Monday, July 11, 2016 9:39 AM Local Time
Fedor Holz is the winner of the 2016 High Roller for One Drop at the World Series of Poker.
The widely-respected 22-year-old poker prodigy and online sensation, a high-stakes poker pro from Germany, won the $111,111 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament, which was played over three days and nights at the Rio in Las Vegas.
For Holz, this was a smashing arrival on the public poker scene after becoming a near-mythological figure in online and sequestered high-limit cash game icon.
“I just so feel overwhelmed. I didn’t think it would be like this,” said an out-of-breath Holz just moments after winning his first gold bracelet. “I’m really happy right now….I was very focused coming into this. I told my friends even, that this was going to be a very important week. I had such a great feeling about this tournament and felt really intense about it, which is why it means so much to me to win it.”
The highly-competitive charity-themed event won by Holz has come to attract not only the best poker players in the world, but also leaders in business and finance, as well as some celebrities.
The One Drop initiative, originally created five years ago by grandmaster showman Guy Laliberte, founder of the Cirque Du Soleil global empire, along with his close friend and fellow Montreal native, Mitch Garber, CEO of Caesars Interactive Entertainment is the biggest charity event in gaming. So far, annual “One Drop-themed” tournaments held at the WSOP have raised more than $10 million combined since their inception -- all the funds raised going to the noble cause to help humanity. One Drop refers to several projects which actively help to provide clean water to peoples in developing countries.
That said, this talented group of poker players who entered might have been playing to raise money and awareness for a great charity. However, they weren’t in a charitable mood once the cards were dealt out. The action over three days was fast and furious.
In the end, Holz collected the largest prize of the entire summer, other than the WSOP Main Event Championship which also began play during this event. Holz received a whopping $4,981,775 in prize money, making this the biggest reported win of his career.
Holz won his victory by coming out on top at a final table which included a formidable lineup. No doubt, the biggest name among the finalists was Joe McKeehen, the reigning world poker champion. McKeehen won last year’s Main Event Championship, which paid nearly $7.8 million. Indeed, this has been quite an amazing 12 months for the young poker pro from the Philadelphia area and final tabling this event will do nothing to dispel his reputation as a top pro with a very bright future.
After Jack Salter busted out fourth, and Koray Aldemir went out third on a blistering 15-minute run that gave Holz a sizable chip advantage. The tidal wave of huge hands positioned the German pro to play against Dan Smith for the title.
“I just ran like a god for four hands in a row,” Holz said.
The closing moment came after about an hour of heads-up play when Holz scooped the final pot of the tournament. Holz was dealt an 8-7, he made a straight on the turn, and then improved to a flush in the river.
Smith, from Las Vegas, finished as the runner up. His consolation prize amounted to $3,078,974....not bad for three days of poker playing, which clocked in at a million dollars per day. In fact, all top five finishers all earned in excess of $1 million each.
When asked what accounts for such incredible skills and maturity beyond his 22 years, Holz was characteristically modest. “I will just try to appreciate it and enjoy this while it lasts,” Holz said. “I really have to credit a lot of the high-stakes players I play with in the High Rollers. From playing with them, they teach you. If you do not play well, they eat you alive. You play with them and you see their skill sets and get in tune with what they are doing.”
This amazing annual tradition stacked with many of the greatest players in the game generated plenty of excitement from start to finish. There were 183 entrants which created a huge prize pool totaling $19,316,565. The top 28 finishers collected prize money. Attendance for this event was the highest for any of the One Drop tournaments played, to date.
Interestingly, the earlier events are already having a carry-over effect in generating more interest. Even this year’s winner remembers watching the inaugural One Drop tournament when he was age 17.
“When Antonio (Esfandiari) won back in 2012, that’s about the time I started to get into poker,” Holz said. I was such a fanboy.”
This year's tourney has already raised more than $1 million for One Drop, with more funds expected to be donated from those who cashed. This also coincided with another Big One for One Drop tournament which was just announced to be played later in 2016 in Europe, with a buy-in of 1 million euros. That will make it the highest buy-in tournament in history.
