Fedor Holz Draws First Blood Against Wiktor ‘Limitless’ Malinowski

Breaking Down the Action:

  • Background Before They Reached the Battleground
  • How Did the Action Begin?
  • Doug Polk Questions ‘Limitless’ Tactics

The first session between two modern poker legends was always going to be a little tentative. After a short but profitable session, German player Fedor Holz booked a win for $37,000 as he took on Polish online crusher Wiktor ‘Limitless’ Malinowski.

With the heads-up action taking place at blinds of $100/$200 at just one table, Holz got off to a good start. After the win, however, some questioned if the drama was as real as the two players hoped for, with Doug Polk among those having suspicions.

Background Before They Reached the Battleground

If you’re more of a live or online poker fan, then you might be more familiar with one or the other of the two men battling for supremacy. Wiktor Malinowski was born in Belarus but is actually a Polish professional poker player whose main focus is no limit hold ’em cash games.

The man known as ‘limitless’ only started playing ranking events at the live felt in 2019 but has already amassed over $700,000 in winnings. A little-known fact about Malionwski is that before he took to the poker felt, he was an international handball player for the Polish national team. Aged just 26 years old, he plays the nose bleed stakes online and regularly has seven-figure winning or losing sessions due to the elite level he inhabits.

Fedor Holz is bound to be familiar to you if you’re a live poker fan as the German, originally hailing from Saarbrücken, has won over $32.5 million in live tournaments alone. Known as the best NLHE player in 2014 and 2015 Holz shocked the poker world by retiring to become an entrepreneur, working on the Primed Mind app with Elliot Roe and the Pokercode website with fellow high roller, Austrian player Matthias Eibinger.

Holz already has two World Series of Poker bracelets, including the $111,111-entry High Roller For One Drop event bracelet, where he won just under $5 million for taking the top prize.

How Did the Action Begin?

The action all took place on GGPoker on the weekend, which was as expected with Holz now a GGPoker ambassador, having come out of his semi-retirement. Playing at just one table, Holz would get the better of the first session, winning around $37,000.

Plenty of fans commented that the match taking place at just one table. With the action due to return on Monday March 8th, Holz commented afterwards that he had: “Finished the first evening vs [Malinowski] +37k. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next matches. Also, I have 100% of my own action.”

Taking to Twitter, the German then informed fans that there will be two tables running as part of the challenge from Monday onwards.

While many fans were critical of the single table format, Joey Ingram waded into the debate, saying: “I think multiple formats can work. I think a one-table format can work well depending on the production set up. Can’t go wrong with two tables but it is challenging for some to follow along with. I prefer two but it’s easy for me to track”

Want to make your own mind up? Check out the action here, courtesy of Upswing Poker’s live commentary.

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Doug Polk Questions ‘Limitless’ Tactics

As you can see from that footage, Doug Polk was quick to question the play from Malinowski, saying that he felt the Polish player tanked in order to drum up business from his opponent. While that may sound controversial, it’s a tactic and not against the rules to lose money.

Whether it will inspire Holz to give anything less than 100% is highly questionable, but Malinowski is no stranger to controversy, previously stating that he’s happy to down a bottle of red wine live on the stream during gameplay if it helped to get action.

Polk was also pushed on whether he thought Holz or Daniel Negreanu would win in a heads-up battle between the pair.

“If Fedor worked really hard, he’d be better at heads-up,” said Polk. “Daniel has had four months of work on this. If they played a big, publicized match I’d take Fedor, but if it was played today, I’d take Daniel.”

Polk asked his fans whether they believed Malinowski had deliberately tanked in the first session in order to keep the action going. The results were fairly evenly split considering the provocative and divisive nature of the question and the largely binary social media platform.

“I don’t think this can be for real money,” Doug Polk said midway through co-commentary of the event on the Upswing Poker stream. “These decisions are just horrific. This feels completely staged to me. Is it possible they have something where GG’s covering the loser’s losses, so you’re just incentivized to play spewy and win as much as possible? There is something weird here.”

You won’t want to miss the action when it resumes on Monday March 8th. The second bout is going out as live on the GGPoker YouTube channel, which you can find right here.

If you can’t wait for then and want more hype, then simply listen to the two men as they trash talk the other.

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