EPT11 Prague: 'Me and you always, huh?' Selbst and Danzer get it on again
One of the first conversations PokerStars Blog had with George Danzer this year came at the EPT Grand Final in Monaco. Danzer was posing on the webcast stage in the Salle des Etoiles, a trophy in hand from the €1,000+€1,000+€100 Turbo Bounty tournament. We were as surprised as anyone to learn it was the chunky metal proof of the first live tournament Danzer had ever won. Despite plenty of success online, and huge cashes in the bricks and mortar environment, that side event in Monaco represented a breakthrough success.
As the clock ticked towards noon in Prague today, Danzer was back at a webcast stage, sitting squarely opposite one other person at a poker table. It was the exact position he occupied that day in Monaco, but this time there was no trophy and it was a dealer rather than photographer in the seat across the felt. Danzer was due to take centre stage on the EPT Live webcast from EPT Prague, his cache as a television star having increased enormously in the intervening seven and a half months.
As you may have heard, Danzer is now a three-time World Series bracelet winner, having prevailed in the $10,000 seven card razz event in Las Vegas, followed by victory in the $10,000 seven card stud hi/lo championship. When he subsequently won the 8-game mixed event in the WSOP APAC festival in Melbourne, he also became the World Series Player of the Year. "Maybe this has broke the bad run on final tables," Danzer said back then, with startling foresight. "I can go for the big ones."
Danzer is also now accustomed to appearing on web-streams and television, having been broadcast during those successes during the World Series. His Player of the Year battle with Brandon Shack-Harris, which went to the wire, meant he appeared on the TV shows made in Australia too, even though he did not cash in either the Main Event or High Roller tournaments down under.
His comfort in front of the cameras, combined with his early arrival this morning, meant that players also wandering up to the webcast stage must have felt as though they were accepting an invitation into Danzer's living room. He was chatting away to the dealer, then greeting his opponents one-by-one as they arrived. "Hmm, Russia," he said, glancing at the nationalities on the players' chip bags. "Oh, and Ukraine. Let's see what happens there."
As opponents hoicked out their driving licenses and ID cards, a security measure to ensure the correct player is matched with the correct stack, Danzer relished the imminent arrival of the player due to seat six. "She can take my chips," Danzer said, referring to his Team PokerStars Pro colleague Vanessa Selbst, with whom Danzer has shared a couple of notable battles in recent years.
Danzer recalled a particular hand at the PCA in January, during which Selbst rivered a straight and Danzer had two pair. "I checked behind," Danzer said proudly, pleased not to have lost far more. (Danzer talks more about that hand in our PCA coverage.) It wasn't long until Selbst herself arrived today and nodded in Danzer's direction. "Me and you always, huh?" she said, by way of confirmation of Danzer's earlier yarn.
Kim Brian, due to be sitting to Danzer's right, approached the table, cellphone in hand, recording the final few yards of his commute. Those were the steps that took him up a small staircase and on to the elevated stage, separating the players on the webcast from the throngs below. Anybody can be king for a day. Kim unclipped his sunglasses from the V in the front of his T-shirt, and rubbed them clean on its skirt.
"Is the webcast on a delay?" Danzer asked. It isn't. There are no hole cards being broadcast, so it goes out live. He texted the information to a friend.
Dmitrii Zaitcev, sitting in seat eight, stood up for a moment and took a walk across the front of the stage. His manner was half as if on a catwalk, half as if to psych himself up like a boxer and a half like a nervous schoolboy outside a headmaster's office, awaiting the summons to explain his recent behaviour in maths class, where he insisted there were three halves in every whole.
"Fifteen, three, four!" came an announcement through the tournament director's microphone. It was a reminder of the blind levels. "Dealers, start please."
Selbst scraped the last of her chips into orderly piles, and action was under way. As you no doubt know, it will be worth watching over there in webcast land. Be sure to turn in.
Follow all the action from the Main Event on the Main Event page. There's hand-by-hand updates and chip counts in the panel at the top of the page and feature pieces below. Also, EPT Live is up and running. Follow the action at PokerStars.tv. It's Sunday, but don't let that get you down.