Aside from the winner, here’s a brief report of the other top finishers who made the final table:
Second Place: Dan Smith, a Las Vegas poker pro collected $3,078,974 in his 25th time to cash at the WSOP. He now has earned more than $5 million at the series, but has yet to win a gold bracelet.
Third Place: Koray Aldemir, a student and poker player from Vienna, Austria, came in third. He collected $2,154,265 in what was his 11th time to cash at the series.
Fourth Place: Jack Salter, from London, UK came in fourth. He earned $1,536,666 in his 11th series cash.
Fifth Place: Brain Green, from Decatur, TX earned $1,117,923 for finishing in fifth place, which was his third top-five finish in a series event. Green, who now has a 2nd, 3rd, and 5th on his resume, has now finished in-the-money 22 times at the WSOP, plus another 17 cashes in WSOP Circuit events.
Sixth Place: Joe McKeehen, the 2015 world poker champion added another $829,792 to his poker bankroll. He now has 14 cashes and nearly $9.5 million in series winnings.
Seventh Place: Nick Petrangelo, from Feeding Hills, MA finished in seventh place, which was worth $628,679. This was his 15th WSOP cash and put him well over a million in earnings. He was one of three former gold bracelet winners who made the final table – the others being Seiver and McKeehen.
Eighth Place: Niall Farrell, from Glasgow, Scotland came in eighth, which paid $486,383. This was quite a successful year for Farrell, who took second place in an event just days earlier and also had another sixth-place finish in another event. In all, he posted six cashes, worth $750K.
Ninth Place: Scott Seiver, from Las Vegas, a top cash-game pro as well as consistent high-roller tournament performer, finished in ninth place. He won a gold bracelet back in 2008 ($5K NLHE) and now has 37 cashes at the WSOP. After adding $384,425 to his bank account for this deep run, Seiver now has more than $3.7 million in career earnings at the series.
This was the 67th official event on this year’s schedule. This leaves 2 gold bracelet events still to go at the 2016 WSOP.
Sunday, July 10, 2016 11:00 PM Local Time
Fedor Holz limps in on the button and Dan Smith raises to 2,500,000 out of the big blind. Holz moves all in and Smith quickly calls. Holz has the bigger stack and Smith is all-in for 20,275,000.
Holz shows and needs help against Smith's .
The flop is , giving Smith a pair, but Holz flops an open-ended straight draw. Holz doesn't wait long to hit it, as the falls on the turn, leaving Smith drawing dead to the river. The river is the irrelevant , which unnecessarily improves Holz to a flush and officially gives him the win.
Holz wins $4,981,775 along with his first career bracelet. Smith finishes runner-up and adds $3,078,974 to his career earnings just days removed from his third-place finish in the $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event.
Fedor Holz - One Drop High Roller Champion ($4,981,775)
Dan Smith - Eliminated in 2nd place ($3,078,974)
Sunday, July 10, 2016 10:54 PM Local Time
Dan Smith limps in on the button and Fedor Holz raises to 2,500,000 out of the big blind. Smith calls and the flop is
. Holz bets 2,300,000 and Smith folds.
Sunday, July 10, 2016 10:51 PM Local Time
Fedor Holz limps in on the button and Dan Smith raises to 2,400,000. Holz calls and the flop is . Smith bets 1,600,000 and Holz calls.
The turn is the and Smith bets 4,500,000. Holz folds and Smith takes it.
Dan Smith - 22,975,000 (28 bb)
Fedor Holz - 68,550,000 (85 bb)
Sunday, July 10, 2016 10:48 PM Local Time
Dan Smith limps in on the button and Fedor Holz checks his option. The flop is and Holz bets 1,000,000. Smith calls and the turn is the .
Holz checks and Smith bets 1,600,000. Holz calls and the river is the . Both players check and Holz shows . Smith mucks his hand and Holz wins the pot with an eight-high straight.
Sunday, July 10, 2016 10:44 PM Local Time
Fedor Holz raises to 1,800,000 on the button and Dan Smith three-bets to 6,000,000 out of the big blind. The flop is and Smith bets 4,100,000. Holz calls.
