Brian Hastings vs. Fedor Holz

There’s nothing like a little bit of bad blood and professional rivalry to spice up a tournament series. No one could claim that Brian Hastings is having a bad summer at the World Series of Poker, with two bracelets, five cashes and the sixth place spot on the Player of the Year chart. That hasn’t stopped him from taking to Twitter to berate other players for their bad play in busting him from some of the events he didn’t win.

He started off by tearing into John Hennigan for his play in a hand of Pot-Limit Omaha in the $50,000 Poker Player’s Championship. Hastings had made the nut straight on the turn and Hennigan made a rather loose call with outs to a worse straight and a baby flush. The flush came in on the river, but because it was a backdoor flush, Hastings was unable to put him on it and therefore ended up losing the rest of his stack.

In the ensuing discussion, he couldn’t resist calling out Fedor “CrownUpGuy” Holz as well for another bust-out hand, this one from the $10,000 6-Max No-Limit Hold’em Championship, which he described as “in the ballpark” of most outrageous hands he’s played against other top professionals. In that one, Hastings had opened with a pair of Tens, gotten 3-bet by a loose-aggressive player, and then had Holz come over the top with a cold 4-bet. They got the chips in and Holz turned out to have only pocket fours for a bluff, but hit his two-outer to bust Hastings.

While Hennigan hasn’t bothered to respond to Hastings’s public chastising, Holz didn’t take it kindly, and quickly responded with an offer to crossbook Hastings. Hastings took him up on the offer, but it turned out that Holz was in more of a gambling mood than Hastings. Holz wanted the bet to be on all mutually-played events and for up to half a million dollars either way, but this was too rich for Hastings, who said he wasn’t interested in potentially losing 6 figures on a single tournament.

After some negotiation, though, they did manage to reach an agreement to start small and play for a 10% crossbook in Event #51 – $3000 6-Max No-Limit Hold’em which starts up today. The top prize for the equivalent event last year was $508,640, so even accounting for this year’s smaller fields, this is still a bet which could cost either player around $50,000. They’ve also both left the door open for similar bets on future events.

Alex Weldon (@benefactumgames) is a freelance writer, game designer and semipro poker player from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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