in the Bakura district of Wano Country along with Basil Hawkins and Speed.
Holdem is a tall and stocky man with long, dark hair. His face has some distinctive features, such as his jaw is unusually square, he grows cat-like whiskers, and his mouth is huge in proportion. His eyes have a dark background, similar to black circles around the entire eye. He wears a dark, very tall hat with an insignia on the front as well as other decorations. His torso is not covered, thus the tattoos on his upper arms can be seen. There are identical, merely mirrored tattoos on both in the shape of two suns with a symbol in the center, similar to a “C”. He wears brown gloves decorated with studs, as well as dark blue pants that reach below his knees and brown shoes. The most striking thing about his appearance, however, is his belt with a lively lion’s head on his stomach, the result of eating a Smile fruit.
Holdem has a brash and mean character, but takes his job seriously and in this regard reprimands his subordinates when they annoy him, but also praises them when they do a good job. However, he also seems to have little compassion, so he tries to use Tama’s abilities by force, even if she is still a child. Much like many members of the Beasts Pirates, he also looks down on people of lower status and doesn’t give a damn about them. He also seems prone to underestimating opponents and jumping to conclusions, such as believing he was stronger against Luffy and that his victory over Urashima was only based on luck.
Skills and strength
Holdem has eaten from a Smile Fruit of the Lion category. This causes the head and front paws of a lion to grow out of his stomach, which goes by the name of Kamijiro. However, this lion has a will of its own and therefore attacks Holdem himself, which in turn causes pain to both of them. With the help of this he is able to shoot fireballs.
In addition, he carries a large sword, which he calls “Karakuri sword” and uses in battle, but he had no chance against Luffy.
The kidnapping of Tama
Holdem first appeared when his subordinate, Gazelleman, reported to him that he had captured Tama, the little girl who had tamed one of their animals named Hihimaru, whereupon Holdem ordered him to bring her to him. When the latter brought the girl to him, he thanked him for a job well done, but was also annoyed by his poor stamina. He then engaged in a battle of words with Kamijiro, which ended in an argument between the two, though they felt the same pain. Afterwards, still lying on the ground from the Lion Jewel attack, he wanted to know from Tama what power she used to tame her beast, suspecting the use of a Devil Fruit behind it.
When she didn’t give him the answer he wanted, Holdem ordered a subordinate to fetch him a pair of tongs so he could see her power in action, by force if necessary. Holdem finally used said pliers to pull the little millet dumplings out of her cheek as Urashima was smashed into his house by Luffy’s attack.
Annoyed, he confronted Luffy and refused to let him hand over the hostage. After Holdem accused Luffy’s group of belonging to the bandit Shutenmaru, and arguably one of his strongest allies due to their strength, Luffy was able to free Tama from her predicament in an instant. Holdem now got serious and fired fireballs in their direction with Kamijiro, but at the same time prepared an attack with his sword. But all this proved ineffective against his superior opponent, so Luffy knocked him unconscious with one attack.
Lord Yasuie’s execution
When he regained consciousness later, he saw Kaidou appear in Kuri and was terrified at the thought that he had come to kill him for his defeat. Fortunately for him, however, Kaidou did not appear because of him, but because of the invaders, and so he witnessed Kaidou destroy the ruins of Oden Castle.
A few days later, he had his men set fire to Mount Atamayama, the hideout of Shutenmaru’s bandits. This was his response to the falsely spread information that they were behind the thefts from the Beasts Pirates. Afterwards, he ordered his men to turn on the video Den-den Mushi, as something big was going on in the flower capital, and followed Yasuie’s execution.
The Fire Festival
A day before the Fire Festival, Holdem confronted the residents of Okobore about the ongoing thefts, even though the Atamayama gang’s hideout had been burned down. The residents suspected the Nine Akazaya were behind these acts, but they would not say anything. Finally, Tsuru showed up and promised to help him in exchange for sparing the residents. The latter, however, asked Tsuru not to help him, since they could finally eat again, and now they didn’t care if they died. As a result, he had Okobore burned to the ground.
- Its name is a reference to the card game Texas hold ’em.
- Holdem is first mentioned by Kiku as she joins Luffy and Zoro in pursuit of the kidnapped Tama.
- His favorite dish is eggplant.
- Holdem’s design is liked best by Oda of Smile users.
- Holdem’s design is based on the robot Daltanious from the anime series Future Robot Daltanious (note: needs link), which Oda watched as a child. In it, a human robot and a lion robot merge, resulting in a human robot with a lion head in its stomach. Oda’s fascination with this character led him to design the Smile users.