BLUFF’s 2015 WSOP Countdown continues with the fourth in a series of statistical breakdowns meant to determine the greatest years put together by some of the best tournament poker players of all time.
Michael Mizrachi has had quite the career, but for a long time the World Series of Poker hung like an albatross around his neck. Despite a multitude of successes elsewhere in the tournament world, Mizrachi didn’t have as much as a final table at the WSOP until 2008. In that year it appeared that Mizrachi was finally ready to break through, with five cashes and two final tables, but he followed that up with a complete goose egg for the summer in 2009.
With all of that hanging on Mizrachi’s back he got to work quickly in 2010, and the WSOP has been a completely different kind of experience for him ever since.
WSOP Cashes: 5
WSOP Earnings: $4,017,043
WSOP Bracelets: 1
The very first open event of the 2010 WSOP was filmed for broadcast on ESPN, and there could be few bigger spectacles for viewers than the inaugural $50,000 Poker Players Championship. The tournament that replaced the $50,000 HORSE Championship expanded the format to eight games, with the final table transitioning to No Limit Hold’em for the viewing audience. The final table was, unsurprisingly, one of the best of the summer, featuring Mizrachi, David Oppenheim, John Juanda, David ‘Bakes’ Baker and Daniel Alaei to name a few – along with Michael’s brother Robert.
Michael dispatched Robert in fifth place and went on to beat Vladimir Shchemelev – who’d go on to have an impressive 2010 WSOP of his own – and Mizrachi claimed his first career WSOP bracelet in one of the biggest tournaments of the summer, right off the bat. He’d make the final table of the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship a week later, where he finished sixth, and then took eighth later in June in the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship. He made a deep run in one more event, a $2,500 buy-in Mixed Game affair, but that one ended in 26th.
Mizrachi bookended a summer that began with him winning one of the biggest titles of the year by making the final table of THE biggest tournament in the world. He fought through much of the final table, but a couple of big hands went the wrong direction to thwart Mizrachi’s hopes of taking two of poker’s biggest titles in a single year; he lost a coinflip to Jonathan Duhamel, and ran top pair into Duhamel’s pocket aces to go out in fifth.
Mizrachi narrowly missed out on WSOP Player of the Year honors, but in making the two biggest final tables of the summer and winning one of them he made his 2010 campaign one of the most memorable of the last five years.
WSOP Cashes: 4
WSOP Earnings: $1,603,307
WSOP Bracelets: 1
2011 saw just two WSOP cashes for Mizrachi, but they were big ones – a second place finish in a $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo event, and a second WSOP bracelet win in the first ever Mixed Max event at WSOP Europe.
In 2012, Mizrachi saw the culmination of an incredible three year run at the WSOP. In the first week he made the final table of the $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo event, where he finished fifth to eventual champion Cory Zeidman. He’d go on a bit of a dry stretch over the next few weeks, but Mizrachi came back for his second cash and second final table in the $1,500 No Limit Deuce to Seven event, taking fourth.
The peak of his summer came along with some serious history. With the $50,000 Poker Players Championship shifted towards the tail end of the summer, Mizrachi reached the final table for the second time and made it three final tables in as many cashes for 2012. Mizrachi eventually overcame the likes of Bruno Fitoussi, Bill Chen, Stephen Chidwick, Luke Schwartz, Roland Israelashvili, Andy Bloch and finally Chris Klodnicki heads-up to rack up a second Poker Players Championship and $1.45 million. He’s the first player ever to repeat as the champion of a $50,000 Mixed Event at the WSOP.
The cherry on top came later in the year at the WSOPE, where Mizrachi made it four cashes and four final tables for 2012 as he finished third in a €5,300 Omaha event.
A second Poker Players Championship is as big as it gets at the WSOP, and four final tables in four cashes rounds out a spectacular 2012. That being said, few players can put up a summer as strong and as profitable as the one Mizrachi had in 2010. Between winning the Poker Players Championship, final tabling the Main Event and making two other final tables, Mizrachi’s 2010 WSOP stands as one of the crowning achievements of a distinguished career in poker.
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