The poker world has seen booms, busts and everything in between. But we’ve yet to see a meteoric rise like the one that shot Germany’s Fedor Holz to the top of the poker world. After seemingly winning everything there is to win, Holz retired last year, and ever since, the poker world has thought of where he’s been and where he’s going.
September 2014: A few days after his 21st birthday, Fedor ‘CrownUpGuy’ Holz wins the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker for $1,300,000.
May 2015: Fedor Holz final tables back-to-back Super High Roller events at the European Poker Tour Season 11 Grand Final for just over $650,000 in combined winnings.
June 2015: Fedor Holz finishes third in the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Six Handed Championship at the World Series of Poker for $268,000.
Then it happened.
Fedor Holz became the world’s best player like we all fall asleep, slow at first and then all at once. A final three table finish in the 2015 WSOP Main Event was just the beginning, followed by High Roller final table after final table and win after win.
December 2015: Fedor Holz wins the $100,000 buy-in World Poker Tour Alpha8 High Roller for $1,589,000. January 2016: Fedor Holz wins the $200,000 buy-in Triton Super High Roller as part of the WPT National Philippines series for $3,450,000. Summer 2016: Fedor Holz wins everything, including multiple Aria High Roller events and a WSOP bracelet in the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop. The only thing he didn’t win, the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl. He finished 2nd.
August 2016: Fedor Holz wins the €50,000 buy-in Super High Roller at EPT 13 Barcelona, earning the better part of $20,000,000 in a two-year span and then he was done. He awoke from what could only be described as a dreamlike nine-month run and in a matter of a few weeks, rumors and tweets spread about how Holz was retired.
Since his retirement, the German wunderkind has been out of the poker spotlight, but his name was back in the news cycle over the last two weeks. That’s when he eventually released his stranglehold on the 2016 GPI Player of the Year title, with David Peters passing him late in December.
Holz admits that he still follows the game from time to time but that he was not sweating events towards the end of the year.
“I do care about Player of the Year but it’s more of a nice extra than something I’d specifically go for.” Holz said when Poker Central talked to him on New Year’s Eve, adding, “I’m happy for David. I think he’s a great player and definitely puts in the work.”
Peters did put in work towards the end of the year, but Holz has been working just as hard, albeit away from the felt.
“I retired because the main value I created when playing, money, has very little positive impact on my life.” He added, “The main thing I enjoyed about it [poker] was having the freedom to choose how to progress and the insane speed I could progress at.”
Now, Holz wants to take those same characteristics that shot him to the top of the poker world and, in his own words, “create a globally working environment in place that empowers creativity on a large scale.”
He plans on doing that by building a company in Vienna that focuses on investing in individuals and startups, something that has filled the time that poker used to. “Right now, there is basically no poker in my life anymore.” Holz said, adding, “I don’t feel like it [Player of the Year] is unfinished business because I consciously decided to focus on something else instead.”
Sure, his professional poker career might be over but another career is just getting started. If Holz can parlay those same skills that made him the best poker player in the world to the business world, he will be successful, and he will just continue living his next dream.