It wasn’t long ago that George Danzer had a giant monkey on his back – he simply could not get a win in a live tournament. Despite big results both live and online, a live tournament win escaped the talented German pro until he won a side event at the EPT Grand Final in late April. Six weeks later, Danzer got himself a World Series of Poker bracelet.
He came back from being severely short-stacked on several occasions before eventually defeating Brandon Shack-Harris heads-up to secure victory and a $294,792 payday. The victory was a long time coming for the Team PokerStars pro, who has been coming to Las Vegas every summer for the last decade to pursue poker’s greatest title.
“It’s everything,” said Danzer of the bracelet, “I’ve been trying for 10 years now. I came over immediately after I turned 21 and I always wanted to come to the World Series and be a world champion. I always watched the news reporting, seeing who won, and I wanted to be like them.”
Shack-Harris narrowly missed out on his second bracelet of the 2014 WSOP after fighting his way through two very different fields – the massive turnout of the $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha, and now the talent-rich group in the $10,000 Razz. He fought hard after falling way behind heads-up, doubling up on three separate occasions when all his chips were in the middle, but Shack-Harris would not be able to pull it off a fourth time.
After Danzer brought it in for a full bet of 80,000 with the K, Shack-Harris raised with the 7, Danzer three-bet to 160,000 and Shack-Harris four-bet all in for 220,000.
Danzer: 6 2 / K
Shack-Harris: Q 2 / 7
Shack-Harris got a 3, T and 6 on the next three streets, making a ten-seven low, while Danzer drew the J, 5 and 4 for a jack-low and a draw at a six. Shack-Harris got thte Q, which did nothing to improve his hand, but Danzer got the A and flipped it over excitedly, clinching the title on the final card.
Cards went into the air Sunday afternoon with 12 players still vying for this bracelet. Short stacks Thomas Butzhammer and Roland Israelashvili went out 12th and 11th, respectively, but it was also ugly in the early going for David Bach and Daniel Negreanu. Despite starting Day 3 in first and third, it all went sideways during the first few hours, eventually leading to Negreanu’s exit in 10th place.
Yuval Bronshtein made a massive run as they played to a single table of nine to take over the chiplead. The official final table was set when recent Rundown guest Dan O’Brien was knocked out in ninth by Todd Dakake in a battle of short stacks, when O’Brien double paired on fifth street and then got a king and a queen to completely brick out. As the action was paused for introductions and the start of the live stream, the stacks looked like this:
- Yuval Bronshtein – 676,000
- Naoya Kihara – 452,000
- George Danzer – 442,000
- Brian Hastings – 439,000
- Brandon Shack-Harris – 406,000
- David Bach – 351,000
- Todd Barlow – 350,000
- Todd Dakake – 274,000
Dakake continued to climb early on at the final table, first taking a pot off of Bach with a seven-five low, and then one from Brian Hastings without showdown on sixth street. Things turned even worse for Bach after Hastings doubled through him with an eight-seven low, with Bach double-pairing and only able to make a ten-low. Shack-Harris kick-started his run towards the chiplead by taking the rest, with all of the chips getting in on third street.
Bach: A 4 / 6
Shack-Harris: A 5 / 7
Fourth street was great for Bach, who picked up a 3 while Shack-Harris got a Q. Bach paired the 6 on fifth street, while Shack-Harris improved with the 3, and Bach double-paired with the A on sixth street. Shack-Harris made a seven-five low with the 2 on sixth, but Bach still had a draw to beat him on seventh street. Shack-Harris paired the 5 on the end, but Bach could only make a nine-six low with the 9, which was his last card as he exited in eighth. It was Bach’s third consecutive Razz final table at the WSOP, after finishing second in the $2,500 Razz event in 2013 and fourth in the $1,500 Razz event in the first week of the 2014 WSOP.
The lead officially became Shack-Harris’ in a three-way pot that spelled the end of 2012 WSOP bracelet winner Naoya Kihara. Shack-Harris completed the bet to 25,000 with the 7, Danzer called with the 2 and Kihara called with the 3. Kihara got the 6 and the lead on fourth street, betting into Shack-Harris’ 9 and Danzer’s J. Shack-Harris raised, Danzer called, Kihara three-bet and both of his opponents called. Kihara got the A and bet on fifth street, which got called by only Shack-Harris. Sixth street saw Shack-Harris catch the 6 and Kihara get the J, and with the newly low board and the lead, Shack-Harris put Kihara all in and got called.
Shack-Harris: 7 2 / 4 9 2 6
Kihara: 7 5 / 3 6 A J
Kihara was in great shape to double with a seven-six-five low and a draw at a six-low, while Shack-Harris needed an ace or a three to take the lead. Both players got their down cards and Shack-Harris blindly flipped over his card, which was indeed the 3. Kihara needed a deuce or a four to stay alive, but the Q marked the end of his tournament run in seventh place.
