ROBERT MIZRACHI WINS THIRD WSOP GOLD BRACELET
The Mizrachi Family Empire Expands Again, as Miami Poker Pro Wins Omaha High-Low Split Title
Two WSOP Wins in Two Years, Still with a Long Way to Go in 2015
Jacob Dahl Finishes as Runner Up After Mizrachi Stages Huge Comeback on Final Day
MEET THE LATEST WSOP GOLD BRACELET CHAMPION
Name: Robert Mizrachi The Mizrachi Family poker empire continues to expand.
Birthplace: Miami, Florida (USA)
Childhood: South Florida
Current Residence: Las Vegas, NV (USA)
Marital Status: Married
Profession: Professional Poker Player (Tournaments and Cash Games)
Number of WSOP Cashes: 35
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances: 11
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories (with this tournament): 3 (2007, 2014, 2015)
Best Previous WSOP Finish: 1st
Total WSOP Earnings: $2,332,970
Personal Facts: Proud member of one of the most successful families in poker history, along with Michael “the Grinder” Mizrachi – both brothers now have three WSOP titles
The latest territory to be conquered was the storied landscape here at the 2015 World Series of Poker, and specifically Event #3, a $1,500 buy-in Omaha High-Low Split tournament.
Robert Mizrachi, a 36-year-old poker pro originally from Miami, FL and now residing in Las Vegas, topped a field of 918 players, earning yet another shiny feather in the cap for the famous family which has produced no less than four notable poker players. He now owns three gold bracelets, equal to his brother Michael “the Grinder” Mizrachi, also with three symbols of poker’s ultimate prestige.
Mizrachi was the first to win a gold bracelet within his family, with the memorable breakthrough win coming back in 2007. He also won last year’s inaugural “Dealer’s Choice” tournament, good for a second bracelet. For this year’s notable effort, which took place at the Rio in Las Vegas, Mizrachi added first-place prize money totaling $251,022 to his overall career winnings in tournament poker, which now exceed $5.3 million. This was also the 35th time he’s finished in-the-money at the Series.
Mizrachi’s triumph came on the fourth and final day of competition, amidst a packed crowd gathered around the secondary feature table. He defeated Jacob Dahl heads-up for the title. When the duel commenced on a Sunday afternoon, Dahl enjoyed a greater than 2-to-1 chip advantage. However, revealing the obvious talent and gritty determination that makes him such a dangerous force in all poker events, Mizrachi picked his spots carefully, showed selective aggression, and gradually wore down Dahl once the chip lead was seized.
The final duel didn’t begin well for Mizrachi, who was not only against a tough opponent but battling a cold, as well. At one point, he was all-in against Dahl and it seemed the duel might end quickly. However, a series of split pots kept Mizrachi alive on life support until finally the momentum swung in his favor and he was able to begin pushing small edges and forcing the action. Dahl seemed helpless to stop the reversal of fortune and was defeated after about 90 minutes. On the final hand, Mizrachi’s two pair scooped the last pot of the tournament.
“You can’t play your best poker when you don’t have proper rest,” Mizrachi said afterward. “I’ve had this cold and really needed the break from last night. The rest really helped me to come back fresh.”
Dahl, from Portland, OR, finished as the runner up, barely missing out on what could have been a first WSOP victory. With this high finish, the 28-year-old musician and semi-pro poker player enjoyed his deepest run ever at the Series. For this notable effort coming in second, Dahl collected $155,333 in prize money.
Third place went to Don Zewin, a longtime veteran of many WSOPs past, dating back nearly 30 years. Zewin, now age 62 and living in Las Vegas, finished second to Phil Hellmuth, Jr. three years ago when the poker legend won his 12th career gold bracelet. Still without a gold bracelet, he has now cashed 24 times at the WSOP. Still, Zewin earned a nice payout totaling $97,185.
Ryan Himes finished in fourth place. He’s a 41-year-old professional gambler from Surprise, AZ. Fourth place paid $70,540.
Fifth place belonged to Dominick Cuzzi, from New Rochelle, NY. He is a 30-year-old construction contractor and cash game player. Perhaps most impressive, Cuzzi has only played in four WSOP events, and has cashed three times. This first final table appearance was good for $52,075.
Jim Juvancic took sixth place. The 28-year-old poker pro from Westchester, IL and graduate of DePaul University earned $39,037 for the effort. This makes two cashes at the Series and two on the WSOP Circuit, as well.
Nguyen “Wayne” Tran took seventh place. The 42-year-old Vietnamese native now residing in Westminster, CA cashed for the first time in a WSOP-related tournament. Tran pocketed $29,693 for outlasting more than 900 players.
Eighth place went to Bruce Levitt, from Beverly Hills, CA. This marked the eighth time he’s cashed at the WSOP, and was his best showing since his first time in the money, back in 1996. Levitt’s cut of the prize pool came to $22,889.
Rounding out the final table was Thomas Taylor, a 32-year-old poker pro from Alberta, Canada. The former gold ring winner on the WSOP Circuit now has five cashes at the WSOP and picked up $17,883 for making the nine-handed finale.
Among those who finished in the money were – five-time gold bracelet winner Allen Cunningham; three-time gold bracelet winners “Miami John” Cernuto and Dutch Boyd; two-time gold bracelet winners John Monnette, Chris Bjorin, Steve Billirakis, and Eli Elezra; and one-time winners “Captain Tom” Franklin and Vladimir Shchemelev.
Also, Tony Cousineau added yet another notch to his holy belt as the player with the most cashes in WSOP history without a victory, now at 69 (and climbing).
As for the champion Mizrachi, he took the victory in stride. Surrounded by his family, he noted that having such a close-knit support group really makes a difference.
“Anytime one of us is playing, we cheer for each other,” Mizrachi said. “When (Michael) is playing, I’m always wanting him to do well, and win if I’m not in it. There’s never been a rivalry between us.”
When asked about his other brothers playing against him, Mizrachi noted that he’d cherish the chance to if either Eric or Danny make a deep. “I’d love to see that happen,” Mizrachi said. “But if I’m playing heads-up against them, I’m not going to give it up. I always want to win, too.”
Mizrachi ended the post-tournament interview noting the importance of the WSOP gold bracelet. “It’s what we play for, it’s what all players play for. Winning here is what it’s all about.”
As for what’s next, Mizrachi has his mind set on either the $50,000 buy-in Poker Players Championship, or the Main Event. “I’ll take either one of those,” he said. “But to win the Main Event, well, that means your name stays on the wall forever. That’s the one I really want.”
More than 86 percent of the participants in this event were Americans
Average Age of Participants: 45.5 years (about 10 years older than average WSOP event)
Males (881) / Females (37)
Written by Nolan Dalla (WSOP Media Staff)