It took almost ten-and-a-half-hours of play on Day 2 of the 2017 Triton Super High Roller Series Montenegro HK$250,000 (~$32,000) 6-Max Event to crown a champion.
It was the aptly named Fedor ‘CrownUpGuy’ Holz who emerged victorious after a gruelling two-hour heads-up battle against China’s Su Hao that saw the chip lead change hands multiple times.
Down to his last 400,000 in chips at one point, Holz dug deep into his bag of tournament tricks and waited patiently for the perfect spot to double up, getting his last 445,000 in with top pair on a queen-high board holding queen-six offsuit against the ace-high gutshot straight draw of Hao to bring the stacks back to nearly even.
The German’s patience paid off and sensing that the tide had turned Holz then began to apply the pressure and got Hao to pay him off after flopping two pair with king-three suited to reduce the Chinese player down to just over 7 big blinds.
This found its way into the middle of the table shortly afterwards when Hao moved the last of his chips in from the button with five-six offsuit and Holz woke up with pocket eights in the big blind. The Chinese player found himself drawing dead by the turn, standing up to shake Holz by the hand and congratulating his opponent on a game well played.
Holz earned an impressive HK$ 3,472,200 ($444,893) for his first place finish, in addition to the title and trophy. Already sitting at number one on the German All Time Money List with over $22,900,000 in total live tournament earnings before the tournament began, Holz edges even closer to Phil Ivey on the hallowed All Time Money List. The German wunderkind now boasts $23,354,884 in career tournament winnings, just $501,150 less than Ivey.
Hao will also not be disappointed with his performance however, and while it is tough to come so close to winning your first major title only to fall at the final hurdle there is no shame in losing to a player of Holz’ calibre.
The Chinese player took down his largest career score to date for his HK$ 2,218,000 ($284,192) runner-up finish, with his previous best coming in April’s PokerStars Championship Macau HK$40,000 Main Event where he finished 42nd for a HK$101,000 ($12,995) payday.
“Hao played pretty well’ said Holz after posing for the winner’s photo. “Someone told me that he has not played much but I thought that he played very well and it took quite a long time to finish him off, I was positively surprised.”
A total of 25 players returned for Day 2, and with the last minute entries of Paul Phua, David Peters and the re-entry of Jaimie Kaplan this increased to 28 when play began at 1pm CET on Monday 17 July to bring the total number of entries up to 41 and bring the prize pool up to a mouth-watering HK$ 9,643,200 (~$1,235,820).
It took four hours and six levels to whittle the field down to the final 12, and then just a single 40-minute level to bring play to the bubble with Germany’s Manig Loeser, China’s Cheok Ieng Cheong, the United Kingdom’s Sam Trickett and the USA’s Benjamin Wu all departing in a flurry of cards and chips.
Holz was one of the larger stacks by the time the bubble approached and play went hand for hand, and it was the German who set up the seven-handed final table after moving all-in from the small blind with the speculative ten-deuce suited and China’s Zuo Wang called all-in for his tournament life from the big blind with ace-queen offsuit. Unfortunately for Wang, Holz paired his deuce on the flop and Wang found no help on the turn or river and departed empty handed.
Holz went into the final table with a sizable lead, which he did not relinquish until play reached three-handed. The first casualty of the final table was the unfortunate Xuan Tan who got the last of his chips in pre-flop from the small blind with pocket kings, only to run into the pocket aces of Montenegro’s Predrag Lekovic.
Richard Yong and Gabe Patgorski followed Tan to the rail in quick succession, falling at the hands of Holz and Hao respectively to take play four-handed though it was another 45 minutes before four became three, with Alan Sass losing a race with Ace-King against the pocket sevens of Predrag Lekovic.
Hao then won a huge pot from Holz, cracking the German’s pocket aces with a flopped two pair but it took a further two-and-a-half hours before Lekovic fell at the hands of Holz. The Montenegrin got the last of his chips in with king-jack suited over the top of a Holz button raise, only to run into the German’s ace-king offsuit to take play heads-up.
Final Result 6-Max Event
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While that concludes the 6-Max Event, that does not end the action for the Series with the HK$ 1,000,000 ($128,150) Main Event starting at 1pm CET on Tuesday July 18 so join us then.