$50k Player's Championship - Mizrachi Wins!


It's been some ride, but there was a feeling once The Grinder developed such a convincing lead, he wouldn't relinquish it and indeed that proved the case as moments ago he finished off Vladimir Schmelev.

This is what happened.

The Sweet Schmelev Success

The Grinder shipped the button into Schmelev's short stack and deciding to take a stand, Schmelev made the call with Q 8. It worked out pretty well for him as Mizrachi could only table Q 5 for a dominated queen-high.

The flop was nondescript - 9 6 4 - changing nothing but the 5 on the turn made a world of difference.

Suddenly the Russian was praying on a rivered 7 or 8 to stay in contention and when the river was the 4, Mizrachi's fans cheers rang through the now largely-abandoned Amazon room.

Its vacancy merely helped to resonate the noise and as a broad smile spread across The Grinder's face, we finally had our Player's Championship Champion!

So 2nd place and $963,375 for the game Russian Vladimir Schmelev - who we are bound to see more of following this sterling performance but an astounding victory for Michael Mizrachi, who wins the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy and $1,559,046.

"I never give up...that's Rocky style," said Mizrachi following his victory.

We'll be following up with the full news story with quotes, along with winner photos but for now, thanks for following our coverage and congratulations to Michael Mizrachi who becomes the latest acclaimed winner of the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy.

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

$50k Player's Championship - Grinder Goes For The Kill

You don't like a bit of sandbaggin' do ya!
You don't like a bit of sandbaggin' do ya!

Michael Mizrachi may have got lucky to still be in the contest but, he has certainly grabbed the bull by the horns and taken full advantage of the situation. His value betting and reads have been spot on in the last hour and he has ground out a considerable advantage.

With the stacks as they are, the Russian will move shortly so there will surely be an all-in before long.

Here's an example of how Mizrachi has really dominated.

Weak is Strong

The hand opened with Schmelev raising it up to 300k from the button and Mizrachi making the call.

The flop fell K 8 7 and Mizrachi check-called a 500k bet.

Come the turn Schmelev followed Mizrachi's check with a 1,000,000 , yes one meeelion, bet only for Mizrachi to spring into action like a concealed leopard, check-raise shoving it in over the top.

Too rich for the Russian, he folded and Mizrachi had moved into a substantial chip lead.

Here's how they stand now:

Michael Mizrachi  14,500,000
Vladimir Schmelev  2,900,000

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

$50k Player's Championship - Mizrachi Hits Key Double-Up

I run good bro'.
I run good bro'.

Despite starting the heads-up with a chip lead, Mizrachi has found himself out-manouevred on several occasions by the quiet, but deadly effective Russian. His earlier chip lead had been whittled away completely in a series of pots, and suddenly Mizrachi found himself on the wrong side of a 3-1 deficit.

Things were looking bleak for the last remaining Mizrachi brother.

Then this happened.

Mizrachi Flushed With Success

A simple hand saw Mizrachi raise it up to 200k, only for Vladimir Schmelev to three-bet to 750k. Mizrachi took a few moments out to ponder his approach...before moving in!

Schmelev snap-called with ace-jack and when Mizrachi turned up a dominated A 7, it was looking like his goose may be well and truly cooked.

With all eyes riveted on the dealer, he dealt a dramatic flop of K T 9!

Mizrachi was still behind but he had an uber sweat having picked up a flush draw.

Small pause from the dealer for dramatic effect and to allow the various cameras looming over the final table to adopt their positions and the turn card was dealt.

The Q.

Roars from the crowd as the Russian turned a broadway straight, aka "The Nuts!"

Just one card away from victory...it was almost done!

More pausing from the dealer, the crowd were silent as the river card was dealt.

The 5!

Incredible scenes...a huge bellowing cheer boomed as the man who has been adopted into their hearts, Michael Mizrachi, luckboxed his way out of a dire situation to save his shot at becoming "The People's Champion" by rivering the nut flush.

So that hand left both men with circa 8.5 million chips to their name, and the epic match continues.


Level 28: Small Blind - 50k; Big Blind - 100k; Ante 30k

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

$50k Player's Championship - Heads-Up For The Bracelet! (Oppenheim - 3rd)

I hate goin' out like that x 2, I hate goin' out !
I hate goin' out like that x 2, I hate goin' out !

There's often a period of calm before the storm and the last few hours have seen the players taking little chunks out of each other without any real casualties.

Well the storm has cometh.

We're heads-up for the bracelet right now and here is how that came to pass.

Oppenheim Crushed By The River

The blinds are now a hefty 45k / 90k so the players are being forced into some aggressive manoeuvres in order to keep themselves in the game.

