Big things are happening on Thursday at the 2012 World Series of Poker. Most importantly, the $50,000 Poker Players Championship is moving toward a winner with just eight players remaining. That along with the final days of Event #47: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better and Event #48: $3,000 Limit Hold'em are the focus of this edition of the PokerNews What To Watch For.
Grinder Chases Second $50K Title
There has yet to be a two-time winner in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, but Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi has set himself up very well to become the first. Mizrachi won the title in 2010 to earn his first gold bracelet. He also came second in the WSOP Player of the Year that year. He'll enter the day at the top of the counts and have a chance for a third gold bracelet, a second Poker Players Championship title, and look to put himself back in the running for Player of the Year.
Mizrachi's style of play is exciting. He loves to stay active, and the format of this event really keeps the players on their toes with all of the game changes. It's going to be very interesting and fun to see Mizrachi in action at his third, and biggest, final table of the 2012 WSOP.
Bloch Goes for Second Title
Coming into this WSOP, Andy Bloch was on top of the "Best Poker Players without a Bracelet" list. He earned his first this summer and removed himself from that conversation, but now he really has a shot at validating everything he's worked so hard for over his career if he's able to take down this title.
The first year this event was held, Bloch finished runner-up to David "Chip" Reese. He'll come into the final table on Thursday as the runner-up on the leaderboard behind Mizrachi but will be looking to best his finish from 2006 and win it all.
Israelashvili Tries To Turn $2,250 Into $1.4 Million
If there was ever a feel-good story in this event, it's that of Roland Israelashvili. Israelashvili played the $2,250 satellite for the event and won his seat. He played the seat and has now found his way at the final table. Even though Israelashvili is second to last in chips coming into the last day, he's all smiles and will be looking to get the maximum return on his investment.
Israelashvili is a long-time grinder on the tournament circuit, frequenting WSOP Circuit events and other tours around the U.S. His largest claim to fame was a win at the 2010 WSOP Circuit Main Event at Caesars Atlantic City for over $264,000, but that could all change if he nails this victory.
Greek for Gold
Charalampos Lappas, who leads the final 10 players into Day 3, is one of the more likable players in the poker world. He's also very animated and likes to stay active on the felt. Lappas edges out Steven Loube for the slight chip lead in the event and will be looking to bring home a gold bracelet to Greece. He has two WSOP cashes, both this year.
Stars Shining Bright in Limit Hold'em
Many players often joke about limit hold'em and how it is poker's version of checkers because of its relative simplicity. Whether or not that's true, we do know one thing: with 20 players left, plenty of notables are still in the field in Event #48.
Names like Vladimir Shchmelev, Justin Bonomo, Dwyte Pilgrim, Robert Hwang, John Myung, Matt Woodward, Chad Brown and Paul Berende are all still alive, but the biggest name of all is 2010 WSOP Main Event champion Jonathan Duhamel.
Duhamel has proven over the two years since winning the Main Event that he's no joke, piling up plenty of results from around the world in various events. But, if he's able to conquer this one and win his second bracelet, he'll truly be considered one of the greats and at such a young age. He's clearly the one to watch for in this event.
As always, you can find PokerNews' coverage of the 2012 WSOP on our Live Reporting Pages. We look forward to having you follow along and stay tuned for plenty more from our What To Watch For series.