George Danzer won his third World Series of Poker bracelet of 2014 at the WSOP-Asia-Pacific Poker series, taking down the A$5,000 ($4,385) Eight-Game Mixed tournament in Australia to win A$84,600 ($74,200).
The win makes Danzer only the sixth player in history to win three WSOP titles in the same calendar year, and gives him firm control over the WSOP Player of the Year race.
Danzer’s win came in one of the smallest fields of the WSOP season, as there were only 48 players that took part in the Melbourne event. However, the tournament would still prove to be difficult: as is common in many of the mixed-game events at the World Series, the field was primarily made up of highly experienced and talented poker pros who consider themselves very good, if not experts, at all eight games that were played throughout the series.
The win makes Danzer the first player since Jeff Lisandro in 2009 to win three bracelets in a single year. The feat has been accomplished six times in WSOP history, with Phil Ivey (2002), Ted Forrest (1993), Phil Hellmuth (1993) and Puggy Pearson (1973) also managing to score three wins in a season.
“If I can choose, please compare me to Phil Ivey!” Danzer said when told of how rare his accomplishment was.
But while the bracelets are certainly something Danzer is proud of, grabbing a third win wasn’t his real goal in coming to Australia for the WSOP Asia-Pacific. Danzer had his mind on winning the WSOP Player of the Year award, and heading into this tournament, he still needed some points to put himself back into the top position in the race. Danzer and Brandon Shack-Harris had been locked in a very tight duel at the top of the standings, with Shack-Harris holding a narrow lead going into the Eight-Game Mixed tournament.
“I came to Australia to compete for Player of the Year and now this bracelet win is a bonus,” Danzer said. “I can’t even grasp it right now because I was good with just busting, drinking my juice and going out the door with my player of the year points.”
Danzer now has 923.5 points, far ahead of Shack-Harris’ 806.7 points. Nobody else has more than 600, with players like John Hennigan, Daniel Negreanu, Ismael Bojang and Daniel Colman trailing far behind the two leaders.
Amazingly, Danzer wasn’t the only player at the final table who had a chance to win his third bracelet this year. In fact, once the tournament got down to heads up play, Danzer found himself battling with Scott Clements, who had already won twice this year at the WSOP himself.
Danzer had a slight chip lead going into heads-up play, and nearly dispatching Clements in short order. But Clements came back strong, and it took another major push from Danzer to regain control of the tournament.
By the final hand, Danzer had an 11-1 chip edge. In the No Limit Hold’em hand that ended the event, Clements moved all in with Q6 suited, and was called by Danzer with JT. A ten on the flop put Danzer ahead for good, earning him the victory.
For second place, Clements (who is now 20th in the Player of the Year race) won A$45,902 ($40,200). Former WSOP Main Event champion Jonathan Duhamel finished third, winning A$30,073 ($26,370).