The 2014 WSOP Player of the Year race was a roller coaster ride.
In the end it was George Danzer who came out on top.
Danzer had the sweat of a lifetime though.
When the WSOP APAC began in Melbourne, Australia it was Brandon Shack-Harris leading the race.
The lead then changed three times within ten days.
Playing Tug of War with the Lead
The first time Danzer moved into the top spot was during the very first event of the WSOP APAC – the $1,100 No Limit Hold’em Accumulator.
To begin with, Shack-Harris actually increased his lead in that tournament, finishing in-the-money in 53rd place. But then Danzer cashed in 22nd and was the new leader.
Then Shack-Harris finished 6th in the $1,650 No Limit Hold’em Terminator event and moved into what seemed like a commanding lead.
When Shack-Harris reflected on the player of the year race on TwoPlusTwo he claimed this was the point he thought the race was his.
“I final tabled the NL Terminator event and busted out 6th,” Shack-Harris wrote. “This is good for a 40 point lead, and I basically feel like I've wrapped POY up.”
However, it wasn’t over yet.
Just a couple of days after the Terminator and Danzer would make the final table of the $1,650 Dealer’s Choice. Danzer needed 4th or better to reclaim the lead, but ended up finishing in 6th.
Shack-Harris was hanging onto the lead by a thread at this point and was needing a good result in the $5,000 8-Game to make himself comfortable heading into the Main Event and High Roller.
But the opposite happened as Shack-Harris was eliminated outside of the money, while Danzer would go on to win the event, claiming his third bracelet of the year and moving into a strong lead.
The Player of the Year title looked like it was guaranteed to go to Danzer, but then he busted the Main Event and the High Roller, while Shack-Harris was going deep in the latter.
Shack-Harris needed to finish 2nd in the Main Event to regain the lead, or alternatively bust out earlier on the penultimate day and late register the High Roller and make a deep run in that too.
Shack-Harris ended up being eliminated in 17th place in the Main Event and had enough time to jump in the High Roller.
From here Shack-Harris needed to finish in the top four, but ended up being eliminated long before the final table.
With that, Danzer was deemed the 2014 WSOP Player of the Year!
Following his elimination from the High Roller, Danzer took to twitter to show his relief and to congratulate Shack-Harris on a tough battle.
Although i enjoyed the sweat i am relieved now that the race is over. And i know @Oscillator_WSOP is going to get another chance. Mad props.— George Danzer (@trickyscarfy) October 16, 2014
To encapsulate Danzer’s year, he cashed in 10 WSOP events, won three gold bracelet in five total final table appearances and cashed for $867,649.
That’s a great year by anyone’s standard, but to make it even more exceptional, Danzer also found himself a place in the record books by becoming just the sixth player in history to win three bracelets in one year.
He will now also have a giant banner in his honour placed at the Rio alongside all the other Player of the Year winners.