MEET THE LATEST WSOP CHAMPION – MICHAEL “THE GRINDER” MIZRACHI
The winner was Michael “the Grinder” Mizrachi, from Miramar, Florida (USA).
Mizrachi is 30-years-old. He was born in Miami, FL.
Mizrachi is a professional poker player. He has been playing full-time since 2004. Prior to playing poker, Mizrachi was a college student. He entered college and was studying to become a doctor, but decided to pursue a poker career instead, after performing so well early in his career.
Mizrachi is married. He has three children.
Mizrachi’s father is of Iraqi-Jewish decent. Mizrachi and most of his family are fluent in Hebrew.
Mizrachi won his first WSOP gold bracelet in the $50,000 buy-in Poker Players Championship, played in 2010. His victory was nationally-televised on ESPN and proved to be one of the most thrilling finales in WSOP history. He ended up playing heads-up against his brother Robert, another former gold bracelet winner. “The Grinder” won the battle of the two brothers and $1,559,046 in prize money. Prior to his first victory in 2010, Mizrachi had won just about every major title in poker except a WSOP gold bracelet.
Mizrachi’s first recorded tournament cash took place in March 2004.
Mizrachi was Card Player Magazine’s “Player of the Year” in 2006.
Mizrachi was one of the 2010 WSOP Main Event “November Nine.” He finished in fifth place and collected $2,332,992.
According to official records, Mizrachi now has 29 cashes, 15 final table appearances, and 3 wins. His career WSOP earnings now totals nearly $7 million.
Mizrachi is called “the Grinder” due to his never-give-up mentality. Mizrachi certainly does not fit the mold of the traditional poker grinder, however. The term is usually meant to describe a tight player. Mizrachi is actually one of poker’s most aggressive and unpredictable tournament pros.
Other members of the Mizrachi family have adopted the “Grinder” moniker. His is married to Mrs. Grinder. His mother is Mama Grinder. His children each have been called Baby Grinder at various times.
Note: Mizrachi will be classified as a professional poker player in WSOP records, since he plays full-time exclusively and has no other occupation.
INTERVIEW WITH THE WINNER – MICHAEL “THE GRINDER” MIZRACHI
Question: You have an enormous number of accolades on your tournament resume. Where does this one rank?
The Grinder: Well, to win it first back in 2010, with some people feeling that I was going through rough times, and you know, it’s an amazing thing—I mean, I can’t even explain it— to win the 50K Poker Players Championship twice. It’s a dream come true. It’s another part of the books and another part of my history. And I’m hoping to make history happen and become the all-time money winner in tournament poker history. I got a long way to go. I’m still young. I’m 30-years-old. I expect to do a lot and have high expectations and goals.
Question: We’re usually here many, many hours for this event. How did you get it done in five hours?
The Grinder: Remember, there’s No-Limit and Pot-Limit Omaha. So, things could happen. And I was just running really, really well. It’s the best you can run at a final table. The cards went my way. Everything went my way. I thought I played my best. And I think I played my best. But you know, when I was heads up against Chris, he kind of like fell apart. I was just getting all the cards, you know. It’s tough to play against somebody who keeps winning every hand and is super aggressive. He was in such bad sports. You know, I kept making a seven in Deuce-to-Seven. I mean, everything went my way. And I’m very appreciative of that outcome, of winning this championship, holding the Chip Reese Memorial trophy twice. It’s an amazing feeling. Hopefully we’ll have another bracelet in the World Series, and hopefully it’s a million-dollar or whatever one I’m playing at. I’m not sure. I’m taking a break until Sunday. But we’ll see what happens.
Question: You are going to play in the million-dollar tournament?
The Grinder: I’m definitely going to play in the million-dollar event. I’m excited and can’t wait to play.
Question: How did you approach this one? If you won, then were you planning on playing in the million-dollar event?
The Grinder: No. I was already buying into the million-dollar. I decided a week ago because I just thought, you know, I just thought it out. No one is going to buy into it; it’s very expensive, especially for a poker player. So, I asked a few guys, you know, ‘Are you interested?’ And before you knew it, I rounded up $900,000 in four days. So, I was like ‘Wow. Just like that. Now I’m in.’ I’m sure everybody wants a piece now. But we’re sold-out.
Question: Are you still kind of bitter about how you finished in the Main Event a few years ago?
The Grinder: If you told me that I was going to finish fifth place in the Main Event, I’ll take it.
Question: Was this final table a little less stressful than the one in 2010?
The Grinder: This one, you know, wherever I finish, it’d be a respectful because I’ve already won this title before. Now to win it, it’s just beyond that. I just can’t believe it. I can’t believe I won it twice. It’s just an amazing feeling. And I’m very excited.
Question: Did you like this format, going back-and-forth between different events?
The Grinder: I won them both, so I can’t really say. But I think the format should always stay the same. The way you start is the way you’re supposed to finish. I know for television, people want No-Limit Hold’em because the public doesn’t know how to play the other seven games that we’re playing. But, you know, it is what it is. So, hopefully one day we’ll televise eight games, and we’ll get people playing eight games and grow a bigger field for the Poker Players Championship.
Question: You got on the phone immediately after you won. Who’d you call?
The Grinder: When I was on the phone, it was my mother. I wish she could be here, but she’s at home. I said, ‘Don’t worry. Take it easy. I got this.’ She’ll probably come out for the million-dollar buy-in.