Moments ago, we saw all three players involved in a sweeping motion of chips. Vladimir Schmelev started the carnage, raising to 225k, only for Michael Mizrachi to re-pop him to 600k. David Oppenheim had been pushed and pulled about by the pair over the last hour and had clearly had enough - time to push back.

He shipped it in for 2.7 million and Mizrachi looked a little dubious before making the call - with K Q. The audience were fully focused on seeing if their hero Michael Mizrachi could secure a potentially bracelet-winning coup.

Oppenheim tabled 8 8 and the pair were involved in a huge 5 and a half million pot flip.

The board fell 9 6 4 7 - as safe as houses for Oppenheim...but then a dramatic Q spiked on the river!

The crowd roared, Mizrachi clenched his fist and Oppenheim looked shattered.

He was out!

So $603,348 for David Oppenheim was his reward for third spot.

But that left us heads up for the bracelet! The usual pile of impressive - if fake - bricks of dollars was piled on the table, just in case it had slipped the players' minds they were playing for large wads of cash and following a short break to sedate some of the more excitable members of the rail, the pair were back in action to see who would be crowned "The Player's Champion."

Here are the standings as the heads-up plays out.

Michael Mizrachi  10,400,000
Vladimir Schmelev  7,000,000


Level 29 : Small Blind - 45k; Big Blind - 90k; Ante - 25k


Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

$50k Player's Championship - Grinding To Victory

One ticket to valuetown please!
One ticket to valuetown please!

Three-handed, the players are at something of an impasse, unable to provide a killing blow to seal the deal.

There are plenty of jabs being thrown back and forth though, and Michael Mizrachi has begun to turn his shortstack into a more threatening-looking weapon over the last hour - much to the delight of the crowd. In contrast David Oppenheim's substantial lead has been significantly eroded and right now - it really is anybody's game.

Here are the more interesting hands that have played out,

Oppenheim Valuetowns Himself

The lesser-known Russian Vladimir Schmelev raised the button to 225k, only for David Oppenheim to make the call from the big blind.

A flop of 5 5 2 saw Oppenheim check and Schmelev bet out 250k. He was called.

The turned 6 saw both players cautiously check, before the 4 appeared on the river, eliciting a bet of 500k from Oppenheim. The Russian wasted no time in insta-callng with pocket eights and Oppenheim could only table six-four for an inferior two pair.


Mizrachi - You're Doing It Right

Mizrachi had just about 2 million not too long ago, but a series of pots have seen him bolster his stack up to almost double - at around 4 million. The most recent coup saw him handing out lessons in the art of the value town, opening the button to 200k and getting a call from Vladimir Schmelev.

The flop fell A T 4 and both players checked it. The turned A saw the Russian lead for 200k and Mizrachi make the call.

Come the river Q Mizrachi led for 375k and Schmelev called only to muck when Mizrachi turned up queen-ten suited for three pair.

Now THAT's a value bet!

Chip Counts

David Oppenheim  6,900,000
Vladimir Schmelev  6,500,000
 Michael Mizrachi

The players are now on a short break. We'll be back shortly.


Level 25: Small blind - 30k; Big Blind - 60k; Ante - 15k.

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

$50k Player's Championship - Three-handed for the Bracelet!

Victim of fratricide.
Victim of fratricide.

Eliminations are happening in braces at the moment.

Two more players have hit the rail in the last moments and one of them saw a confrontation that silenced the pro-Mizrachi crowds thronging the rail.

Read on and let us furnish you with further information.

Et Tu Michael (Robert Mizrachi - 5th)

Robert came into the final table as the chip leader but things just didn't fall quite right for him today. Whether he will be glad to have give the last of his chips to his flesh and blood, only he can tell you but this is what happened.

Michael Mizrachi raised it up preflop to 200k, only for his brother Robert to ship it in for just an additional 460k. Holding jack-queen, Michael had an obligatory call even against his own brother and did so, even though he will have been expecting to be behind.

Indeed he was - Robert's A T marginally the better hand (though not by much) and when a jack spiked on the turn, The Grinder had sent his brother back home and the crowd were in stunned silence for a few moments.

Only seconds later though, the applause for the more senior Mizrachi brother rang out, the crowd showing their support for him, and Robert quietly went to the cash desk to arrange his payday of $341,429.

John Juanda
What could I do? They were suited!

Short John's Silver (Juanda - 4th)

John Juanda was many players' pick to take this down and he came close, ultimately succumbing before the final glory. Under pressure to work his short stack into a challenging figure, Juanda moved all-in preflop with K 9 in a daring bid to steal the blinds.

