The high stakes, heads-up action between Fedor Holz and Wiktor “Limitless” Malinowski wrapped up Friday. After four sessions, Holz came out a winner of about $90,000 in the GGPoker Face-Off Challenge.
The series is one of a growing list of heads-up battles that have attracted plenty of interest in recent months. Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth are up next, playing in a live setting for PokerGO.
Here’s a look at the last two sessions between Holz and Malinowski. The series pitted two online poker sharks against each other battling online with GG streaming the action.
- Dates: March 5, 8, 10, and 12
- Game: No Limit Hold’em
- Stakes: $100/$200 tables
- Starting stacks: $20,000 (100 big blinds)
Session 3: Holz notches six-figure win
After dropping the first two sessions, Malinowski found himself in a $52,000 hole to start the third day. The two players put in about four hours in the third session, which lasted 562 hands. In the end, Holz came out on top again, scoring $108,195.
Right of the gate, Malinowski picked up pocket Aces followed by Ace-King. However, he didn’t get much action on either and raked minimal pots.
One interesting early battle typifies some of the less-than-marginal hands played in these events. Malinowski raised to $500 with 3♥10♥ and Holz made the call with 7♥2♥.
The flop brought Q♠2♣A♣ and both players checked. The 7♠ fell on the turn and both players checked again. Holz then hit a full house on the river 2♦.
He chose to check again and Malinowski made a stab at the pot with a $1,100 bet. Holz raised to $7,100 and his opponent quickly folded. A nice $3,840 pot went Holz’s way.
Holz takes command
Despite that hand, Malinowski held a $15,000 lead after the first hour of play. That wouldn’t last. One hand about halfway through the session saw Malinowski raise from the button to $500 with A♣9♠. Holz three-bet with Q♠J♠ and received a call.
The flop brought an interesting 5♦5♠5♥. Holz bet $1,230, Malinowski called, and the river brought the 8♠. Holz bet $3,600 and his opponent called again.
The 6♠ on the river gave Holz a flush, but still a scary board with full house possibilities. He bet $3,400 and Malinowski eventually folded, sending Holz a $13,700 pot.
At the same time on the second table. Holz took a $29,000 pot after catching a set with 4♠4♥ to Malinowski’s A♣10♠ for top pair and top kicker.
It was that kind of day for the Polish high stakes online poker pro. He made some hands, but the bigger ones were too sporadic to gain any major traction.
Malinowski is a fun guy who clearly loves poker. Seeing him in some major live events would be a nice addition for a televised poker show.
After the third session, he lamented folding in some spots where he had the best hand. He said on the GGPoker stream: “I was Wiktor Fold-inowski today.”
- Total hands played in series: 1,462
- Results in series: Holz up $160,268
Session 4: Malinowski gets some back with win
After three straight losing sessions, Malinowski needed a win in the final session to cut his losses. If not, the series might end with a loss of $200,000 or more.
The fourth session went another four hours and this time Malinowski came out on top. He produced a $69,893 win after 392 hands, but that wasn’t enough to dig completely out of the hole. Holz ended the series with a win of $90,375.
The two players were fairly chatty during the session with Malinowski once again drinking a glass of wine.
The winning started early for Malinowski after picking up a $6,000 pot with 7-7. A few hands later, Holz picked up A♦A♠ and raised to $2,050.
Malinowski called with 7♣5♣ and the flop brought 4♣7♠8♦. Holz bet $1,230 and his opponent called. The 9♣ on the turn made the board even more interesting.
Holz bet $4,400 and Malinowski again made the call. The 7♥ on the river certainly changed things. This time, Holz moved all in and received an instant call.
The set of sevens sent Malinowski a $40,000 pot and typified the action on Day 4. After some missteps in the first three sessions, some solid poker skills and a little luck produced some positive results.
Full house over full house produces massive pot
By the halfway point Malinowski led by about $18,000. He turned it on even more in the second half. Holz missed some big draws and Malonowski made some nice calls after seeing some major bluffs in the first three sessions.
At close to three hours into the session, a huge hand developed. Holz raised to $500 from the button with 7♠7♣ and his opponent three-bet to $2,000 with A♣K♦.
The flop brought plenty of fireworks with 7♦A♥A♦. Malinowski hit two pairs but Holz landed a full house. After Malinowski bet $1,200, his opponent simply called.
The trap didn’t work, however, when the K♠ came on the river. Malinowski now had a larger full house and checked. Holz bet $3,200 and Malinowski simply called.
The river brought the 4♣ and tanked a bit before moving all in. Malinowski snap-called and raked a pot of $49,000. The day didn’t go his way but Hlz was pleased to finish up the series as a winner.
“This turned out to be a lot better than I thought it would,” he said on the GG stream, “and I’m very, very happy.”
Looking back at the action
The Face-Off Challenge produced some interesting hands and showing each player via video was a nice touch. The final two sessions seemed to produce more chit-chat between Holz and Malinowski.
Joey Ingram did a nice job on the GGPoker stream and brought some humor himself. In the fourth session, Ingram noted that was a little stressed out.
The reason? Supposedly his ex-girlfriend was moving out in the other room. Who knows if that was the case, but that kind of humor adds some fun in these long sessions.
Some side conversations between the players also produced interesting moments. Malinowski’s sense of humor certainly comes through.
Both players talking about their other side games going on at the same time was also insightful. The downside of that? Some slow play bogged down the action at times, especially from Holz.
Overall, the Face-Off Challenge produced some interesting moments. Look for even more heads-up matches online in the coming months. The format seems to be growing in popularity among poker fans/.
- Total hands played in series: 1,854
- Results in series: Holz up $90,375