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The WSOP on ESPN: The Last Mizrachi Standing

Michael Mizrachi

Didn’t we see Day 6 last week? Players in the World Series of Poker Main Event often feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, and this week, it was the audience who found themselves in his shoes. You’re not imagining things. Day 6’s nine hours of play got another two hours of ESPN coverage this week as the Mizrachi brothers continued their historic Main Event run. One hundred and twenty-two players sat behind chip stacks at the top of the first hour and only 78 remained at the end of the second when Day 6 finally concluded.

Cast of Characters: Michael Mizrachi, Alexander Kostritsyn and Peter Jetten landed on the main featured table while Robert Mizrachi played on table two. ESPN’s cameras also found Day 3 chip leader James Carroll, Day 4 leader Tony Dunst, Matt Affleck, Theo Tran, John Racener, “The Original” David Baker, Theo Jorgensen, Eric “basebaldy” Baldwin and Jean-Robert Bellande.

PokerNews reporters spotted: Eric Ramsey, Dave “F-Train” Behr, Matt Whitefield, Mickey Doft, Martin “Short-Stacked Shamus” Harris, and Dave King.

Rotten river sends Robert reeling: When Robert Mizrachi called John Racener’s pre-flop raise with {8-Hearts}{9-Hearts} from the small blind, he was hoping to hit a flop exactly like the {J-Spades}{10-Diamonds}{7-Hearts} one that came down. Mizrachi checked and Racener checked behind, having flopped middle pair with {A-Spades}{10-Spades}. The turn was the {7-Diamonds} and Mizrachi led out for 112,000. Racener called. The {10-Clubs} on the river made Racener tens full. Mizrachi did his bidding for him, betting 215,000. Racener raised to 495,000, enough to set Mizrachi all-in. Although half of his stack was already in the pot, Mizrachi made the right decision and released his hand, saving his last 275,000.

With eight big blinds remaining, Mizrachi shoved with {A-Hearts}{10-Hearts} from UTG but ran into a dominating hand when Josue Sauvagaeu called from the cutoff with {A-Spades}{K-Spades}. Mizrachi did not improve on the {J-Clubs}{7-Diamonds}{3-Spades}{6-Spades}{9-Hearts} board and he hit the rail in 116th place. With his brother’s elimination, Michael was, for the first time, the lone Mizrachi in the 2010 Main Event field.

The last woman standing: With the elimination of Breeze Zuckerman, the Main Event field was reduced to 120 men. Zuckerman moved in for her last 215,000 with {K-Diamonds}{10-Hearts} but ran headlong into Eric Baldwin’s {A-Hearts}{A-Diamonds}. In 2010, only 3 percent of the 7,319-strong Main Event field was female.

Fashion “do”: Look good for the cameras à la Tony Dunst, who gave ESPN’s cameras a peek inside his wardrobe (love the coordinating ties and pocket squares).

Fashion “don’t”: Wear trucker hats after age 50, or really at any age. We’re talking to you, Randy Dorfman.

Speaking of Randy Dorfman: The Grinder showed us that his brother Robert isn’t the only Mizrachi who can make a great laydown. Dorfman and his trucker hat opened for 56,000 with {9-Diamonds}{9-Hearts} and the action folded around to Mizrachi, who elected to flat-call with {A-Spades}{Q-Clubs} in the big blind. Mizrachi hit top pair on the {Q-Diamonds}{9-Clubs}{8-Hearts} flop and checked to Dorfman, who bet 76,000. Mizrachi called. The {8-Diamonds} on the turn made Dorfman a full house and Mizrachi led right in to him, betting 100,000. Dorfman smooth-called and they went to the river, which fell the {3-Diamonds}. Mizrachi bet 180,000 and with much hemming and hawing and gnashing of the teeth, Dorfman moved all-in.

“Too much acting in that hand,” Mizrachi said as he folded.

Excessive celebration: After doubling up with pocket aces against pocket queens, Filippo Candio’s spirited display of merriment was met with a one-round penalty. Commentator Norman Chad wasn’t too happy with the ruling, which begs the question — where do we draw the line between bad behavior and great TV?

Tran trampled: Although Theo Tran scored a double-up against John Racener earlier in the day, his chips ended up in Manuel Davidian’s stack by its end. Davidian flopped a Broadway straight holding {Q-Spades}{J-Diamonds} on a {A-Hearts}{K-Clubs}{10-Hearts} flop while Tran hit top two pair with {A-Clubs}{10-Diamonds}. Tran called off the remainder of his chips on the river and went out in 105th place.

The fall of the Day 3 chip leader: James Carroll lost a huge chunk of his stack to Pierre Canali when his straight flush draw did not come in against pocket aces. The rest of his chips went in on a {K-Spades}{10-Spades}{2-Spades} flop, Carroll holding {K-Hearts}{8-Clubs} against Eugeny Shnaider’s {A-Spades}{K-Clubs}. Shnaider made his flush on the turn when the {9-Spades} hit, ending Carroll’s Main Event run in 96th place.

May I see your I.D.?: With less than 100 players to go, three players remained in contention to break Joe Cada’s record as the youngest player to win the WSOP Main Event — Canucks Evan Lamprea and Michal Wywrot and Dutchie Michiel Sijpkens.

