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DXRacer WSOP Edition

2011 World Series of Poker Europe

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 to Saturday, October 15, 2011

Event #5: €10,400 Split-Format No-Limit Hold'em

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  • Buy-in: €10,400
  • Prizepool: €1,200,000
  • Entries: 125
  • Remaining: 40
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10/15/11 08:11:00 PM PDT

Michael Mizrachi out side the Majestic Barrierer

Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi has just climbed to the top of this WSOPE heap, winning his second gold bracelet in two years and adding another €336,008 to his wallet. That moves him into sixth place on the all-time money list.

Coming out of the big-stacked half of the bracket, Mizrachi's road to the final appeared to be a tough one, but he did what he could to make it look easy. On the very first hand of his Round-of-16 match, Grinder found pocket kings against Kent Lundmark's pocket tens, and a win there proved to be a good omen for Mizrachi.

Next up for Mizrachi was a contest with Brian Hastings. Hastings, who is more famous for his online action than his live, was in excellent form after stopping the unstoppable Erik Seidel in Round One. When the match started off both players had around half a million chips each but the Grinder was simply stunning; he won every pot of note until Hastings was reduced to moving all-in with     and The Grinder called with     and he was into the semi-final.

In the semi-final, Mizrachi found himself up against a man very much on top of his game. Roger Hairabedian had recently battled his way through to the Partouche Main Event final table where he will try to win, a not too shabby, €1 million first prize. Hairabedian had disposed of Dimitry Motorov and Brian Powell en route to his encounter with the Grinder. Both players started with the biggest stacks of the semi-final and they both knew that the winner would carry a 2:1 chip advantage into the final, so it was a lot at stake. The match itself was slow and sedentary until the climax and a quite incredible hand. Hairabedian must have been ecstatic when he flopped a set of fives on a       board, but not half as ecstatic as Mizrachi who turned a straight holding     when the   made an appearance. A classic cooler for Hairabedian who was out in 3rd.

Onto the final and his opponent was Shawn Buchanan. Buchanan had already cashed in two WSOPE events this series and was in fine form; but he did have a 2:1 chip disadvantage. The chip difference proved to be all the difference because it enabled Mizrachi to extert pressure and exert it he did. The critical hand that sent Buchanan to the depths of despair was when the sign of the devil appeared on the flop. It was       and Mizrachi extracted two-thirds of the Buchanan stack before forcing him to fold to an all-in jam on the river. Then the final hand of Event #5 and Mizrachi added that piece of luck to his skill jigsaw. Mizrachi moved all-in over a Buchanan raise and Buchanan made the call. It was the     of Mizrachi versus the     of Buchanan but a   in the window sealed the deal and handed Mizrachi his second WSOP bracelet.

10/15/11 08:08:01 PM PDT

Shawn Buchanan had to settle for second place, but what a great series for him.

We were fast approaching the end of Level 21 when Shawn Buchanan raised to 25,000 on the button and Michael Mizrachi mouthed those famous words, "I am all-in."

"I don't want to get to the break," said Mizrachi.

Buchanan thought for a while, like he does, before making the call. When the hands were turned over Buchanan was a BIG favourite to double up.


Mizrachi got to his feet while Buchanan remained seated. The dealer pulled the three cards, turned them over and the   shone like a beacon of light for Mizrachi. The crowd cheered and Buchanan sunk in his chair.


So Buchanan needed a jack to survive or Mizrachi would win his second WSOP bracelet.

Turn:   & River  

So Michael Mizrachi was crowned the €10,400 No Limit Hold'em (Split-Format) Champion and Buchanan had to settle for second place in what has been a great series for the man from Vancouver.

Michael Mizrachi3,756,000480,000
Shawn Buchanan0-480,000
10/15/11 08:02:16 PM PDT

Michael Mizrachi opened to 26,000, and Shawn Buchanan flatted to see a flop. It came      , and the two men checked through to the   turn. Buchanan led out for 28,000, and Mizrachi called. The river paired the board with the  , and Buchanan bet another 48,000. Mizrachi called.

Buchanan didn't want to show, and Mizrachi went ahead and showed down his    . It was just king-high, but it was good enough to take down the pot.

10/15/11 07:52:31 PM PDT

Shawn Buchanan

It must be tough to be man-handled in this way but Shawn Buchanan is made of strong stuff. He has just managed to get himself three streets of much needed value.

Buchanan bet 25,000 and Michael Mizrachi made the call. The flop was       and Mizrachi check-called a 25,000 Buchanan bet. On the turn the dealer gave us the   and it was a case of deja vu as Mizrachi once again check-called a Buchanan bet; this time for 37,000. The last car was the   and it was a case of ditto-ditto as Mizrachi check-called a 73,000 Buchanen bet.

"I have the ace," said Buchanan before Mizrachi's hand hit the muck.

Michael Mizrachi3,276,000-130,000
Shawn Buchanan480,000130,000
10/15/11 07:44:58 PM PDT

The fins of this Mizrachi shark

Two hands ago, Shawn Buchanan raised to 25,000, and Michael Mizrachi called to see a flop. It came      , and Mizrachi check-called a bet of 26,000. They checked through the   turn, and Mizrachi led out with 30,000 after the   river. Buchanan quickly folded.