The turn is the and Smith checks. Holz bets 5,400,000 and Smith calls. The river is the and Smith checks again. Holz moves all in for 18,975,000. Smith immediately asks the dealer to verify the amount and goes into the tank. He leans back in his chair, takes off his glasses, and puts his hands in his face.
He eventually calls and Holz shows , good for trip sixes. Holz wins the pot against Smith's and vaults back into the chip lead.
Fedor Holz - 69,150,000 (86 bb)
Dan Smith - 22,375,000 (28 bb)
Sunday, July 10, 2016 10:32 PM Local Time
Sunday, July 10, 2016 10:32 PM Local Time
Dan Smith raises to 1,500,000 on the button and Fedor Holz calls out of the big blind. The flop is
. Holz checks, Smith bets, and Holz folds.
Sunday, July 10, 2016 10:30 PM Local Time
Fedor Holz raises to 1,500,000 on the button and wins the blinds and antes.
Sunday, July 10, 2016 10:30 PM Local Time
Fedor Holz gets a walk.
Sunday, July 10, 2016 10:29 PM Local Time
Fedor Holz raises to 1,500,000 on the button and Dan Smith calls. The flop is and Smith checks. Holz bets 1,600,000 and Smith calls.
The turn is the and Smith checks. Holz checks behind. The river is the and Smith bets 11,000,000. Fedor immediately reaches for enough chips to call and pulls them away from his stack. He takes a moment and then folds, conceding the pot to Smith.
Sunday, July 10, 2016 10:25 PM Local Time
Dan Smith raises to 1,500,000 on the button and Fedor Holz calls out of the big blind. The flop is and both players check. The turn is the and Holz checks. Smith bets 1,900,000 and Holz folds.
Dan Smith - 55,850,000 (93 bb)
Fedor Holz - 36,675,000 (61 bb)
Sunday, July 10, 2016 10:24 PM Local Time
Fedor Holz raises to 1,500,000 on the button and Smith three-bets to 4,700,000. Holz folds and Smith takes it.
Sunday, July 10, 2016 10:23 PM Local Time
Dan Smith raises to 1,500,000 on the button and wins the blinds and antes.
Sunday, July 10, 2016 10:22 PM Local Time
Fedor Holz raises raises to 1,500,000 on the button and Dan Smith defends his big blind. The flop is and both players check. The turn is the and Smith checks. Holz bets 1,400,000 and Smith calls.
The river is the and Smith checks. Holz checks behind and Smith shows . Holz mucks and Smith takes it.
Sunday, July 10, 2016 10:19 PM Local Time
Dan Smith raises to 1,500,000 on the button and Fedor Holz three-bets to 4,800,000 out of the big blind. Smith folds and Holz takes the pot.
Sunday, July 10, 2016 10:18 PM Local Time
Dan Smith gets a walk
Sunday, July 10, 2016 10:18 PM Local Time
Dan Smith raises to 1,500,000 on the button and Fedor Holz three-bets to 4,700,000. Smith calls and the flop is . Holz checks and Smith bets 4,000,000.
Holz check-raises to 10,900,000. Smith takes a few minutes in the tank before calling. There is 31,400,000 in the pot heading to the turn and Holz checks.
Smith checks behind and the comes on the river. Holz checks again and Smith checks back. Holz shows , but Smith tables and wins the pot. He takes a slight chip lead over Holz.
Dan Smith - 49,250,000 (82 bb)
Fedor Holz - 42,275,000 (70 bb)
Sunday, July 10, 2016 10:07 PM Local Time
Fedor raises to 1,500,000 on the button and Dan Smith calls. The flop is
and Smith checks. Holz bets 2,300,000 and Smith folds.
Sunday, July 10, 2016 10:06 PM Local Time
Dan Smith raises to 1,500,000 on the button and Fedor Holz calls. The flop is and both players check. The turn is the . Both players check again and the comes on the river.
Smith checks and Holz bets 1,400,000. They both show and they chop the pot.