Fedor Holz sick run

Fedor Holz’s Legendary Tournament Run: How Did a 22-Year-Old Kid Win $21 Million?

Fedor Holz’s sick run during 2016 and 2017 will likely go down in poker history as one of the best ever. Here’s what you’ll find in this article (click to jump straight to that section):

Who is Fedor Holz?

The 25-year-old Saarbrücken, Germany, native—who currently resides in Vienna, Austria—is widely regarded as one of the best live and online tournament poker players in the modern era.

When not at the poker table, the young Holz is the CEO of Primed Mind—a motivational app that helps its users utilize imagery and thoughts to bring forth desired results. Both Holz and his poker mindset coach Elliot Roe—to whom Holz credits much of his success—conceived the app’s design. 

Fedor on the felt

In 2014 and 2015, PocketFives ranked Holz as the best online MTT player. Then, in July 2016, he won his first World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet in the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop tournament along with nearly $5 million (most recently won by Upswing’s very own Doug Polk).

According to the Global Poker Index (GPI), Holz is ranked #20 in the world, and he was in the hunt for the 2016 GPI Player of the Year title (which, eventually, went to David Peters.) Per the Hendon Mob, Holz ranks first on Germany’s All Time Money List, fifth on the All Time Money List, and third on the Popularity list.

Holz has had and continues to enjoy a truly extraordinary poker career. Incredibly, his total live earnings are an impressive $32,550,886 at the time of this writing.

Note: The quickest way to start winning more money at poker is to improve your preflop skills. Grab our FREE preflop guide with 8 easy to read preflop charts by clicking here or below.preflop banner fedor holz

Fedor Holz’s sick run

Let’s take a look at his truly impressive high-roller tournament outcomes during 2016 and 2017. During 2016, there was much speculation as to who was having a better summer between Holz and Jason Mercier.

2016: Fedor Holz’ sick run begins

3 January—$200,000 NLHE Triton Super High Roller Series

fedor holz winning triton super high roller

In this 2016 World Poker Tour National (WPTN) tournament in the Philippines, Holz walked away the overall winner and nearly $3.1 million richer.

24 January—A$100,000 NLHE Aussie Millions Poker Championship

Down under in this prestigious tournament, Holz finished fourth and pocketed A$281,660 (nearly $200,000).

26 April—€10,000 + 300 NLHE High Roller #2

In this European Poker Tour (EPT) 12 FPS 6 Grand Final in Monte Carlo, Holz earned a hefty €169,000 ($190,123) for his fourth-place finish.

1 May—€50,000 NLHE Super High Roller #37

Just a few days later, Holz placed fifth in this EPT12 high roller and pocketed €271,670 ($310,892).

27 May—$50,000 NLHE ARIA High Roller 7

Holz was, again, successful at this highly coveted ARIA Super High Roller tournament, placing seventh and winning $122,400.

29 May—$300,000 NLHE 888poker Super High Roller Bowl

Whilst in Las Vegas, Holz decided to enter another “small” tournament—and came in second, winning a cool $3.5 million prize. Here are a few entertaining bits from that event, particularly between Phil Hellmuth and Holz at 1:19.

3 June—$50,000 NLHE ARIA High Roller 9

Fedor Holz’s sick run entered warp speed in Las Vegas during the summer of 2016. He returned to the ARIA’s Super High Roller tournament, but, this time, he won and pocketed a hefty $637,392 for his efforts.

10 June— $25,000 NLHE ARIA High Roller 32

If Las Vegas was Holz-friendly, the ARIA was even more so that summer. In this high roller tournament, he enjoyed another win and a nifty $400,000 payday.

17 June—$25,000 NLHE ARIA High Roller 34

One week later, Holz scored the hat trick, winning again and pocketing an impressive $276,000.

7 July—$50,000 NLHE ARIA Super High Roller 10

Holz, again, made it deep into the tournament, finishing third and earning slightly more than $407,000 for his efforts.

8 July—$111,111 NLHE High Roller for One Drop (single re-entry)

In this 47th WSOP event, Holz enjoyed his largest win of the summer—and his best live cash ever—when he took home the ridiculous, nearly $5 million prize. In fact, Holz was on fire during this tournament, running hotter than Death Valley in July. Impressively, he eliminated seven of the other nine players at the final table. Here’s coverage of Holz knocking out Brian Green in fifth place and Jack Salter in fourth.

And then there’s the final hand of this exciting tournament when Holz eliminated Dan Smith to become a full-fledged member of the WSOP bracelet club.

