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2015 WSOP on ESPN: Flopping Huge Versus Fedor -- Play Fast or Slow?

Chad Power (left) and Fedor Holz (right)


  • Play along with Chad Power versus Fedor Holz in an interesting hand from Day 5 of the WSOP Main Event.

  • You flop a full house vs. an aggressive opponent, check the flop, and he bets. How long do you keep slow playing?

The coverage of the 2015 World Series of Poker continued on ESPN this week with more from Day 5 when the field was whittled down from 237 players to just 69.

As has been the case over the last few weeks, there was a lot of focus on the feature table and Daniel Negreanu, currently poker’s all-time highest earner in tournaments and recent inductee into the Poker Hall of Fame.

Also at that feature table battling with Negreanu were other top players, among them 2014 World Championship of Online Poker Main Event winner Fedor “CrownUpGuy” Holz and WSOP bracelet holder and 2010 November Niner Matt Jarvis.

A hand from early in the coverage — coming with about 100 players left (blinds 15,000/30,000, ante 5,000) — began with Negreanu opening with a raise to 65,000 from the hijack seat. Chad Power, sitting to Negreanu’s left in the cutoff with {10-Diamonds}{10-Clubs}, called the raise, and the action moved to Holz on the button.

Acting with deliberation, Holz three-bet to 170,000, chasing the blinds. Negreanu let his hand go as well, and Power called. Holz had just over 4.5 million to start the hand, good enough for a top 10 stack at the time, while Power began with a little less than 3.5 million, also well above the average.

With 485,000 in the middle, the flop came {3-Hearts}{10-Spades}{3-Diamonds}, giving Power a full house. He checked and watched as Holz fired a continuation bet of 165,000, about a third of the pot. Power called, making the pot 815,000, and the turn brought the {4-Diamonds}.

Power checked once more, and Holz was betting once again, this time 420,000 or about half of what was in the middle.

We’ll stop here and invite you to play Power’s hand against the aggressive, tricky Holz.

Power chose just to call Holz’s turn bet, making the pot 1.655 million. The river then brought the {J-Diamonds} (a third diamond). Acting first, Power again had a decision to make. Should he check again and invite Holz to fire a third barrel, or should he break the pattern and bet himself?

Power chose to check once more, and Holz — who had rivered two pair after having previously been bluffing with his {J-Spades}{8-Diamonds} — decided to check as well. Power collected the pot, moving up to 3.875 million and just ahead of Holz who slipped to 3.76 million.

Other hands featuring both Negreanu and Holz were shown in this week’s episodes, including more instances of Holz pressuring opponents with well-timed aggression as the night wore on.

Perhaps the most dramatic example of such pressure was a much-discussed Day 5 hand between Holz and Upeshka De Silva. You might recall that one in which Holz made a big river bluff with {8-Spades}{7-Spades} on a {8-Hearts}{J-Diamonds}{A-Diamonds}{Q-Hearts}{9-Diamonds} board for all of De Silva’s chips and the latter managed to call with {A-Hearts}{K-Clubs}.

At the end of play that day, Holz spoke with PokerNews about his thought process at each step of that very intriguing hand with De Silva. Read his fascinating analysis of the hand in “Fedor Holz Discusses His Big Day 5 Bluff in the WSOP Main Event.”

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2015 WSOP on ESPN: Flopping Huge Versus Fedor -- Play Fast or Slow? 101

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