On the next hand, Mizrachi limped in, and Buchanan knocked the table for a free flop. They check-checked until the river as the board ran          , but Mizrachi put out a bet of 25,000 after a third Buchanan check. He didn't seem to like it, but Buchanan talked himself into the call. Mizrachi announced his, "Queen," showed    , and scooped the pot.

Things are really becoming lopsided now, and Buchanan will need to find some chips in a hurry.

Michael Mizrachi3,406,000100,000
Shawn Buchanan350,000-100,000
10/15/11 07:40:14 PM PDT

Michael Mizrachi is taking a hold of this thing. He has just won a lot of consecutive pots accumulating with this hand.

Shawn Buchanan bet 25,000 and Michael Mizrachi made the call. The dealer in the spotlight gave us a flop of       and both played rapped their knuckles on the felt. The second community card to be laid low was the   and Buchanan check-called a 25,000 bet. The river was the   and both players checked and Mizrachi won with a kicker contest.


Buchanan showed his    , now counterfeited and second-best.

Michael Mizrachi3,306,000200,000
Shawn Buchanan450,000-200,000
10/15/11 07:27:20 PM PDT

Michael Mizrachi

If you're been paying attention to poker for any length of time, Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi needs no introduction.

Mizrachi is a 30-year old shark from the suburbs of Miami, Florida, and he's been playing poker professionally since 2004 when he underwent a serious change in his life course. Grinder had been studying to be a doctor, but the decision to step away from secular pursuits may have been the best decision of his life. How many doctors do you know that make more than $1.5 million per year? In his seven-year career as a player, Mizrachi has earned more than $11 million, and that's good enough for seventh place on poker's all-time money list.

Money is the measuring stick in this game we love, but it's the way in which Mizrachi has amassed his fortunes that's turned so many heads and put him in the discussion as one of the greatest players of all time. In 2005, Mizrachi won his first WPT title in California, and he won another one on the East Coast two years later. In 2010, Grinder snagged WSOP gold in a big way with a victory in the opening event, the $50,000 Players' Championship. More impressively, he cut through the 7,319-player Main Event a month later to secure his seat in the November Nine, eight players away from poker immortality. He'd go on to finish in fifth place for well over $2 million, the largest cash of his career.

Like Buchanan, this is Mizrachi's 26th career WSOP cash, but it's also his thirteenth six-figure cash. Mizrachi also has four seven-figure cashes. A victory today would put him into sixth place on the all-time money list and very close to the $12-million mark in career earnings.

10/15/11 07:24:32 PM PDT

Shawn Buchanan mulles over the Grinder's all in bet.

Michael Mizrachi raised to 26,000 and Shawn Buchanan once agin three-bet to 60,000 and once again Mizrachi called. The dealer gave us the flop from straight from hell       and Buchanan bet 45,000. Mizrachi wasted no time at all in grabbing four-red 25k chips and flicking them into the pot. Back on Buchanen and he made the call. The turn was the   and Buchanan checked and Mizrachi made trhe biggest bet of the final so far - 250,000. Buchanan counted it out and pushed it across the line (leaving himself 650,000 behind). The final card was the   and Buchanan checked again.

"All in," muttered The Grinder.

Buchanan went through the wringer and eventually folded his hand but it was a pivotal moment in this match up.

Michael Mizrachi3,106,000281,000
Shawn Buchanan650,000-281,000
10/15/11 07:11:24 PM PDT

Michael Mizrachi raised to 26,000 and Shawn Buchanan three-bet to 52,000 and Mizrachi called. The flop was       and both players checked. The turn was the   Mizrachi had a quick peek of his cards while Buchanan was betting 42,000. Mizrachi put his cards down and raised to 157,000 and Buchanan folded.

Michael Mizrachi2,825,00094,000
Shawn Buchanan931,000-94,000
10/15/11 07:05:12 PM PDT
Level: 21 Blinds: 6000/12000 Ante: 2000
10/15/11 07:05:02 PM PDT

Shawn Buchanan raised to 20,000 from the button, and Michael Mizrachi defended to see the flop. It came out      , and Mizrachi led out into the pot with a small bet of 10,000. Buchanan raised to 31,000, and Mizrachi called. But he led right back out with another 10,000 after the   turn. Buchanan raised again -- 51,000 this time -- and Mizrachi once again called.

On the river, the   drew another lead from Mizrachi, but it was 60,000 this time. Buchanan appeared to be toying with a call, a raise, and a fold at different points in his tank time, but he eventually settled on a fold to let Mizrachi take it down.

Michael Mizrachi2,731,000256,000
Shawn Buchanan1,025,000-256,000
10/15/11 06:58:45 PM PDT

Hand 1

In a limped pot and on a flop of       Michael Mizarachi check-called a 11,000 Shawn Buchanan bet. The turn was the   and as is so often the case both players checked. The river was the   and both players checked and Mizrachi won the hand.


