Fedor Holz was already having an outstanding year in 2016 since he won the WPT Philippines High Roller ($3.46m) and finished second in the Aria Super High Roller Bowl ($3.5m). But Holz made 2016 even more magical by winning the WSOP $111,111 High Roller for One Drop along with $4,981,775.
The 22-year-old navigated through a 183-player field to win his first gold bracelet. In a career filled with big scores, the near-$5 million prize ranks as the biggest of them all for Holz.
“I’m really happy right now,” said Holz. “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.”
Holz was the brightest star of a mixed player pool that included famed pros, businessmen, and even celebrities. Once again, former Cirque du Soleil owner Guy Laliberte led the festivities and helped raise money for the One Drop foundation. Laliberte and One Drop have been providing clean drinking water to third-world countries over five years.
While charity is the reason for the $111k buy-in One Drop High Roller, the massive payouts bring out the competitive side of players. 28 players in all cashed, including 2015 Main Event champ Joe McKeehen, who took sixth along with $829,792. Dan Smith, another highly successful pro, finished second place and netted $3,078,974.
But none of these players could stop the combination of good cards and amazing poker skills that Holz brought to the final table.
“I just ran like a god for four hands in a row,” he said.
Holz faced off against Smith for an hour, before he improved a suited 8-7 combo to a flush and finished off his final opponent.
The German was asked by the WSOP staff how he has such incredible poker skills for a 22-year-old, to which he gave a modest answer.
“I will just try to appreciate it and enjoy this while it lasts,” he 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.”
2016 WSOP $111,111 High Roller for One Drop Final Table
1st. Fedor Holz – $4,981,775
2nd. Dan Smith – $3,078,974
3rd. Koray Aldemir – $2,154,265
4th. Jack Salter – $1,536,666
5th. Brian Green – $1,117,923
6th. Joe McKeehen – $829,792
7th. Nick Petrangelo – $628,679
8th. Niall Farrell – $486,383
9th. Scott Seiver – $384,425