Fedor Holz is the 2016 One Drop Winner

2016 One Drop winner
Fedor Holz became the 2016 One Drop winner after outlasting truly admirable competition

Thirteen players came back yesterday for the final day of play. They took their seats, cards went up in the air, and the stage was set to crown the 2016 One Drop winner. All of the remaining 13, as well as those 170 who were shown the exit earlier, put up $111,111 for their shot at the almost $5 million first prize, knowing full well there could only be one winner in the end.

When it was all said and done, it was Fedor Holz who captured the title. Young German star successfully navigated the star-studded field, earning his first WSOP bracelet and proving once again that, at 22 of age, he belongs to the small circle of the poker elite.

Finding the 2016 One Drop winner

When remaining players took their seats at two final tables yesterday, it was Dan Smith leading the way by quite a margin. Smith had 22.5 million in front of him and his closest competitor, Brian Green, had 14.7 million.

But, nearly everyone making the final day had a lot of mileage on their poker meters. Players like Jack Salter, Antonio Esfandiari, last year’s WSOP Main Event winner Joe McKeehhen, and the regular guest of high roller final tables Scott Seiver were all serious contenders, even if some of them were sitting on a short stack.

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2016 One Drop winner
“The Magician’s” dreams of becoming the 2016 One Drop winner were crushed early, as he was the first one sent to the rail

Fedor Holz started the day with 5.3 million, which was around 33 big blinds, leaving him enough room to wait for his chance. He did not have to wait too long as he found a full double up against David Steicke when his Ace King improved against Steicke’s pocket 10s, leaving Fedor’s opponent with just 6 bigs.

Not long after that hand, Steicke followed Esfandiari, who was the first casualty of the day, to the rail. In a similar fashion, the Spaniard Adrian Mateos was eliminated, followed by Brandon Steven and Scott Seiver.

After that, the action slowed down a bit and it became clear that finding the 2016 One Drop winner would take some time. It took quite some back and forth before McKeehen sent Niall Farrell to the rail, bringing total number of players to seven.

Fedor Holz takes control

The young German took care of Nick Petrangelo, sending him out in seventh place and further boosting his stack. By this point, he was neck to neck with Smith, while everyone else were looking for their chance to double up.

2016 One Drop winner
The reigning world champion Joe McKeehen lost his chips to Fedor in an unavoidable cooler situation (source: phillyvoice.com)

Joe McKeehen was getting seriously near to the danger zone and was all too happy to get all his chips in the middle with a King-high flopped flush. His heart quickly sunk, however, as Holz turned over Ace-high flush, leaving Joe dead in the water. The reigning world champion was sent home $830,000 richer.

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The German continued to reign supreme, as he sent Brian Green out next. Green’s pocket Jacks were in front of Holz’s A-9, but Fedor casually flopped an Ace and held through the river to send Green to the rail. For his efforts, he took home $1.1 million.

The one man show continued as Jack Salter decided to take on Fedor. Once again, Holz was up against it, as his King-high was trailing Salter’s pocket 10s; and, once again, the dealer found a King on the flop to give Fedor the lead and send Salter home with $1.5 million for his efforts.

These three eliminations happened in three consecutive hands, clearly indicating who was the poker gods’ favorite.

Holz was now in the driver’s seat with more chips than Dan Smith and Koray Aldemir combined. Aldemir tried his best to recover from the short stack and managed one double up, but it wasn’t enough as he ran his pocket 7s into Smith’s pocket 9s, marking the end of the adventure. Still, he has nothing to be disappointed about, as he pocketed in excess of $2.1 million, which is more than four times his live earnings up to the last night.

Heads up for all the marbles

It was finally the moment everyone was waiting for. Fedor Holz and Dan Smith would battle it out for the title of the 2016 One Drop winner, the prestigious bracelet, and the $4.9 million first place money. The German started with a lead of about 30 big blinds and it turned out to be enough.

The heads-up duel lasted about an hour and, at one point near the end, Smith managed to seize the lead. However, it wasn’t for long, as Smith decided to try and end it all by calling Fedor’s all in with a rather weak hand on the river. It was a bad read, as Holz had trip 6s and once again took control of the tournament.

Shortly after, it was all over. Fedor limp-shoved with 7-8 of clubs and was up against Smith’s A-9 suited. The German turned the nut straight, leaving Smith with no outs on the river.

For his second place finish, Dan Smith received $3,078,974, while Fedor’s victory was worth exactly $4,981,775 and a coveted gold bracelet.

I told my friends even, that this was going to be a very important week.  I had such a great feeling about this tournament and felt really intense about it, which is why it means so much to me to win it. Fedor Holz, WSOP blog

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