06/02/10 01:16:14 AM PDT
Two World Poker Tour titles, more than $7 million in career tournament earnings, and Michael Mizrachi finally has the one thing he has craved since he picked up two cards-- a World Series of Poker bracelet. Get out a Sharpie and cross the Grinder's name off the list of "greatest players never to win a bracelet," as he'll not only take home that beautiful piece of gold, but will have his name engraved on the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy alongside Freddy Deeb, Scotty Nguyen, David Bach, and the late, great Reese himself.
"The Grinder" truly lived up to his name, making a triumphant comeback from a more than 3-1 chip defect during heads-up play. He remained focused, aggressive and relentless as he chipped away at Vladimir Schmelev, who during the latter stages of heads-up play finally betrayed his cool exterior as his frustration mounted.
"I knew if I played slow it would frustrate him," Mizrachi said of his heads-up strategy during his post-game interview with ESPN's Norman Chad.
On his way to the title, Mizrachi had to overcome a final table of legendary pros and dangerous wild cards, including his older brother Robert, who won his first bracelet three years ago.
"This was definitely worth the wait. It's one of the most prestigious events you can possibly win…especially with my brother in there. I put his chips to good use," Mizrachi said with a smile.
Beginning a new tradition at the $50,000 Players' Championship, last year's winner David Bach passed the torch to Mizrachi. As he offered his congratulations, Bach pointed out that after being toted around the country for several years, the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy had acquired a small chip on the side "which I think is a perfect tribute to Chip Reese."
Congratulations to Michael Mizrachi on an extraordinary tournament and his first WSOP bracelet win. The $1,559,046 is nothing to sneeze at either. Well done, sir.
For all of us at PokerNews, thanks for tuning in. From the Rio in Las Vegas, good night and good luck.
06/02/10 12:58:53 AM PDT
Michael Mizrachi moves all in from the button and this time Vladimir Schmelev makes the call.
The crowd is chanting for a five, but there is nothing on the flop.
However their faith is rewarded on the turn and a huge roar erupts as the falls! Schmelev is left needing a seven or eight to survive but it isn't to be as the hits the river and Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi is our champion!
Congratulations to Vladimir Schmelev who put in a tremendous tournament and solid final table to just fall short at the final hurdle. He'll take home $963,375 for an amazing tournament.
06/02/10 12:52:58 AM PDT
Schmelev gives Mizrachi a walk in the big blind.
06/02/10 12:52:34 AM PDT
Michael Mizrachi - 16.825 million
Vladimir Schmelev - 575,000
06/02/10 12:52:32 AM PDT
Michael Mizrachi moves all in from the button and Vladimir Schmelev steps out of the way. Mizrachi shows pocket kings!
06/02/10 12:51:33 AM PDT
Schmelev and Mizrachi limp in and see an flop. Mizrachi moves all-in and Schmelev snap-folds.
06/02/10 12:50:53 AM PDT
This time Michael Mizrachi raises it up to 225,000 from the button and Vladimir Schmelev makes the call.
The flop lands and both players check. The turn is the . Again, it's checked through. The river is the and Schmelev bets out 250,000. Mizrachi takes his time before raising it up big...to two million.
Schmelev took a moment and declared "call". Mizrachi opens for running trips! The TD counts down Schmelev's stack and he's left with just small change - it looks like 600,000.
This one is very close to done and done!
06/02/10 12:46:43 AM PDT
Schmelev raises to 350,000 and wins the blinds and antes.
06/02/10 12:46:31 AM PDT
Michael Mizrachi limps again and Vladimir Schmelev checks his option in the big blind.
The flop arrives . Schmelev checks and then folds to Mizrachi's bet of 100,000.
06/02/10 12:45:15 AM PDT
Schmelev gives Mizrachi a walk in the big blind.
06/02/10 12:45:08 AM PDT
Michael Mizrachi continues his limping approach and this time Vladimir Schmelev lets him see a cheap flop as he taps the table.
The flop arrives and Schmelev bets out 200,000. Mizrachi makes the call. The turn card is the and Schmelev checks. Mizrachi bets 200,000 and Schmelev beats him into the pot.
The river is the . Schmelev checks over to Mizrachi who thinks for a moment but checks behind. It's a decision he regrets as Schmelev reveals for a busted flush draw, and the best hand!
06/02/10 12:41:40 AM PDT
Schmelev opens for 200,000 from the button and Mizrachi folds.
06/02/10 12:41:14 AM PDT
Michael Mizrachi limps the button and Vladimir Schmelev instantly moves all in. After that previous hand the steam is rising from Schmelev. Mizrachi folds and Schmelev stays alive!
06/02/10 12:39:48 AM PDT
Schmelev raises to 250,000 from the button and Mizrachi calls. Both players check the flop. The turn is the and Mizrachi checks to Schmelev, who bets 350,000. Mizrachi shoves and Schmelev tosses in his hand with visible frustration as he mutters to himself in Russian.
06/02/10 12:38:02 AM PDT
Michael Mizrachi raises the button to 250,000 before Vladimir Schmelev declares himself all in from the big blind. The Russian is clearly frustrated with the flow of the game, and the crowd's antics, but Mizrachi decides this is not the one and lets his hand go.
06/02/10 12:37:03 AM PDT
Schmelev opens for 250,000 and wins the blinds and antes.
06/02/10 12:36:08 AM PDT
Michael Mizrachi limps the button and Vladimir Schmelev taps the table in the big blind.
The flop is . Schmelev checks and a bet of 100,000 from Mizrachi is enough to take it.
06/02/10 12:35:04 AM PDT
Schmelev raises to 250,000 and MIzrachi calls. Both players check the flop. Mizrachi bets 350,000 when the hits the turn and Schmelev calls. Both players check the on the river.
Mizrachi shows for a pair of tens and takes it down.
06/02/10 12:33:42 AM PDT
Mizrachi - 14 million
Schmelev - 3.4 million
06/02/10 12:33:35 AM PDT
In a limped pot, the two players see a cheap flop of . Check, check. The turn is the . Check, check. The river is the . A third check to Michael Mizrachi is the green light for him to bet and take it down.