Run It Once Legends Showdown moves to final four

Poker writer Geoff Fisk profile photo
Geoff Fisk
Posted on: September 01, 2020 10:35 PDT

Bjorn Li vs. Kevin Rabichow, Fedor Holz vs. Pauli Aryas in two semifinals matchups

The high-stakes heads-up matches in the Run It Once Poker Legends Showdown have narrowed down to the final four combatants.

After three weeks of play, the semifinals brackets feature Bjorn Li vs. Kevin Rabichow and Fedor Holz vs. Pauli Aryas. The original field of six trimmed down to four after Week 3 action saw two eliminations.

Mikael 'ChaoRen160' Thuritz and 'MakeBoifin' bowed out after the preliminary round, leaving the final four standing players to battle it out. A €40,000 first-place prize is on the line among four of the world's top players as the Legends Showdown continues.

Heads-up special event on Run It Once

The Legends Showdown started with six players, and each took on three opponents in the first round.

The heads-up matches played as €50/€100 no-limit hold'em cash games, with 750 hands per match. After each of the original six players played three matches, the top four in the standings moved on to the semifinals.

'MakeBoifin' got the worst of it in round one, going 0-3 and ending up more than €64,000 down across the trio of matches. Thuritz ended the opening round at 1-2, posting a net loss of just over €1,200.

Each of the four remaining players finished the first round at 2-1. The final four now play each other in 1,500-hand heads-up matches, with the winners of those semifinal battles advancing to the finals.

Here's a look at the four remaining contestants in the Run It Once Legends Showdown:

Fedor Holz (2-1, €100,409.64 profit in the challenge so far)

"Retired" high-stakes crusher Fedor Holz built a legendary poker reputation in a short time as a full-time pro. Holz sits at No. 8 on the Hendon Mob all-time tournament earnings list, with more than $32.5 million in live tournament payouts.

His resume includes seven cashes for a million dollars or more. Not known as a cash game player, Holz has emerged as the top seed among the final four.

Holz defeated Rabichow and Ayras in the first round, while losing to Thuritz. The player known as 'CrownUpGuy' online emerged from the first round with a six-figure profit, going just over the €100k mark through three first-round matches.

Kevin Rabichow (2-1, €14,192.37 profit)

Kevin Rabichow's high-stakes prowess made him the choice for Run It Once Poker's first official ambassador. The RIO Elite Pro specializes in heads-up no-limit hold'em, making him one of the toughest outs of the Legends Showdown competition.

Rabichow defeated Li and 'MakeBoifin' in round one, while losing to Holz. Rabichow ended the opening round at over €14k in profit, putting him in the second seed overall.

Bjorn Li (2-1, -€9,537.92 in losses)

Holz and Rabichow made it through the preliminary matches as the only players to turn a net profit in round one. Bjorn 'AsianFlushie' Li goes into the semifinals more than €9,500 in the red, but his 2-1 record is good enough to push him through to the final four.

Like Rabichow, Li came into the Legends Showdown with a reputation as one of the world's best heads-up no-limit hold'em players. Li lost to Rabichow in round one, while defeating Thuritz and 'MakeBoifin'.

Pauli Ayras (2-1, -€39,464.06 in losses)

Pauli 'Fiilismies' Ayras rounds out the semifinalists, coming in as the No. 4 seed. Aryas posted the second-worst earnings total among the six challengers after the first round, but gets into the final four on the merit of a 2-1 heads-up record.

Most of that deficit came against Holz, with Ayras losing over €100k to Holz in that first-round match. Ayras looked strong in his other two opening-round battles, however defeating Thuritz and 'MakeBoifin'.

The semifinals matched stream on the runitoncepoker Twitch channel this week. The winners of the two semifinals matches will play in the finals, which will play as a 2,250-hand match.