It’s not surprising that the $5,000 8-Game Mixed Event at the WSOP APAC would host one of the toughest field we have seen in the series so far. The final table was no different.
There was a WSOP Main Event victor, two Australian poker veterans, two players with two bracelets each and this year’s most prolific WSOP casher.
The heads-up battle came down to Scott Clements and George Danzer. Both were gunning for their third bracelet and in the end it was Danzer who took home the gold, the $84,600 top prize and regained the lead in the WSOP Player of the Year race.
“I came to Australia to compete for Player of the Year and now this bracelet win is a bonus,” Danzer said following his victory. “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.”
Watch the final table in its entirety.
Amazingly, Danzer started the day as the short stack and quickly ran that up to the chip lead and ultimately finished with the victory. This makes Danzer the first three-time bracelet winner in a single year since Jeff Lisandro achieved that feat in 2009. Danzer won the $10,000 Seven Card Razz and $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo in the summer and has now taken down the $5,000 8-Game Mixed Event at the WSOP APAC.
When told that he was only the sixth player in history to win three bracelets in a single year (the others being Puggy Pearson, Phil Hellmuth, Ted Forrest, Phil Ivey and Jeff Lisandro) Danzer laughed.
“If I can choose, please compare me to Phil Ivey!”
Regardless of where Danzer finished today he was going to move back ahead of Brandon Shack-Harris in the Player of the Year race. The victory, however sees Danzer move into a comfortable lead with just the WSOP APAC Main Event and the High Roller remaining on the schedule.
Although Danzer is certainly a hot favourite to claim the WSOP Player of the Year, he’s doesn’t want to get ahead of himself.
“You just never know this year, the lead has changed so many times. I’m just not sure about anything. I’ll take the points, but it will be if he busts the 25K, or I bust and he can’t make enough points to catch, then it will be fun for me. But not before that.”
After coming in as the final table short stack, Danzer was clearly almost overwhelmed, or at least surprised, that he was able to secure the victory.
“I just wanted to come sixth place in this tournament. I was nitting it up on the bubble yesterday because it was so important to the Player of the Year. Then when I made the final table I was completely relaxed. I just thought, okay let’s get it in with a good hand early and if I double up then maybe something good can happen.”
Something good certainly did happen.
The $5,000 buy-in 8-Game Mixed Event ran as a three-day tournament and played host to some of the most distinguished poker players in the game.
There were 45 runners on Day 1 and after ten one-hour levels, 27 of them remained. The UK’s Richard Ashby was the chip leader at this point. Registration was left open until the start of Day 2 and with three more registrants, the total field was locked out at 48.
The $225,600 prize pool would be spread amongst the top six players and it would take almost twelve hours of play on Day 2 to make it to the money. Daniel Negreanu, Mel Judah, Jeff Madsen, reigning Aussie Millions champ Ami Barer and local hero Joe Hachem were just a few of those eliminated long before the money was even in the equation.
At the start of Day 2 the USA’s Brandon Shack-Harris was the leader on the WSOP Player of the Year leader board. He was eliminated during the day, while his nearest competitor on the leader board, George Danzer, was still in the tournament and looking to reclaim the lead.
Danzer hung onto his tournament life late into day watching on as Ashby ended up falling in eighth place to usher in the bubble. Danzer just needed to survive one more place and lucky for him Brain Rast was deemed the bubble boy during a hand of No Limit Hold’em and so Danzer had made the final table, locked up some money and arguably more importantly, had once against moved past Shack-Harris in the WSOP Player of the Year race.
Danzer was the short stack of the final six, while two-time WSOP bracelet winner Scott Clements was at the other end of the spectrum with a slight chip lead over 2010 WSOP Main Event champion Jonathan Duhamel.
Australia’s Sam Khouiss was also part of the final six, making this his second WSOP APAC final table in just a few days after finishing runner-up in the $1,650 Dealer’s Choice event. Fellow Australian Tino Lechich also made the final table.
The last spot at the final six was filled by Ismael Bojang. This result marked Bojang’s fourth cash of the WSOP APAC and a record-breaking 13th WSOP result in a single year. The closest Bojang got to a bracelet this year was a fourth place during the summer in the $3,000 Omaha Hi/Lo and he was surely hoping to improve on that.
The final table began quite slowly and perhaps not as expected in that the short stack Danzer was soon the chip leader. Danzer then held onto that lead as six players suddenly became two within five minutes.
The fast-paced action started when Clements sent Khouiss home in sixth and Duhamel sent Lechich home in fifth, both during the Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo round. Bojang was then eliminated in fourth during a 2-7 Triple Draw hand, while Duhamel was then sent home in third place and it was down to heads-up after four players had amazingly been eliminated in the space of five hands.
With that it was Danzer and Clements heads-up for the title.
Both of these player have already won two bracelets in their career and so someone was guaranteed to win a third. Danzer also had the WSOP Player of the Year points to think about. By guaranteeing second he was already ensuring his lead over Shack-Harris would be hard to catch, but a victory would be even better.
Heads-up lasted quite a long time before a hand of No Limit Hold’em would see Clements fall to the rail as the runner-up, while Danzer was crowned the champion, collecting his third bracelet and the $84,600 top prize.
Here are the full results from the $5,000 8-Game Mixed Event:
1st: George Danzer- $84,600
2nd: Scott Clements -$52,340
3rd: Jonathan Duhamel - $34,291
4th: Ismael Bojang - $23,688
5th: Tino Lechich- $17,371
6th: Sam Khouiss - $13,310