ROBERT MIZRACHI WINS $10K BUY-IN SEVEN-CARD STUD CHAMPIONSHIP
South Florida poker pro collects $242,662 and fourth career WSOP gold bracelet
Mizrachi wins gold three straight years, joining brother Grinder in elite club
Stacked final table includes seven of eight former WSOP champs
Matt Grapenthien, winner of this event in 2014, finishes as runner up
MEET THE LATEST WSOP GOLD BRACELET CHAMPION
Name: Robert Mizrachi
Birthplace: Miami, FL (USA)
Current Residence: Hollywood, FL (USA)
Marital Status: Married
Profession: Poker Player
Number of WSOP Cashes: 40
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances: 13
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories (with this tournament): 4
Best Previous WSOP Finish: 1st (three times – 2007, 2014, 2015)
Total WSOP Earnings: $2,663,972
Personal Facts: Only the sixth player in WSOP history to win a gold bracelet in three consecutive years.
Noted poker pro Robert Mizrachi has just won his fourth World Series of Poker gold bracelet victory.
The 37-year-old South Florida native won the $10,000 buy-in Seven-Card Stud tournament, which was played over three days and nights at the Rio in Las Vegas. Mizrachi collected $242,662 in prize money, making this yet another sizable cash win for his illustrious poker career. He now has 40 cashes, 13 final table appearances, and more than $2.6 million in career WSOP earnings.
Mizrachi, one of an elite family of four poker playing brothers originally from the Miami area, stepped one victory ahead of his brother, Michael “the Grinder” Mizrachi, who remains with three wins. Although it’s become a friendly family rivalry, the brothers are fully supportive of each other each time one makes a deep run. Three were in attendance at the ESPN Main Stage, while the mother of the Mizrachi’s, known as “Mama Grinder” watched with pride back in Florida.
“This one was very exciting because it’s a very prestigious game,” Mizrachi said afterward. “This game has been played a long time, so it’s very satisfying to win such a prestigious tournament.”
Indeed, the Seven-Card Stud championship has been dealt out at the WSOP each year since 1973. It’s champions rooster includes a “Who’s Who” of the game. However, it was Mizrachi winning gold bracelets in three consecutive years that was the talk of the poker world immediately following his victory. Mizrachi joins just five other players in history who have won WSOP titles in three consecutive years, an elite club which includes Doyle Brunson, Johnny Moss, Allen Cunningham, Matt Matros, and ironically – brother Michael Mizrachi. Brunson holds the all-time record for wins in most consecutive years, with five (1976-1980).
As expected, the final table was stacked with plenty of big names with stellar resumes. Seven of the eight finalists were previous gold bracelet winners, and even the lone wolf of the bunch (Steve Weiss) was a highly-respected player from the local Las Vegas poker scene. In fact, 9 of the top 10 finishers has earned at least one gold bracelet, with 17 in all combined among what amounted to a WSOP murderer’s row.
Arguably, posing the biggest threat of all of them based on his lengthy resume was Ted Forrest, the six-time gold bracelet winner who has been playing variants of Stud since the day some of his opponents at the final table were born. Oddly enough, however, the finale became most intriguing once Forrest busted out in fourth place, leaving the trio of Mizrachi, George Danzer, and Matt Grapenthien to battle it out for the gold. There was considerable movement among the final three, with Danzer being the first to fall.
It seemed to be a wide open match when Mizrachi and Grapenthien tangled, which turned out to be more than a prophesy. Grapenthien had been short-stacked much of the time, but then caught some momentum and threatened the three-time champ for the chip lead. Hoping to repeat his comeback victory from two years ago, when he overcame a 4 to 1 chip disadvantage versus Todd Brunson, Grapenthien played tough and even usurped the chip lead at one point during heads-up play. However, Mizrachi proved to be too formidable and closed out the victory. Mizrachi won the final hand with trip aces, which topped Grapenthien’s two pair. Both players shook hands in a sign of mutual respect, and the Mizrachi family celebration began.
“Matt’s a great player,” Mizrachi said. “I just had to stay focused and play my game, and it just went from there.”
As for future plans, Mizrachi admitted he wants to win the $50,000 buy-in Poker Player’s Championship, which has previously been won by brother Michael two times. “I think that’s the most prestigious event of all, and we have two (wins) in our family. But of course, everyone wants to win the Main Event.”
This tourney attracted 87 entrants (down slightly from last year’s number, which was 91 players), which created a prize pool totaling $817,800. Aside from the top five finishers, among the other players who cashed were David Benyamine, Bill Chen, Calvin Anderson, Rod Pardey, Adam Friedman, Stephen Chidwick, Adam Owen, Jeffrey Lisandro, and Felipe Ramos.
This was the third official gold bracelet event on this year’s schedule. This leaves 67 events still to be played in what promises to be the biggest and most exciting WSOP ever.
