EPT12 Barcelona: Danzer high, and rolling, in the High Roller
George Danzer is on a high right now. Actually he's on a roll as well. It's nothing to do with the poker, although 2015 has hardly been a disappointment to the Team Pro. It has something to do with his seat instead, or more accurately what he's sitting on. A device intended to reduce aches, improve posture, and make everyone else at the table look up to you.
Danzer already cuts an imposing figure at the table. It's what a Mohawk will do. But now, as he sits perfectly upright and about 6 inches above everyone else, he has found a way to stand out even more.
But is it working?
"I don't know yet," said Danzer, speaking at the break. "It's the first tournament I've brought it to. It's stressful when you first use it. You're always wobbling a little bit."
The concept is simple. The device looks a little like a saddle, attached to a ball. You sit on it normally enough, but it requires balance to stay upright, keeping your back muscles active, and strengthening your core. Well that's the theory. The instructions said nothing about a massage.
"It's supposed to activate your muscles and give you a better posture," said Danzer. "It's working with that but my back is cramping a lot. I'm alternating sitting on it, and getting a massage to ease the paid, then sitting on it again."
Despite the agony, there are advantages in a poker sense too, particularly if you find yourself in the one or nine seat. The added height means you can look over the dealer, rather than around. Then there are the psychological advantages. Opponents literally have to look up at Danzer, who sits higher than anyone at his table. Make that the entire room.
My back hurts just writing this, but Danzer's claims his posture is improving. But, he added, these things take time.
"Let's see how it goes," he said. "Maybe in one year I can tell you the long term results, whether I've tossed it away or it's really improved something."
We've agreed to talk more on this next Spring in Monaco. Meanwhile Danzer just called for another massage.
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Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.