2018 WSOP Event 33: Michael Mizrachi Wins His Third Poker Players Championship Title
When the 2018 $50,000 Poker Players Championship ended, about 40 people spilled onto the World Series of Poker stage and began chanting.
"Grind-er! Grind-er! Grind-er!"
The legend of Michael Mizrachi grows again.
Mizrachi won the PPC for an unprecedented third time, taking down $1,239,126 in prize money for the sixth seven-figure score in what seems certain to go down as a career for the ages. He also won the ultra-prestigious event in 2010 and 2012.
It's the fourth bracelet overall for Grinder, who also won a WSOP Europe event in 2011.
"It's quite an accomplishment," he admitted. "To win the first one was amazing. The second one was great. The third one is unheard of."
Official Final Table Results
|1||Michael Mizrachi||United States||$1,239,126|
|2||John Hennigan||United States||$765,837|
|3||Dan Smith||United States||$521,782|
|5||Benny Glaser||United Kingdom||$260,578|
|6||Aaron Katz||United States||$191,234|
Considering Mizrachi's incredible history of deep runs in the PPC — twice having his name etched on the David "Chip" Reese Memorial Trophy plus a fourth-place finish in 2016 and an agonizing bubble bustout in 2017 — and the fact he bagged chip lead on each of the last three days, it may look like he was destined for victory.
In fact, Mizrachi said, he had a poor Day 1 and showed up late to Day 2, fumbling his coffee as he rushed to take his seat.
"It was a seven-minute delay," he said. "We had to move tables. After that, everything turned around. It was a good move by me."
"To win the first one was amazing. The second one was great. The third one is unheard of."
Indeed, Grinder turned things around and proceeded to utterly dominate. He scarcely conceded the lead after gaining it on Day 2 despite operating in the typically elite field the PPC brings out. The final 11 players featured eight multiple-time bracelet winners, including icon Phil Ivey, two-time PPC winner Brian Rast and 2014 PPC champ "Johnny World" Hennigan.
Knowing they have to face a lineup that can chew up any seasoned pro and spit out his or her bones, many people would study up on their preferred poker resources, be they books, simulations or charts. Others would ratchet up the mental preparation. At the very least, most would look to come in well-rested with a good night's sleep.
Aspiring PPC champs looking to emulate Mizrachi's success should take note: that isn't his formula. He said he was out late plenty during the tournament, getting just a few hours of sleep before hitting the gym in the morning. He donned a necklace of lava beads given to him by his girlfriend's brother as a good-luck charm, sat down and crushed.
He came into the final table with a big chip lead against Hennigan, Dan Smith, Benny Glaser, Aaron Katz and Mike Leah. All talented and hugely motivated — particularly the bracelet-less Smith, who would go on to his sixth top-three finish — but all seemed like so much fodder to be minced by Grinder. He was simply running too hot, making nut hands left, right and center.
"I never had big swings this whole tournament," Mizrachi admitted. "All the cards went my way. I hit a bunch of hands. Everything went my way. I just won every pot."
"I never had big swings this whole tournament. All the cards went my way."
Two key hands from the final table stood out. Smith pushed hard three-handed and moved into the lead against Hennigan and Mizrachi. However, Mizrachi reasserted himself in a massive 2-7 triple draw hand wherein he drew three and instantly made a wheel.
He got four bets in against Smith, with Hennigan putting in two for good measure. Smith drew and then made the third nuts, so they got three more bets in before Smith just called a single bet on the end when they both patted.
Then, the biggest hand of the tournament went down in a three-bet Omaha hi-Lo pot that saw Mizrachi flop Broadway and slowplay before raising the turn to get two bets from both of his opponents. Smith paid off a river bet and Mizrachi suddenly had a hammerlock on things with two-thirds of the chips in play.
After Smith lost his remaining chips, the two former PPC champs took a break and then met back up to determine whether "Johnny World" would join the ranks of two-time winners or Grinder would be the first to No. 3.
The match didn't last long as 2-7 triple draw proved to be Mizrachi's boon once again. He won two big hands there and then finished Hennigan in old standby no-Limit hold'em, the game where Mizrachi first made his name. They played a three-bet pot and Hennigan stacked off with an open-ender postflop but ran into Mizrachi's second pair and a flush draw. A ten of hearts on the turn locked it up for Grinder, as it completed his draw.
The crowd exploded onto the stage and began chanting for Mizrachi before cramming themselves into photos together.
"When you have a great group of friends, family and fans, it's an amazing feeling," Mizrachi said of the crowd. "It boosts my confidence. I think it helped me out. I felt like I had to do this for them."
Mizrachi matched brother Rob at the top of the family rankings with four bracelets and joked that he's going to ramp up his playing schedule just to move into first by himself.
"I think I've done enough to where people will give me the respect I deserve."
