At a star-studded final table, Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi emerged victorious to win his first ever World Series of Poker bracelet and over $1.5 million. Seven of poker’s top pros along with one amateur were left to battle it out in No Limit Hold’em after the remainder of the 116-striong starting field was eliminated over the course of 4 days of an 8-game mix.
Among the notable players to cash were Andy Bloch (16th), Lyle Berman (12th), and Nick “The Takeover” Schulman (TV bubble – 9th place). Just to further explain how difficult a field this was, it took an amazing quads-over-quads hand for Lyle Berman to get eliminated (by the eventual victor, Michael Mizrachi).
Among the fortunate players to make the final table were WSOP bracelet winners John Juanda, Daniel Alaei, and the Grinder’s older brother Robert Mizrachi. Carrying the flag for poker’s “old guard” was Bobby’s Room regular David Oppenheim (who, despite his years of cash game success, also hadn’t won a bracelet yet). There was also a representative of the online poker community in David Baker, who, though just 25 years old, has enjoyed much success in Full Tilt Poker’s FTOPS series as well as in PokerStars’ SCOOP series. And then there was the amateur, Russia’s Vladimir Schmelev, who almost managed to win it all, but was eventually ground down by the Grinder for an almost-million dollar 2nd-place payday.
Though he was the 2006 Card Player magazine player of the year, this was unquestionably Michael Mizrachi’s biggest success to date in poker. Mizrachi scooped the majority of the $5.5 million prize pool ($1,559,046), beat his older brother, won his first gold WSOP bracelet, and ALSO got his name forever engraved on the Chip Reese Memorial trophy. Not bad for 5 days of work.