Halfway through the 2014 World Series of Poker, German Team PokerStars Pro George Danzer is threatening to take a stranglehold on the WSOP Player of the Year race.
Danzer's series kicked off with a fifth-place finish in the $10,000 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw and he jumped in the POY race with his first WSOP bracelet win a week later in the $10,000 Seven Card Razz.
A cash in the $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo and a deep run in the $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed event that ended with a ninth-place finish propelled him into the lead.
Now, at the halfway mark in Las Vegas, Danzer finds himself with a massive chip lead on Day 2 of the $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low Championship and a very realistic possibility of scoring even more of the valuable Player of the Year points he most certainly covets.
“I definitely pay attention to the leaderboard,” Danzer told PokerNews. “If there is a series and there is a leaderboard I always try to play as many tournaments as I can to have a chance to win it.”
Thanks to his first WSOP bracelet win in the $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed event, a heartbreaking runner-up finish in the same $ 10,000 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw event where Danzer placed fifth, and a cash in the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E., Justin Bonomo sits a close second, just a little more than 40 points behind.
But Danzer has no plans to change his already busy schedule this summer just to keep that lead.
“I have a fixed schedule,” he said. “I don't do the noon tournament and then if I bust I play the later one. I always choose which one I like better and I just play that tournament. If it happens that I bust I might reconsider and take a shot in the other one and late register or I just take the evening off, which is nice from time to time. It would be nice to have a day off sometime because I haven't had any up to now.”
Since he plays most of the games, Danzer has a relatively full schedule planned out on excel spreadsheets, but he’s careful to avoid burnout in his chase for POY honors.
“I don't overload it,” he said. “I don't play every event and even now that I'm running good, I'm going to still keep the same schedule. I'm going to grind along as planned.”
One scheduling change he may make is to his plans for the fall, with the World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific taking place in October at Crown Melbourne in Australia and even more valuable POY points on offer Down Under.
“I had not planned to go there for the series,” he said. “I had kind of forgotten about the series and planned a vacation with my girlfriend. We have a yoga retreat in Portugal exactly the dates the WSOP is in Australia. I'm going to have to look at the leaderboard and decide.”
As it stands now, it’s a tight race, with Brock Parker, Brandon Shack-Harris, Richard Ashby, Millionaire Maker champ Jonathan Dimmig, Joe Cada, JC Tran, Chris Wallace and Vanessa Selbst all in the top ten and within 150 points of the lead.
Plus, with half a series worth of events to play, the POY award is still up for grabs.
Danzer said if he or anyone else runs away with it, he’ll be stretching out in Portugal come October. But if it’s close, he’ll do anything he can to win the honour and the $10,000 2015 WSOP Main Event seat that comes with it.
“It would be a great honour,” he said. “I heard they put the poster of you up in the Amazon Room if you win, so my friends when they come in here to play, they would have to look at my face every day. That would be nice.”