Here’s the succession of other top finishers who made the final table, which was played over a three-day stretch at the Rio in Las Vegas:
Second Place: Matt Grapenthien, from Chicago, IL finished as the runner up. Second place paid $149,976. “I was happy with how I played,” Grapenthien stated afterward. He had reason to be proud, coming from behind multiple times and nearly winning the heads-up match. This marked Grape’s 15th time to cash at the series, which puts him over the half-million dollar mark in WSOP winnings. Grapes could also be happy with a 1st and a 2nd place showing in this event over the past three years.
Third Place: George Danzer, the top German pro now residing in Salzburg, Austria made a serious bid for his fourth career gold bracelet, which would have made him a winner in three consecutive years. He won twice 2014, once in Las Vegas and another at WSOP Asia-Pacific, and then repeated again in 2015, here in Las Vegas. Danzer held the chip lead at various stages of the finale, but then went card dead towards the end play. Danzer couldn’t win a chip in the final 45-minute span, it seemed, and he watched helplessly as most of the chips shifted across the table to his two rivals. Nevertheless, Danzer picked up yet another six-figure score at the series, with a $103,230 payout in this tourney. He now has 21 cashes and nearly $2 million in WSOP earnings.
Fourth Place: Ted Forrest has been widely-regarded as one of the all-time greats in Seven-Card Stud for a very long time. The six-time gold bracelet winner, with two victories in Stud and two more in Razz during his career, came close to another championship in this event, but ran out of steam as play became short-handed. He took a tough beat on his final hand, being dealt three aces in his first four cards, which ended up losing to Robert Mizrachi’s flush on sixth street. The deforestation resulted in a $72,971 payout for the longtime poker legend.
Fifth Place: Steve Weiss, originally from Miami and now from Las Vegas, posted his deepest WSOP run with a fifth-place finish in this tournament. He pocketed $53,012. Weiss has been a regular in the highest-limit cash games in the world, which were played at the Mirage and Bellagio dating back over the last two decades.
Sixth Place: David Benyamine, the French-born former tennis pro now residing in Henderson, NV finished in sixth place. This was his best showing in three years. Benyamine, a regular in Las Vegas’ high-stakes cash games, now has 27 cashes at the series and more than $2.1 million in career earnings. This finish paid out 39,611.
Seventh Place: Bill Chen, from Philadelphia, PA won two gold bracelets a decade ago here at the Rio. He’s been searching for an elusive third victory since then, which has proven to be fleeting given the number of final tables at which he’s appeared (8). Chen is a financial analyst for a prestigious investment firm and is one of the game’s top theorists. Fittingly, he co-wrote a book titled, “The Mathematics of Poker.” Chen added $30,466 to his poker bankroll.
Eighth Place: Calvin Anderson, from Yukon, OK won the $1,500 Stud Eight-or-Better event two years ago at the 2014 WSOP. He started off this year’s series with a deep run and a final table appearance just a few days after cashing in the 21,613-player Colossus II tourney (Event #2). However, he couldn’t move up the money ladder once the finale was set. Anderson, now with 23 WSOP cashes, pocketed $24,142 in prize money.
OTHER NOTABLE IN-THE MONEY FINISHERS:
Rod Pardey, a longtime veteran of the Las Vegas poker scene, finished in ninth place, bubbling the final table. This marked his eighth time to cash in a Seven-Card Stud event at the WSOP, dating all the way back to 1991. Pardey owns two gold bracelets, which were earned in 1991 and 1994.
Adam Friedman, from Gahanna, OH and a graduate of Indiana University finished in 10th place. Friedman won the $5K Stud Eight-or-Better tourney at the 2012 WSOP. This was his fourth top-ten finish since that occasion.
Stephen Chidwick, loaded with cashes since 2010 (this was his 38th at the WSOP) is still searching for his first gold bracelet. The British poker pro took 11th place in this tournament.
Jeffrey Lisando, who hold six WSOP titles, fell short of victory number seven, ending up in 13th place. Lisandro, with $3.6 million in WSOP earnings, was the 2009 “Player of the Year” for that series.
Felipe Ramos, a popular player from Sao Paulo, put Brazil on the map with that nation’s first deep run here at the 2016 WSOP.
Players ranged in ages from 21 up to 84. The eldest participant was Freddy Ellis, at age 84. He won this event in 2009.
Of the 87 entrants, 66 were from the United States, and 21 were from abroad.
Seven-Card Stud is an older and more traditional form of poker. That was reflected in the average age of players for this event being about 10 years higher than typical gold bracelet tournaments. The average age for this tourney was 43.
Four females entered the tournament. However, none cashed.
Chris Ferguson, the 2000 WSOP Main Event Champion, entered this event and busted out on Day One. This marked Ferguson’s first appearance in a WSOP-related event of any kind since 2010.
EVENT DIRECT LINKS:
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