The secret of my success
When I wrote my previous blog, I was enjoying my last day off before an intense three-month grind. It started off with two EPT events- Berlin and Monte Carlo- where I did really bad and didn't cash any events. SCOOP, however, was still on the horizon and as you know by now, it was a very successful series for me! I won two events, made four final tables and came in second in the Player of the Series race.
I felt really well prepared for SCOOP this year. Not only did I have a good plan mapped out, but was also in good physical shape from jogging up and down the mountains in Salzburg. I wanted to play as many events as possible and made a schedule that I ended up following pretty closely. Things got off to a great start when I won my favorite event, the $2,100 NL Deuce-to-Seven Draw, for my second career SCOOP title.
At that point, I knew I was going for the top of the leaderboard. I was in good shape, but kept trading the lead with Shaun Deeb and a Brazilian player called "ninototoroko." In one event, all three of us ended up at the same table. At that point, Shaun had 25 more points than me and I had 10 more points than ninototoroko. We started a little banter back and forth and Shaun suggested that we make a bet for the leaderboard. I did the math and figured I would take the bet if I got some odds. But then I noticed that Shaun was still in another SCOOP event. It was a two-day event and he'd already made the second day. So not only did he have a 25-point advantage, but he was already guaranteed some points from the two-day event he was still playing. Shaun wanted to make a bigger bet than I was willing to, so we ended up not wagering at all.
After that, I ended up making some really nice scores. I made two final tables in the mixed events that I really enjoy, the 8-Game and the H.O.R.S.E. However, I still didn't have enough points to win the leaderboard. And that's where my story takes a bit of an unusual turn.
On one of the last days of the SCOOP I decided to play the 4-Max tournament. I made it to Day 2 and knew I needed at least third place to give me a good shot at winning the overall leaderboard. But it just so happened that I had plans that day that would send a more superstitious player into a frenzy. This year, I wanted to go to the World Series of Poker with a more dynamic image. I got a second and a third place last year and wanted to give myself a little extra kick to win a bracelet this time. At first I thought about changing up my wardrobe, but quickly realized that a new haircut would be much less expensive. So on the day I was to play out the rest of the 4-Max, I invited a friend of my girlfriend over to our house to give me a new look. And not just any new look. I went for a mohawk!
I think it changes my table image quite a bit. I still wear the same clothes (and my scarf of course), but it makes me a little taller at the table and adds an edge to my style. Of course, with the SCOOP leaderboard and the 4-Max final table still on the line, I wanted to try out my new look as quickly as possible! So I took a picture and e-mailed Stars support to have my avatar changed, saying I needed my "power face" to win the leaderboard. Not even ten minutes later, they replied, "Your power face has been approved and is now visible at the tables!"
I went on to win the 4-Max, but ultimately fell just short of the overall TLB win. However, I did take first in the "High" division and won a 2014 PCA package as well as a $5,000 WCOOP Main Event ticket. So all in all, a great result.
I kept my new hairstyle for the World Series of Poker and even though I'm not a superstitious person, it really brought me good luck. The first week I was in Las Vegas I made the final table of the $2,500 Stud 8/Omaha 8 event and a few weeks later I finished fifth in the $50,000 Player's Championship. As long as I keep running like this, the mohawk is here to stay!
George Danzer is a member of Team PokerStars Pro