Confident Joe Hachem Set to Battle Michael Mizrachi Heads Up
Poker players and fans in the U.S. and Europe are still grinding through their Thursdays at the time this piece is going up, but the sun has dawned for Friday morning in Australia, and that means it's time for a unique heads-up showdown between two of poker's most recognizable names.
Native Aussie and former World Series of Poker Main Event champ Joe Hachem will take on four-time bracelet winner Michael Mizrachi in a battle on Hachem's home turf.
The two champions will go to war with A$5,000 — and plenty of professional pride — on the line. It's a best-of-three match starting Friday, with subsequent matches to follow on Saturday and Sunday, so don't worry if you miss the first one as there's plenty more action to come.
Fans around the world can follow the battle of poker titans on a live stream. A promotional Facebook post lists two streaming links: one here for the Australian Poker Tour and one here for Lights Camera Action poker. The first match is set for 10:30 p.m. EDT on Thursday night for U.S. fans.
Sponsored by Ladbrokes and the APT, the action goes down at Southport Sharks, an entertainment club in Gold Coast that will also host the APT Grand Final over the weekend. That tournament series features an A$150 Main Event, an A$330 High Roller and an A$1,150 Super High Roller.
"It’s all about growing and supporting the game we love," Hachem told PokerNews. "We hope the fans will watch, learn and enjoy."
That said, Hachem also definitely plans on bringing the competitive fire and winning. Enough so that he effectively tried to double the stakes, something he jumped at when he saw local sportsbooks had installed him as a fairly sizable underdog at 2.75 in decimal odds — +175 for American bettors.
According to Hachem, nobody would take his A$5,000 worth of action.
"They only bet me $200," he said with a laugh.
Hachem won one of the highest-stakes heads-up matches in poker history — worth more than $3 million over Steve Dannenmann in 2005 — so he's played for stakes that dwarf this contest. Ditto Mizrachi, three-time winner of the prestigious WSOP $50,000 Poker Players Championship.
"All I can say is that I’ve played enough heads up to understand how wide my opening and calling ranges need to be as well as taking certain aggressive lines that I wouldn’t normally take in full ring game," Hachem said. "Heads up is a very pure form of poker — it’s only you, your opponent and the deck, no other variables and action is always on you."
Tale of the Tape
Here's the tale of the tape for the best-of-three:
Hachem vs. Mizrachi — Tale of the Tape
|Joe Hachem||Michael Mizrachi|
|Hometown||Melbourne, Australia||Hollywood, FL, USA|
|All-time money rank||47th||27th|
|Recorded heads-up record||6-3||28-9|
data courtesy of Hendon Mob
Who is your pick?