After winning his coveted bracelet, Holz said he was planning on retiring from poker so he could spend more time with Primed Mind. As everyone who follows poker knows, this didn’t exactly happen as Holz cut his one-month retirement short and went on to win several more tournaments and millions of additional dollars. Obviously, this was an excellent decision.

20 August—€50,000 NLHE Super High Roller 8-Handed

At the EPT 13, ESPT 7 in Barcelona, Spain, Holz added another win to his stellar repertoire and, this time, he pocketed €1.3 million ($1.48 million). Here’s the final table for your viewing pleasure.

28 October—$100,000 NLHE ARIA Super High Roller 12

Back at the ARIA Super High Roller Series in Las Vegas, Holz placed fourth and won nearly $300,000.

As would be expected, Fedor Holz is no stranger to online, high-roller poker tournament. Under his online moniker “CrownUpGuy,” Holz placed second in the WCOOP 2016 $102,000 NLHE 8-Max Super High Roller Event #28, winning nearly $1.07 million. If you are so inclined, you can watch the entire final table here.

Note: Want a quick and easy way to win more money at poker? Of course you do! Grab our free preflop charts by clicking here or below.

2017: Fedor Holz’s sick run continues

Fedor Holz’s sick run didn’t end in 2016. In fact, the glücklicher Deutscher was even stronger the following year. Check out this insanity.

22 January—A$10,000 + 600 NLHE Main Event

In the Aussie Millions Poker Championships in Melbourne, Holz won A$335,000 ($253,002) with his fifth-place finish. Take a look at some of the action from this tournament, including Holz’s exit in fifth place courtesy of Jeff Rossiter.

22 January—A$100,000 NHLE $100,000 Challenge

While still at the Aussie Millions Poker Championship, Fedor Holz finished third and pocketed a respectable A$352,800 ($266,445).

1 April—HK$400,000 NLHE PokerStars Championship Super High Roller #12

Holz placed second in this prestigious Macau-based tournament, earning whopping HK$6.75 million ($868,518).

30 May—$50,000 NLHE ARIA Super High Roller 20

This tournament began another veritable hat trick of first place finishes and Fedor Holz’s sick run was in hyperdrive. Here, his prize was $330,660.

31 May—$50,000 NLHE ARIA Super High Roller 21

Here, Holz amassed another win and another $417,600. All in a day’s work for the talented—and incredibly lucky—poker pro.

Before his next tournament, Holz took some time to discuss his impressive success with Doug Polk. If you’ve got the time, this is a great interview.

16 July—HK$250,000 NLHE 6 Max

In this Triton Super High Roller Series event held in Budva, Montenegro, Holz won again, earning HK$3.47 million ($444,893).

14 September—$50,000 NLHE Poker Masters Event #2

At this Las Vegas high roller tournament at the ARIA, Holz finished second and won $550,000.

18 September—$100,000 NLHE Poker Masters Event #5

Just a few days later, Holz took third and pocketed a very respectable $504,000.

6 October—€2,200 NLHE PartyPoker Grand Prix Austria Turbo High Roller

Emerging victorious in this Vienna-based high-roller tournament, Holz earned €34,000 ($39,900). Here are the part one and part two highlights.

18 October—HK$1,000,000 NLHE Triton Macau Main Event

Macau was quite lucrative, keeping Fedor Holz’s sick run rolling like a well-oiled machine, and his winning trend continued in this Super High Rollers Series tournament. Here, Holz won HK$16.4 million ($2.1 million) with his second-place finish to John Juanda.

28 November—$25,000 NLHE WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic High Roller #1

In this tournament series at the world-renowned Bellagio Las Vegas, Holz placed fourth and took home a nifty $85,000.

1 December—$25,000 NLHE WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic High Roller #14

Later in this series, Holz, again, placed fourth, earning himself a $67,500 payout.

Most recently, Holz finished in 2nd place behind Justin Bonomo in the 2018 WSOP Big One for One Drop. His prize? A cool $6 million.

There is no denying that Fedor Holz’s sick run over two years is, truly, the stuff of legends. Perhaps someone will write a ballad about him one day. If you desire, you can follow this intriguing, skillful, and ridiculously lucky player on his Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.

Until next time.

Note: “Our preflop charts are the most efficient and absolute quickest way to improve your poker game. Download them and use them… they work!” – Doug Polk

Read more from Upswing Poker:

Natalie Faulk is a Las Vegas-based freelance writer/blogger and the author of several books. She is an avid low-stakes (for now) poker player and huge Vegas Golden Knights fan.

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