World Series of Poker Europe

Sharpen Your Short-Handed Game: Fedor Holz on Shootout Strategy

Fedor Holz
  • Short-handed skills are essential for success in the shootout format, says Fedor @CrownUpGuy Holz.

  • "You get this final table atmosphere before the final table," says Fedor Holz regarding shootouts.

He's currently the top-ranked tournament player in the world according to the Global Poker Index. He's leading the 2016 GPI Player of the Year race as well. Of course, if you ask most players on the professional tournament circuit, it was only a matter of time before young German pro Fedor Holz would start being recognized as one of the toughest tourney players around.

Holz turns 23 later this month, but has already amassed over $13 million in live tournament winnings over the course of less than four years. His online successes have been well documented, too, highlighted by his victory in the 2014 World Championship of Online Poker Main Event on PokerStars and $1.3 million first prize.

Our Sarah Herring caught up with Holz this week at the World Series of Poker where he was playing one of the several "shootout" tournaments on this year's schedule, and he shared a few thoughts about the format the strategy it requires.

As Holz explains, there are pros and cons when it comes to shootouts. One negative, he notes, is the way solid short-handed players tend to make it to the last round more often than others, making for final tables that are "pretty packed with good players."

That said, he enjoys shootouts in part because "you get this final table atmosphere before the final table," getting to play short-handed (for example) before the tournament reaches its final stages.

Holz goes on to talk further about how shootout strategy parallels regular sit-n-go strategy. Take a look:

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