Fedor Holz advances to GGPoker WSOP Heads Up semifinals

Poker writer Geoff Fisk profile photo
Geoff Fisk
Posted on: September 02, 2020 11:04 PDT

$25,000 Heads-Up event is down to the final four players

Fedor Holz stands two heads-up wins away from earning his second career World Series of Poker bracelet.

Holz advanced to the semifinals of Event #79: $25,000 Heads Up No Limit Hold'em (People's Choice) in the GGPoker WSOP Online Bracelet Events series Tuesday. The GGPoker Ambassador Holz will take on Sergi Reixach in the semifinals, with Brunno Botteon battling Oktay Kahyaoglu in the other semifinal match.

Event #79 resumes Sunday, with the final four combatants playing for the $1,070,250 first-place prize. The tournament plays as one of three special events on the GGPoker WSOP schedule, with the game format chosen by public vote.

The people chose heads-up no-limit hold'em as the game variant of choice for Event #79. The tournament drew 127 players, with that field loaded with some of poker's biggest names.

Bonomo, McConnon finish in the cash

The 127-player field yielded eight spots on the payout ladder, meaning only the eight players advancing to the tournament quarterfinals made it into the money. The event played as a single-elimination tournament, with the first five rounds of the event playing out Tuesday.

Places 5th through 8th all exited in the quarterfinals, with all four earning a $194,469 payday. That list included high-stakes cash game pro Jason McConnon, as well as Justin Bonomo, who came into the event in the No. 2 spot on the all-time live tournament money list.

McConnon took out Ami Barer, Dominik Nitsche, Timothy Adams, and Michel Dattani in his first four matches. The UK-based online cash game specialist bowed out against Botteon in the quarterfinals.

Bonomo's road to a quarterfinal finish included wins over Pauli Aryas, Sami Kelopuro, Belarmino De Souza, and Artur Martirosian. That line of victories set up a Bonomo vs. Holz quarterfinal that matched up two of the top 10 all-time tournament money winners.

In a rematch of the final two players from the 2018 WSOP $1 million Big One for One Drop, Holz took the victory and Bonomo came up short of a semifinal appearance.

Other players finishing in the final eight included Stuart Wallensteen and Aaron Van Blarcum.

Big names vie for the People's Choice Bracelet

Events #79, #80, and #81 mark three special tournaments on the GGPoker WSOP calendar. Event #80 will see the game format decided by a vote from the poker pros, while the poker variant played in Event #81 will be decided by a spin of the wheel.

Event #79: $25,000 Heads Up No Limit Hold'em (People's Choice) brought out a 127-player field of poker's biggest names. Players exiting in the round of 16 came up one round short of the cash, and those names included Chris "Jesus" Ferguson.

Ferguson enjoyed the luxury of getting a first-round bye and was the only player to get the free pass to the second round. Ferguson's run ended in the found of 16, however, at the hands of Walensteen. Other notables hitting the virtual rail in the same round included Michael Addamo and Kevin Rabichow.

The round of 32 saw players like Rainer Kempe, Sorel Mizzi, Dan Smith, Mikita Badziakowski, Martijn Gerrits, Scott Siever, and Adrian Mateos sent to the exit.

The $25,000 Heads Up No Limit Hold'em event drew one of the toughest fields imaginable, as the virtual rail got treated to one-on-one matchups featuring some of poker's top high-stakes competitors.

Action resumes Sunday

The final two heads-up matches start Sunday, September 6. Holz stands as the most accomplished player in the final four but faces a tough semifinal test against Reixach. The Spanish pro Reixach currently stands at $5.68 million in career tournament earnings.

He's already cashed ten times in the 2020 GGPoker WSOP Online Bracelet Events, including a ninth-place finish in the $10,000 Heads Up No Limit Hold'em Championship. Reixach's tournament resume includes wins at the 2019 Poker Masters and the 2019 EPT Barcelona Super High Roller among several others. He'll be looking for his first WSOP bracelet, however, when Event #79 resumes Sunday.

The other semifinal match pits Botteon against Kahyagolu. Botteon comes into the semifinals on a run of ten cashes in the GGPoker WSOP series, including a sixth-place finish in the $25,000 NLH Poker Players Championship that earned $388,837 for the Brazilian.

Botteon's opponent, Kahyaoglu, is a relatively unknown player, but he's in a position to score the biggest tournament payday of his career no matter where he finishes in Event #79.

Featured image source: PokerNewsDaily