Dinner table bragging rights aside, Grinder has forced observers and players alike to consider his place in poker lore. Three PPC titles, a fourth bracelet, two WPT titles and nearly $17 million in cashes paints a picture of one of the most accomplished players in tournament history.
With this title, Mizrachi said felt he had done enough to cement a place in the Poker Hall of Fame. And as far as his ability at the table goes, while he acknowledged he still has doubters, he feels even they have to give him credit at this point.
"I think I've done enough to where people will give me the respect I deserve," he said.
In this Series
- 1 2018 WSOP Event 1: Jordan Hufty Wins First WSOP Gold in $565 Casino Employees
- 2 2018 WSOP Event 2: Elio Fox Wins First Ever WSOP $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty for $393,693
- 3 2018 WSOP Event 3: Joe Cada Wins 2018 WSOP $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em SHOOTOUT for $226,218
- 4 2018 WSOP Event 4: Julien Martini Wins $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better ($239,771)
- 5 2018 WSOP Event 5: Nick Petrangelo Wins WSOP $100,000 No-Limit Hold'em High Roller ($2,910,227)
- 6 2018 WSOP Event 6: Jeremy Perrin Wins The GIANT Turning $365 Into $250,966
- 7 2018 WSOP Event 7: Roberly Felicio Wins the 2018 WSOP COLOSSUS for $1,000,000
- 8 2018 WSOP Event 8: Johannes Becker Wins $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball ($180,455)
- 9 2018 WSOP Event 9: Paul Volpe Wins Third WSOP Bracelet in Omaha Hi-Lo Championship
- 10 2018 WSOP Event 10: William ‘Twooopair’ Reymond Wins $365 WSOP.com ONLINE Event ($154,996)
- 11 2018 WSOP Event 11: Tim Andrew Triumphs in the $365 PLO GIANT for $116,015, Mizrachi Fifth
- 12 2018 WSOP Event 12: Jeremy Harkin Wins $1,500 Dealer's Choice for $129,882
- 13 2018 WSOP Event 13: Benjamin Moon Wins $1,500 Big Blind Antes for $315,346
- 14 2018 WSOP Event 14: Daniel Ospina Wins First Bracelet for Colombia in 2-7 Lowball Draw
- 15 2018 WSOP Event 15: Andrey Zhigalov Wins $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. for $202,787
- 16 2018 WSOP Event 16: Justin Bonomo Wins Second WSOP Bracelet in $10K Heads-Up Championship
- 17 2018 WSOP Event 17: Ognyan Dimov Wins Third Bracelet for Bulgaria in Event #17 ($378,743)
- 18 2018 WSOP Event 18: Adam Friedman Wins Second Bracelet in $10K Dealer's Choice
- 19 2018 WSOP Event 19: Craig Varnell Wins $565 Pot-Limit Omaha ($181,790)
- 20 2018 WSOP Event 20: Jeremy Wien Conquers $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em for $537,710
- 21 2018 WSOP Event 21: Arne Kern Wins $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em MILLIONAIRE MAKER ($1,173,223)
- 22 2018 WSOP Event 22: Philip Long Wins $1,500 Eight Game Mix ($147,348)
- 23 2018 WSOP Event 23: Brian Rast Wins Fourth Bracelet in 2-7 Lowball Championship, Brunson 6th
- 24 2018 WSOP Event 24: Michael Addamo Wins Event #24: $2,620 MARATHON No-Limit Hold'em
- 25 2018 WSOP Event 25: Benjamin Dobson Wins First WSOP Gold in $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo
- 26 2018 WSOP Event 26: Filippos Stavrakis Dedicates WSOP PLO Bracelet ($169,842) to His Brother
- 27 2018 WSOP Event 27: John Hennigan Wins 2018 WSOP $10K HORSE for Fifth Bracelet and $415K
- 28 2018 WSOP Event 28: Fortunate River Gives Gal Yifrach First WSOP Bracelet & $461K Prize
- 29 2018 WSOP Event 29: Hanh Tran Wins First WSOP Bracelet in $1,500 2-7 Triple Draw ($117,282)
- 30 2018 WSOP Event 30: Ryan Bambrick Wins First Gold Bracelet in Dominating Fashion
- 31 2018 WSOP Event 31: Steven Albini Wins $1,500 Stud to Deny Jeff Lisandro 7th Bracelet
- 32 2018 WSOP Event 32: Matthew Davis Tops Biggest Seniors Event Ever to Win $662,983
- 33 2018 WSOP Event 33: Michael Mizrachi Wins His Third Poker Players Championship Title
- 34 2018 WSOP Event 34: Robert Peacock Wins First WSOP Gold in $1,000 DOUBLE STACK
- 35 2018 WSOP Event 35: Yueqi Zhu Claims First WSOP Gold in $1,500 Mixed Omaha
- 36 2018 WSOP Event 36: Farhintaj Bonyadi Wins Event $1,000 Super Seniors ($311,451)