Danzer was left with just over one big bet, but he doubled up twice in quick succession to bring himself off the brink. Dakake went in the other direction, though, doubling Hastings up with an eight-six low against a seven-six low. After Danzer doubled up again all three players were virtually even – setting up a three-way showdown that would dramatically alter the rest of the final table.
Dakake completed to 30,000 with 8, Danzer called with the 2 and Hastings raised to 60,000 with the 7. Dakake raised, Danzer called again and Hastings capped it at 120,000, which both players called. Dakake got the Q, Danzer picked up the A and Hastings paired the 7, which led Danzer to bet, Hastings to call and Dakake to shove for just 10,000, which got called by both Hastings and Danzer. On fifth street Dakake got the A, Danzer the 5 and Hastings the 6, after which Danzer bet Hastings out of the pot.
Danzer: 8 6 / 2 A 5
Dakake: A 4 / 8 Q A
Danzer further improved with the 3 on sixth street, which left Dakake drawing dead as he got the J – sending Dakake out and shooting Danzer way up the chip counts in the process. The stacks evened themselves out during five-handed play, though, with Shack-Harris at 1 million and everyone else sitting between 520,000 and 675,000. After Danzer took a chunk out of Hastings stack, Shack-Harris and Hastings played yet another crucial pot that grew to more than 850,000 by the time the cards were turned up.
Shack-Harris completed to 40,000 with the 2, Hastings raised to 80,000 with the 3 and Shack-Harris called. The 5 was dealt to Shack-Harris on fourth – while Hastings got the J – and Shack-Harris led out, which Hastings called to bring the action to fifth street. The 6 gave Hastings the lead back as Shack-Harris was dealt the Q, which prompted Hastings to bet and Shack-Harris to call, and the 8 for Hastings and the T for Shack-Harris prompted the same action.
Hastings bet 80,000 on seventh street, Shack-Harris raised to 160,000, and Hastings shoved his stack of 161,000 total into the middle.
Shack-Harris: 6 A 3 / 2 5 Q T
Hastings: 5 4 A / 3 J 6 8
Both players used all three of their hole cards to make six-lows, but Shack-Harris’ six-five-three pipped Hastings’ six-five-four and sent him out in fifth place.
Todd Barlow managed to keep his head above water for some time while staying out of most of the big pots, but while Danzer and Shack-Harris each built stacks of over 1 million, he and Bronshtein each hovered around seven big bets in their stack. Shack-Harris continued to be the most active player at the final table, and Bronshtein would be the next to put his tournament on the line against the man after his second bracelet at this WSOP.
Bronshtein completed with the 7, Shack-Harris called with the A and fourth street was dealt, with Bronshtein getting the 3 and Shack-Harris the T. Bronshtein bet, Shack-Harris called, Bronshtein got the 9 and Shack-Harris the 6. Bronshtein bet 80,000, Shack-Harris raised to 160,000, Bronshtein three-bet all in and Shack-Harris called.
Shack-Harris: 7 2 / A T 6
Bronshtein: A 8 / 7 3 9
Bronshtein got the 5 on sixth street to make an eight-seven low and Shack-Harris got the 4 to make a seven-six low. Shack-Harris paired the 2 on seventh street and Bronshtein needed a two or four to make a better seven-low to double, but the 3 paired him and sent him to the rail in fourth place.
Barlow doubled four times on a very short stack, and he made it long enough to last through the 30 minute dinner break. A fifth double and another pot without showdown gave him some hope, but one big hand where Barlow made it to seventh street before folding left him with less than a single big bet. On Barlow’s final hand, Danzer brought in with the J, Barlow called all in for 10,000 with the A and Shack-Harris called with the 3. It was checked all the way down, with Barlow double-pairing aces and kings for his four up-cards. Shack Harris picked up three nines, but his nine-seven low was good enough to scoop the pot, send Barlow out in third and set up a heads-up match between himself and Danzer for the bracelet.
The chip counts were close between the final two players, with 1.85 million for Danzer and 1.5 for Shack-Harris, and the lead flipped shortly before the limits jumped to 60,000/120,000. Few significant hands even went to showdown, but as he did earlier in the night Danzer went on a tremendous run and reduced Shack-Harris to just a few big bets.
Shack-Harris wouldn’t go down without a fight, doubling three times to survive, but Danzer simply could not be denied in this pursuit of the bracelet. Shack-Harris narrowly missed out on the first double win of the summer, but with dozens of bracelet events still to go Shack-Harris has proved that he’ll be a force to be reckoned with for the rest of the summer.
2014 World Series of Poker – $10,000 Razz Championship Final Table Results
- George Danzer – $294,792
- Brandon Shack-Harris – $182,155
- Todd Barlow – $114,081
- Yuval Bronshtein – $82,602
- Brian Hastings – $64,557
- Todd Dakake – $51,481
- Naoya Kihara – $41,806
- David Bach – $34,500
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