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Brandon Shack-Harris: “POY Points Brought Me to Australia”
Brandon Shack-Harris put on one of the most impressive performances ever at the 2014 WSOP but it wasn’t enough to lock up Player of the Year.
He’s looking to rectify that at the WSOP Asia-Pacific in Australia.
“I wasn’t planning on being here,” he said.
“I mean I wanted to go to Australia but I had stuff back home I wanted to take care of. The points have brought me here.”
Shack-Harris cashed six times at the 2014 WSOP including a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 2nd, 34th and 21st place finish for over $1 million in winnings.
Somehow German George Danzer kept pace with Shack-Harris and entered WSOP APAC only seven points behind the American.
“Initially I didn’t care about it,” said Shack-Harris while on break from Event 2 $2,200 No-Limit Hold’em.
“But it definitely turned into something because of all the time I put in.”
Danzer Strikes Early in POY Battle
So far Shack-Harris and Danzer have kept their momentum from the WSOP in Las Vegas by both cashing in the first event of the WSOP Asia-Pacific.
Unfortunately for Shack-Harris, he busted shortly after making the money while Danzer was still in the event at the time this article was published.
It’s the poker equivalent of going blow-for-blow with your opponent when every punch could be a potential knockout.
“I feel like George will probably overtake me today but it’s going to be really hard for one of us to not cash in at least one more tournament here,” said Shack-Harris.
There's no doubt the pressure is mounting.
Last year Matt Ashton, one of Shack-Harris’ good friends in poker, was leading POY going into the final event of the year but Daniel Negreanu somehow managed to overtake him in a stunning turn of events.
“I feel like - especially with smaller field sizes - that’s a reasonable outcome,” said Shack-Harris. “I can’t really control that. It crosses my mind but I try to dismiss it pretty quickly.”
It’s enough to get someone off their game when points suddenly become more valuable and a min-cash could be enough to push one player over the edge.
“In the end I dismiss that kind of thinking and just try to make the right decision,” said Shack-Harris.
Shack-Harris Aims to Put his Mark on WSOP APAC
The Chicago native has his eye set on more than just a few min cashes in Australia.
“I’m really looking to get a first, second, or third,” he said.
If nothing else the Shack-Harris certainly has confidence in spades. Even his extraordinary run this summer wasn’t a complete surprise.
“I don’t want to sound like an asshole - or bite the poker god hand that fed me - but I feel like I put in a lot of time and I think it’s the responsibility of a really good player to keep yourself in a position where you can handle the runs of bad luck,” he said.
“I know I ran really well but felt like I finished where I expected to finish in most of the events I played. I also felt like I played well enough to deserve the results that I got.”
We’ll have to wait and see if it’s enough to put Shack-Harris in the same category as former POY winners like Negreanu, Greg Merson or Erick Lindgren.