WSOP Player of the Year Race Coming Down to the Wire Between Danzer and Shack-Harris

Brandon Shack-Harris and George Danzer

The 2014 World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific has just two gold bracelets left to give out, but there is a third title still up for grabs, and that's the honor of being crowned WSOP Player of the Year. As the WSOP Asia-Pacific AU$10,000 Main Event trudges on and the AU$25,000 High Roller sets to kick off on Wednesday, George Danzer holds the lead over Brandon Shack-Harris by 116.8 points.

On Day 2 of the WSOP Asia-Pacific Main Event, Danzer was eliminated. He fell well short of the money and would not be able to earn any points from the event, but there is still a chance for him to add to his total in the High Roller. Shack-Harris finished on 221,100 in chips, though, and he's advanced to Day 3 in the Main Event. Shack-Harris was hovering with a little bit over 100,000 when he found a key double up with pocket nines versus ace-king in one of the very last hands of the day.

With 329 entries in the Main Event, the top 36 places will be paid out. It's those in-the-money places that also earn Player of the Year points, but it's the final table where the big chunks come rolling — just like the payouts. In the Main Event, 225 points will be given to the top spot, and second and third place will be worth 157.5 points and 112.5 points, respectively. With Shack-Harris still very much alive in the Main Event with 70 players remaining, the WSOP Player of the Year title is still up for grabs.

Outside of the Main Event, Danzer and Shack-Harris have the chance to earn points in the High Roller. A small, but elite field of competitors will be in action for that one, and prior to this festival both Danzer and Shack-Harris informed PokerNews that they would be playing the event. That plan could change for Shack-Harris if he runs super deep in the Main Event. While it is unknown what the field size multiplier will be for the High Roller, we can tell you that the buy-in multiplier for the event will have at least the same amount of points in the top three spots as the Main Event (225, 157.5, and 112.5).

Current Top 5 WSOP Player of the Year Standings

 PlayerPointsBraceletsFinal TablesCashesMoney Earned
1George Danzer923.503510$867,649
2Brandon Shack-Harris806.70158$1,428,116
3John Hennigan*557.88124$1,848,325
4Daniel Negreanu519.08039$8,545,408
5Ismael Bojang467.910413$334,070

*Player is not in Australia for the WSOP Asia-Pacific.

To view the complete WSOP Player of the Year standings, please click here.

"We got pretty close," Shack-Harris told PokerNews' Chad Holloway about Danzer on the latest PokerNews Podcast. "It's fun being in a race with somebody who plays all the games, someone you can bounce ideas off of, and someone you respect. It's actually been really interesting to hear his mindset throughout the course of the different lead exchanges. After he won his third bracelet, I hit him up and asked him if he wanted to go to dinner. I felt like he's in a foreign land and his girlfriend couldn't be here and he doesn't have a bunch of friends here, so he should celebrate it."

Shack-Harris went on to add that he did a bit of sweating every time Danzer was running deep in an event here in Australia and he was stuck on the sidelines. However, that role is switched for the Main Event as Danzer has been eliminated and it's Shack-Harris with a big stack going forward.

While the two players have certainly formed a bond over the competition, they are going after the historical title with guns blazing, and it's quite an amazing story that's going right down to the wire. As it stands right now, it's Shack-Harris who has the pressure on him to perform. He's made it to Day 3 of the Main Event at Crown Melbourne with a top-10 stack, and if this were a basketball game we'd say that the surged into halftime with a run of points, but is still trailing. He's got momentum on his side, though, and this should definitely have you glued to your screens as it plays out.

The WSOP Player of the Year will be awarded the prize of a buy-in to the 2015 WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas, but will it be Danzer earning the seat or Shack-Harris?

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