For all your outdoor furniture needs: A patch the Mizrachi brothers and Patrik Antonius wore this summer had a lot of poker fans asking “WTF is” It’s actually a Las Vegas-based patio furniture company and they make some seriously swank alfresco setups. We’re thinking about the “Olympus Lounger” right now.

Grinder trips up Kostritsyn: Christopher Bolt opened for 80,000 with {5-Hearts}{5-Spades} UTG, Michael Mizrachi called with {7-Hearts}{6-Hearts}, and Alexander Kostritsyn called from the cutoff with {10-Hearts}{9-Hearts}. Mizrachi made trips on the {9-Diamonds}{6-Clubs}{6-Spades} flop and bet 100,000. Kostritsyn called and Bolt folded. Mizrachi led for another 200,000 when the {A-Hearts} hit the turn, Kostritsyn making the call. The river was the {Q-Diamonds} and Mizrachi fired 825,000. It was a bit much for Kostritsyn, who released his hand, conceding the pot to the Grinder.

Seeing double: “I got a couple of congratulations on the bracelet he won,” David Baker said in his couch interview for ESPN. Baker was, of course, referring to David “Bakes” Baker, the 23 year-old Michigander who won his first bracelet this summer in the $10,000 Deuce-to-Seven event. We prefer to call the elder Baker “The Original” David Baker. Or “ODB” for short.

Jetten jackknifed: Peter Jetten raised to 75,000 with {A-Clubs}{K-Diamonds}, Marcel Cole called on the button with {10-Clubs}{6-Spades}, Michael Mizrachi called from the small blind with {9-Hearts}{7-Hearts}, and Brock Bourne called with {J-Hearts}{J-Clubs} from the big blind. Bourne hit bottom set when the flop came down {K-Hearts}{Q-Clubs}{J-Spades} and the action was checked around. The turn was the {8-Diamonds}. Mizrachi checked, Bourne bet 200,000, Jetten called with top pair, top kicker and both Cole and Mizrachi folded. Jetten made trips when the {K-Spades} fell on the river, and when Bourne checked his full house, Jetten bet 325,000. Bourne shoved and Jetten called the additional 493,000 only to see the bad news. Bourne won the 2.37 million pot, and Jetten was down to 902,000 after losing 55 percent of his chips on the hand.

Chasing the chip lead: Michael Mizrachi spent most of the day at or near the top of the pack but his tablemate Alexander Kostritsyn emerged as a serious threat after eliminating Flavio Zumbini. On a {Q-Clubs}{10-Clubs}{7-Spades} flop, Kostritsyn led out for 175,000 from the small blind after hitting a set of tens and Zumbini called with {A-Spades}{K-Spades}. Kostritsyn fired again, betting 450,000 when the {3-Spades} hit the turn, Zumbini shoved with the nut-flush draw and Kostritsyn called the additional 1.5 million. The river blanked out with the {2-Diamonds} and Kostritsyn KO'd Zumbini in 95th place, taking him up to 6.8 million.

John Racener quietly climbed the leaderboard throughout Day 6 and picked up a sizable pot against dog-track poker dealer John Dolan. Dolan opened for 100,000 with {8-Spades}{8-Diamonds}, fellow Floridian Racener making the call with {Q-Clubs}{10-Clubs} in the hijack. Dolan led out for 150,000 on the {K-Spades}{9-Diamonds}{4-Spades} flop and Racener called with his gutshot straight draw. The turn came the {4-Clubs}, Dolan slowing down with a check. Racener bet 220,000 and Dolan called. The {J-Diamonds} on the river made Racener’s straight and he made it 740,000 to go after Dolan checked to him. Dolan couldn’t find a call and Racener shot up to 7.5 million.

By the end of the night, however, it was Theo Jorgensen sitting atop the pack with 8.2 million in chips, a nice chunk of it obtained on the following hand.

Never underestimate a Scandi with bottom pair: Michael Mizrachi opened {K-Hearts}{9-Hearts} from the hijack and Jorgensen defended his big blind with {K-Spades}{2-Spades}. Jorgensen hit bottom pair on the {8-Hearts}{6-Spades}{2-Hearts} flop and checked to the Grinder, who bet 125,000. Jorgensen called and both players checked the {7-Clubs} on the turn. The river was the {Q-Spades} and Jorgensen checked a third time. Mizrachi made a 125,000 value bet bluff but Jorgensen saw right through it and raised to 600,000. Mizrachi folded and the Dane moved in to the chip lead.

A softer, gentler Candio: Manuel Davidian raised to 90,000 with {10-Spades}{10-Diamonds} on the button, Filippo Candio three-bet to 265,000 from the small blind with {A-Hearts}{K-Spades}, and Davidian repopped it to 630,000. Candio shoved and Davidian called, the vast majority of his stack at risk. Candio paired his king on the {K-Hearts}{6-Spades}{2-Spades} flop and started softly singing in Italian as the {8-Diamonds} hit the turn. The river was the {3-Spades} and Candio doubled up to 5 million.

The 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event airs Tuesday evenings on ESPN. Check your local listings.

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