Before Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi or his twin Eric ever learned what a flop was, their older brother Robert was racking up some impressive tournament results. Chris Moneymaker was still a Tennessee accountant, the World Series of Poker was still held at Binion's and online poker itself didn't exist. It was 1997, and while still too young to gamble in the U.S., Robert Mizrachi entered, and won, a poker tournament at the Grosvenor Victoria Casino in London, England. It was then that he realized that the card game his mother taught him at the kitchen table would become his calling in life. Since then, the eldest of the Mizrachi brothers has amassed over $2.8 million in career tournament earnings and millions more in cash games. Michael may have been the first Mizrachi to achieve poker fame, but it was Robert's inspiration that got him there.
Robert Mizrachi grew up in South Florida as the oldest of four brothers. Card games were common around the Mizrachi household, with his mother as the catalyst. All four Mizrachi brothers learned the basics of poker from their mom, but Robert was the first of the boys to take it seriously. Once he became of age to do so, he enrolled in dealer training school and began dealing in local casinos and at private games. He put in a lot of hours at the Hard Rock Seminole in Hollywood, Florida, and as he picked up more knowledge from watching players day in and day out, he started stepping up his own play. Robert also started teaching the game to his younger brothers Michael and Eric. Soon, all three were playing full-time.
Robert Mizrachi made his first World Series of Poker money finish in 2003, cashing in 31st place in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event. That fall in Atlantic City, he finished second at the Showdown at the Sands $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em event among a star-studded field; Andy Bloch, Freddy Deeb, and Paul Darden all made the final table while Mike Matusow finished 10th. The boom had just begun and the poker world first took notice of this young emerging star. Mizrachi would take down his first major title less than a year later, winning the 2004 Master Classics of Poker in Amsterdam for $482,608.
As 2004 bled into 2005, Robert Mizrachi was making final tables left and right, including two at Bellagio. It was Michael, however, who leapt into the spotlight after winning the WPT L.A. Poker Classic that Feburary, earning over $1.8 million in the process. Robert enjoyed an excellent WSOP that summer, though, making four cashes as well as the final table of the $1,500 Limit Hold'em event where he finished fourth. Mizrachi remained a model of consistency in tournament poker in the months that followed—final tabling a $3,000 event in Tunica, winning a $1,000 Bellagio tournament, and finishing runner-up to Anthony Reategui in a $1,500 NLHE preliminary event at the 2006 Bellagio Five-Star Classic. One month after picking up over $113,000 for that finish, Robert Mizrachi made his first World Poker Tour televised final table, finishing 6th at the Mirage Poker Showdown and finally earning some national exposure. He'd find his way onto another WPT broadcast in January 2007, finishing fourth at the PokerStars Carribean Adventure for $409,703.
At the 2007 WSOP, Robert Mizrachi made a serious run at Player of the Year honors. Demonstrating his skill in all the games, Mizrachi cashed a total of six times, making the final table of both the $5,000 and the $2,500 H.O.R.S.E. events, finishing fifth and sixth respectively. He also cashed in the $1,500 Omaha 8 or Better event, the $2,500 Omaha/Seven-Card Stud 8 or Better event, and the Main Event. And there was that little matter of winning his first bracelet.
Robert Mizrachi bested a final table that included Doyle Brunson, Patrik Antonius, Marco Traniello, and Rene Mouritsen to win the $10,000 World Championship Pot-Limit Omaha event and $768,889. Mizrachi ran over his competition on his way to victory, getting heads-up with eventual runner-up Mouritsen with a commanding chip lead. Though he finished third in the race for POY honors, Mizrachi left the 2007 WSOP with nearly $900,000 in earnings from his six weeks in Las Vegas. Since earning his first bracelet, Robert Mizrachi has made two more deep runs at the WSOP. In the summer of 2008 he finished fourth in the $2,500 Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw Lowball event and made the quarter-finals of the $10,000 World Championship Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em event.
Robert Mizrachi splits his time between Miami and Las Vegas when he's not traveling the circuit. He's sponsored by Full Tilt and is also heavily involved with the upcoming launch of the PokerBattle lifestyle and clothing brand.