If Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi wasn't already in pantheon of poker greats going into Thursday night, he certainly is now.
Mizrachi, a South Floridian, won his second Poker
The Pokers Players Championship, in its seventh year, is considered to be the true tournament for pros at the World Series of Poker. First off, the $50,000 buy-in separates itself from even the main event, which costs "only" $10,000 to enter. Second, the tournament consists of not just Texas Hold 'em, but seven other games, including Pot-Limit Omaha, Duece-to-Seven Triple Draw and 7-Card Stud.
And now, Mizrachi has won it twice. The victory puts him at about $14 million in career tournament winnings, which is fourth all-time. Incredibly, the $1.4 million win Tuesday was only his third-biggest WSOP haul: In 2010, he finished fifth in the main event (for $2.3 million) and his Poker Players Championship win earned him $1.5 million.
Mizrachi, 31, grew up in South Florida and graduated from Hallandale High in 1999. He and his wife, Lily, were dealers at the Seminole Casino Hollywood Classic about a decade ago, and he has lived in
"He's won two Poker Players Championships, he's made the main event final table, he's been in the running for player of the year twice … No one has come close to matching that," said WSOP media relations man Nolan Dalla.
It helped that Mizrachi was getting good cards Tuesday night, according to the Las Vegas Sun, hit a 7-low in 2-to-7 triple draw, snagging aces on fifth and sixth street in seven-card stud and and a straight in the Omaha 8 or better hand.
"You have to have skill and luck," Mizrachi told ESPN.com "Today, both were on my side. … I ran really, really well. This is the best you can possibly run at a final table. The cards went my way; I played my best."
The win puts Mizrachi at No. 4 all-time in tournament winnings, behind Erik Seidel, Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu, according to Hendon Mob Poker Database. Go to http://pokerdb.thehendonmob.com/ranking/1
The amazing part is that he's one or two wins away from No. 1. Seidel's total is $16.9 million.
"I'm hoping to become the all-time money winner in poker tournament history," Mizrachi said. "Hey, I'm only 31, so it could happen."