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The majority of the poker world is focused on Jason Mercier’s insane run at the 2016 World Series of Poker. Meanwhile, Fedor Holz has also been having his own epic summer in Vegas.

In addition to finishing runner-up in the Super High Roller Bowl, he has managed three wins in Aria High Rollers and is quickly approaching $5 million in earnings since the end of May.

While both are Holz and Mercier are killing it on the felt, which player is having the better summer? Today we take a look at both players and give our verdict on which run is more epic.


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Quality of Wins – Jason Mercier

If you look at straight “wins and losses,” one would assume that Holz is doing better than Mercier because he has three victories and a runner-up finish versus two victories for Mercier and a runner-up finish. But when you look at the quality of each victory for both players, the advantage easily goes to Mercier.

Holz’s three victories came in $25k Aria High Roller Events with the largest field at 40 players. Mercier’s victories came in events with fields of 100 and 171. His runner-up finish was a field of 100. Also, one can argue that each of his fields included most of the elite competition for that variant.

With the exception of the Super High Roller Bowl, one cannot truly claim that for the fields that Holz played in. Granted, his competition included some of the best NL Hold’em players in the world but one could argue that Mercier still faced stiffer competition.

Money Won (On Felt) – Fedor Holz

The old saying goes that money is just a way to keep score in poker. If that’s the case, then Holz can just go “scoreboard” when comparing his summer to Mercier. Since the end of may, he has posted $4.95 million in earnings on the felt. That number may be higher but some results from Aria are still pending.

Mercier has posted just shy of $1 million in earnings during that time frame. Granted, $3.5 million of Holz’s earnings are via the Super High Roller Bowl, but they are still earnings. Note that the $3.5 million is the “official” earnings as it is well documented that he and Rainer Kempe cut a deal for the prize money heads-up.

Sexy Side Bets – Jason Mercier

There are times where prop bets and bracelet bets become sexier than the actually winning of poker titles. This is one of those times.

After winning his first bracelet, Jason Mercier reportedly won around seven figures in bracelet bets. Regardless of the amount, Mercier claims that he is “freerolling for the next year or so.”

Mercier won a ton more after winning bracelet #2. Some of that may or may not be coming from Vanessa Selbst. Did she or didn’t she buy out and how much of her bets are hedged? Does anyone really care? All we know is that Mercier is reportedly getting a boatload of sexy side bet money and we wish we were him.

Even Fedor Holz had to succumb to the sexiness of this bet as he reportedly has lost at least $200k to Mercier in bracelet bets. There are some rumblings that the amount may be more but we think he can afford it. Besides, maybe some of the sexiness can rub off on those ears..we mean Holz.

Hot Girlfriend Who Can Kick Your Ass in Poker – Jason Mercier

As if it were possible for Jason Mercier to run any better in poker, he would be dating Natasha Barbour. The Lebanese female pro has just shy of $700,000 in career earnings with a WSOP Circuit ring victory, multiple WPT Regional event titles and a runner-up finish in a $1,500 NL Event at the 2015 WSOP.

Just imagine having this couple show up to your home game. You might as well just go ahead and give them your money now.

Writer’s Note: If this looks like we’ve rigged this like Shimi rigs Name That Pro – that is purely intentional.

Epic Rails – Jason Mercier

While we haven’t watched a single moment of an Aria High Roller final table, we can easily assume that Jason Mercier is drawing a massively larger rail than Fedor Holz. After all, if Mercier can get people to rail a Razz final table, they will watch him play anything.

Can you blame them? Mercier is now a five-time WSOP bracelet winner, shooting for his third bracelet this summer and no telling how much money in side bets. That’s excitement and what poker fans crave.

Holz is just winning money, and sending part of that money over to Mercier. He gets what’s going down. Holz is just another member of the Mercier express. He is just going to be one of the lucky ones to get off with more money than he hopped on with.

Final Verdict – Mercier Pwns Holz

Even if we did skew our findings, Jason Mercier still easily wins the debate on which player is having the better summer. Holz may be winning when it comes to the amount of money earned at the tables but Mercier is winning in just about every other category.

By the time the final numbers are crunched from his side bets, especially if he manages to win bracelet #3, he may even beat Holz in money earned as well. And just think, we still have a few weeks to sweat this story. Grab the popcorn.

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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.