"The nuts," Says Mizrachi.

Hand 2

Mizrachi bets 25,000 and Buchanan shuts him down with a 66,000 three-bet.

Hand 3

Buchanan bet 20,000 and Mizrachi called. The flop was       and both players checked. The turn was the   amd Mizrachi bet 20,000 and Buchanan called. The river of the   was checked through and Buchanan was handed the pot.


Hand 4

Mizrachi bet 24,000 and Buchanan once again three-bet, this time for 56,000, Mizrachi called. The flop was       and a 47,000 Buchanan bet won the hand.

Michael Mizrachi2,475,000-135,000
Shawn Buchanan1,281,000135,000
10/15/11 06:50:29 PM PDT

Shawn Buchanan

If you're reading this blog, you probably know a fair amount about Michael Mizrachi. Something about earning eight figures in tournament cashes tends to make you a household name in poker. But the name Shawn Buchanan is a bit lesser known, though it's not for a lack of trying on his part.

Buchanan is a native of Vancouver, BC, Canada, and he's been notching tournament cashes since 2004. This most recent performance today moves him up over $4 million in career earnings.

Buchanan's crowning achievement was a WPT title at Mandalay Bay back in 2007, but it's his WSOP record that's the most impressive. Twice in the last two years, he's gotten himself heads up for a bracelet. The first of those was a big one, too. Buchanan finished second to Dan Kelly in 2010's $25,000 Six-Max event, good for his largest career cash of $812,941. And over this past summer, "Bucky" got heads up with Fabrice Soulier in the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. event before falling in second place. Buchanan's career stats include cashes in a variety of different games, punctuated by a win in the PCA's $5,000 8-Game event this past January.

This is Buchanan's seventh six-figure score and his 26th career WSOP cash.

10/15/11 06:40:47 PM PDT

Michael Mizrachi gave Shawn Buchanan a walk, and "Bucky" returned the favor on the very next hand.

On the third hand in this sequence, Mizrachi's raise to 25,000 got through preflop.

On the fourth, Buchanan limped in from the button, and Mizrachi raised to 32,000. Buchanan called, but he'd fold to a bet of 40,000 on the       flop.

10/15/11 06:39:46 PM PDT

It was a limped pot and a flop of       and Shawn Buchanan checked to Michael Mizrachi who bet 10,000. Action back to Buchanan and he made a small check-raise to 25,000 and Mizrachi called. The turn of   was checked through by both parties and then we saw the  . Buchanan checked to Mizrachi and a 50,000 bet did the trick.

In a limped pot we saw another king high flop -       and both players checked. The turn was the   and Buchanan bet 12,000 and the Grinder called. The river was the   and Buchanan bet 35,000 and The Grinder called and Buchanan won the pot with a pair of kings.


Shawn Buchanan made it 20,000 and Mizrachi three-bet to 50,000 and Buchanan called. The flop was the       and Mizrachi bet 50,000 which was greeted by a Buchanan call. The turn was the   and Mizrachi won the hand with a 120,000 check-raise after Buchanan had bet 40,000

Michael Mizrachi2,610,00059,000
Shawn Buchanan1,146,000-59,000
10/15/11 06:28:40 PM PDT

On the first hand of their duel, Michael Mizrachi raised to 25,000 from the button, and Shawn Buchanan folded.

The next hand, Buchanan opened to 20,000 from his button, and Mizrachi three-bet to 50,000. Buchanan called the raise, and he called a bet of 45,000 on the       flop. Mizrachi checked the   turn, and Buchanan took his cue to bet 47,000 at the pot. Mizrachi called, and the action on the river   went check-check.

Mizrachi turned up    , and his river pair was good enough to win the pot.

Michael Mizrachi2,551,000154,000
Shawn Buchanan1,205,000-154,000
10/15/11 06:20:48 PM PDT

The lads have taken their seats, Jack Effel has addressed the whole world and we are ready to crown ourselves a new WSOPE champion.

We have 42 minutes of Level 20 left.

10/15/11 06:19:08 PM PDT
Level: 20 Blinds: 5000/10000 Ante: 1000
10/15/11 06:13:07 PM PDT

"What are those red chips worth?" someone around the perimeter of the table asked. The two players have just taken their seats to unbag, and there is indeed a new red T25,000 chip on the table. Or, on half the table. Shawn Buchanan was confused.

"Red chips? I don't have any of those." Mizrachi has 1 million worth of them, and the reds essentially represent the disparity in the two stacks.

The heads-up final should be rolling in just a moment.

10/15/11 05:17:50 PM PDT

After three days of play, our starting field of 125 has been reduced to the requisite two for the final showdown.

It's going to be Michael Mizrachi taking a sizable chip lead into the duel with Shawn Buchanan, and it's a best-of-one freezeout.

The match is tentatively scheduled for 9:00 P.M. -- less than an hour from now -- but we can't get confirmation on the time from the staff. We'll let you know if we hear anything new. And we'll be back as soon as the players are.