- 37 2018 WSOP Event 37: Eric Baldwin Wins Second Bracelet, Dedicates it to His Father
- 38 2018 WSOP Event 38: Yaniv Birman Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet in $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship ($236,238)
- 39 2018 WSOP Event 39: Preston Lee Captures $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout Bracelet ($236,498)
- 40 2018 WSOP Event 40: Scott Bohlman Wins WSOP $2,500 Mixed Big Bet ($122,138)
- 41 2018 WSOP Event 41: Robert Nehorayan Wins $1,500 Limit Hold'em for $173,568
- 42 2018 WSOP Event 42: Shaun Deeb Gets Revenge on Ben Yu to Win $25K PLO for $1,402,683
- 43 2018 WSOP Event 43: Timur Margolin Takes Down $2,500 NLHE for $507,274
- 44 2018 WSOP Event 44: Nicholas Seiken Wins $10k 2-7 Triple Draw Championship for $287,987
- 45 2018 WSOP Event 45: Mario Prats Garcia Wins $1,000 Big Blind NLH For $258,255
- 46 2018 WSOP Event 46: David Brookshire Wins WSOP $2,500 Mixed Omaha/Stud Hi-Lo 8 ($214,291)
- 47 2018 WSOP Event 47: Matthew 'mendey' Mendez Wins First WSOP Online PLO Bracelet ($135,077)
- 48 2018 WSOP Event 48: Tommy Nguyen Wins Monster Stack for $1,037,451
- 49 2018 WSOP Event 49: Loren Klein Wins $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship for $1,018,336
- 50 2018 WSOP Event 50: Jay Kwon Wins $1,500 Razz ($125,431)
- 51 2018 WSOP Event 51: Ryan Leng Ships First WSOP Gold in $1,500 BOUNTY ($272,504)
- 52 2018 WSOP Event 52: Scott Seiver Wins $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship ($296,222)
- 53 2018 WSOP Event 53: Couden Tops Elezra, Matusow, Negreanu, and Fitoussi to win $1,500 PLO8
- 54 2018 WSOP Event 54: Portugal's Diogo Veiga Wins $3K Big Blind Antes ($522,715)
- 55 2018 WSOP Event 55: Giuseppe Pantaleo and Nikita Luther Win the $1K Tag Team for $175,805!
- 56 2018 WSOP Event 56: Calvin Anderson Wins His Second Bracelet in the $10K Razz ($309,220)!
- 57 2018 WSOP Event 57: Jessica Dawley Wins the WSOP Ladies Championship for $130,230!
- 58 2018 WSOP Event 58: Tribe Has Spoken: Jean-Robert Bellande Wins First Bracelet for $616K
- 59 2018 WSOP Event 59: Mike Takayama Makes History as the First Filipino to Win a WSOP Bracelet
- 60 2018 WSOP Event 60: Galfond Wins 3rd Bracelet in $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Championship
- 61 2018 WSOP Event 61: Ryan 'Toosick' Tosoc Wins WSOP.com $1,000 Championship ($238,778)
- 62 2018 WSOP Event 62: Galen Hall Wins $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold'em for $888,888
- 63 2018 WSOP Event 63: Chance 'BingShui' Kornuth Wins Second Bracelet in WSOP.com Online High Roller for $341,598
- 64 2018 WSOP Event 64: Matsuzuki Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet in $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo
- 65 John Cynn Wins the 2018 WSOP Main Event for $8,800,000!
- 66 2018 WSOP Event 66: Longsheng Tan Wins $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em for $323,472
- 67 2018 WSOP Event 67: Anderson Ireland Wins $1,500 PLO Bounty for First Bracelet and $141K
- 68 2018 WSOP Event 68: Guoliang Wei Wins Fourth Chinese Bracelet in The Little One for One Drop ($559,332)
- 69 2018 WSOP Event 69: Ronald Keijzer Wins $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed for $475,033
- 70 2018 WSOP Event 70: Yaser Al-Keliddar Wins Event #70: $3K Limit Hold'em 6-Handed for $154K
- 71 2018 WSOP Event 71: Phil Hellmuth Wins 15th Career Bracelet in $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em!
- 72 2018 WSOP Event 72: Jordan Polk Wins $1,500 Mixed NLH/PLO for $197,461
- 73 2018 WSOP Event 73: Denis Timofeev Bests Leo Margets to Win the $1,000 Double Stack Turbo
- 74 2018 WSOP Event 74: Shaun Deeb Wins Second Bracelet of the Summer in $10,000 6-Max ($814,179)
- 75 2018 WSOP Event 75: Joe Cada Wins His Fourth Career Bracelet in The Closer ($612,886)
- 76 2018 WSOP Event 76: Brian Hastings Wins the $3,000 H.O.R.S.E and 4th Bracelet
- 77 2018 WSOP Event 77: Ben Yu Wins Third Bracelet in $50,000 High Roller $1,650,773