One of the world's top mixed-game players returned to glory, winning the 2016 World Series of Poker $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship in Las Vegas on Saturday.
With his first bracelet win, a third-place result, and two runner-up finishes, including taking second in the $50,000 Poker Players' Championship, 2014 was a breakout year for Chicago, Illinois' Brandon Shack-Harris at the WSOP. Despite making eighth in the $10,000 Seven-Card Razz Championship, the 2015 WSOP did not go anywhere near as well.
However, coming off a fifth-place finish in the 26th event on the 2016 WSOP schedule, and two more cashes, Shack-Harris found himself back in the winner circle again on Saturday, capturing his second WSOP bracelet and the massive $894,300 first-place prize that came with it.
"It's very gratifying winning a very difficult tournament," Shack-Harris said. "It is hard to get here, and to finish it. This final table was about as hard as they come."
Comparing his first WSOP bracelet win to his second, Shack-Harris said this one feels even more special.
"The first one, I was very happy with my play, but it was easy to bulldoze my way through the final table," he said. "Everybody was at such a big chip disadvantage and they weren't really playing back at me, even heads up. I sucked out against a really nice guy and I left that tournament feeling that's not the way you want to win.
"This one was tough the whole way through. I felt like I was playing out of position the whole time and it was this strange balancing act. It was just really difficult. This is definitely the most gratifying moment for me in my poker career."
Final Table Results
Shack-Harris beat Loren Klein heads up, just a few days removed from Klein's bracelet win in the $1,500 Mixed No-Limit Hold'em/Pot-Limit Omaha event, and said he couldn't have found a more difficult opponent to play against, making the moment he got it in with aces and tens versus aces and eights, holding on for the win, even sweeter.
"Loren's a special guy, just as I feel I am, in that we both play a fairly unorthodox style," he said. "We play some street PLO, and street recognizes street."
Shack-Harris said what made the win even more special was the number of friends he had railing him on the way to victory, and while his grind is likely to continue almost immediately with the $50,000 Poker Players' Championship also kicking off Saturday, this time he planned to take a little time to enjoy it with them.
"I'm trying to let this soak in a little bit," he said. "That's something I didn't do in 2014. I came up short a bunch, so I didn't really care to, and even when I won the bracelet, like I said, I sucked out, so it wasn't as gratifying.
"I'm going to take a few minutes, soak in the moment, hang out with my friends, and then hop in the $50K I suppose."