Unfortunately for him, the Russian impaler Vladimir Schmelev was lurking with intent behind him, snapping Juanda with pocket tens.

It could have been worse, but when neither a clutch of diamonds nor a king arrived to bail him out, Juanda too was on the rail, taking solace in the company of his sweating rail - including J.C. Tran.

So $436,856 it was to be for Juanda's 4th placed finish. It's been a great performance.

Three-handed the players are on a short break before resuming for the battle to the bracelet.

Here's how they currently stand.

The Leaderboard

David Oppenheim  9,800,000
Vladimir Schmelev  5,000,000
Michael Mizrachi  2,600,000


Level 25: Small Blind - 30k; Big Blind - 60k; Ante - 15k.

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

$50k Player's Championship - Back From Dinner

I ain't goin' down easy bro.
I ain't goin' down easy bro.

The five remaining combatants have taken arms once more in the cordoned off final table area of the Amazon Room and we are ready to play to a winner.

David Oppenheim's the man right now but all these men have proved their playing skills over the past five days so there won't be too many weak spots as they home in on the bracelet.

It should be riveting stuff so keep them locked on PokerListings as they play to decide the $50k Player's Champion.

Good luck one and all - we're off.

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

$50k Player's Championship - Dinner Break

Someone's hit my boom switch!
Someone's hit my boom switch!

The players have just broken for dinner, but don't think there hasn't been some pretty intense action...because there has.

Right now David Oppenheim sits atop the standings looking down on his less well-chipped foes.

A huge hand not long before the break saw him rise to this lofty position so let's take you through the lowdown.

Mizrachi Set-Up For a Fall

David Oppenheim opened the pot from early position, only for Michael Mizrachi to make the call from the big blind.

A Q 4 5 board saw the action kick off - Oppenheim leading out for 240k, only for Mizrachi to spring into action - check-raising to 750k.

Oppenheim made the call after a little thought.

Come the 8 turn, Mizrachi pushed a million chips out there, but now Oppenheim moved all-in and it was Mizrachi's turn to ponder his action.

Eventually he made the call, showing A Q or "top, top" as it has become affectionately known.

"Boooooooom!" David Oppenheim didn't say as he flipped up pocket fours for a set, leaving Mizrachi drawing dead in this giant pot.

So Oppenheim was catapulted into a dominant chip lead, whilst Mizrachi joins his older sibling Robert at the foot of the leaderboard.

Mizrachi has a big fan club on the rail, occasionally breaking into choruses of "Grinder! Grinder! Grinder!" much akin to the football fans who will be livening up the forthcoming world cup.

Even they were struck speechless though as their hero took a giant backwards step in his bid to capture WSOP gold.

The players are now taking a dinner break for one hour so we'll be back then to resume and play down to the finish. Will the Mizrachi's end up heads-up?

Chip Counts

David Oppenheim  9,100,000
Vladimir Schmelev  4,385,000
John Juanda  1,825,000
Michael Mizrachi  1,480,000
Robert Mizrachi  560,000

Blind Level

Level 25 : Small Blind - 30k; Big Blind - 60k; Ante - 15k

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

$50k Player's Championship - Bustout City! (Alaei 7th, Baker 6th)

7th place for Daniel Alaei
7th place for Daniel Alaei


That was a frantic last half hour of play - the blinds finally catching up with some of the shorter stacks, and we are two players lighter following the carnage.

No need to wax lyrical about the drama- let's just bring you all the juicy action.

Alaei says Goodbyei! (7th)

Daniel Alaei may be one of the best tournament players in the world but even he cannot avoid the vagaries of fortune.

To be fair his stack had taken a bit of a pummelling from a hand versus David Oppenheim where his top pair was eventually no good versus Oppenheim's aces and he was down to just 400k -  a pittance at this stage.

That didn't last too long; he looked down at ace-six as if it were the nuts and when Vladimir Schmelev popped it up, he shipped his last chips - aware he probably had little fold equity.

When the mysterious Russian snapped him with ace-king, it was obvious he never had any chance of making him fold and placed at an equity disadvantage - he never turned the tables.

So 7th place for Daniel Alaei - just another impressive addition to his already bulging C.V. of poker accomplishments. Oh and $221,105 as well. Not too shabby.

David Baker
I'm gonna get baked!

Baker's Got No Bread (6th)

Not entirely true given the hefty paycheck he receives for a sixth place finish but David Baker has been eliminated from proceedings in 6th spot, collecting $272,275 for his finish.

How did this happen?

Well, he shipped over the top of a Michael Mizrachi opening raise with A J - feeling he should be beating the American's range.

Once again however, his opponent was wielding ace-king and made the classic insta-call.

A king on the flop almost sealed the deal - Baker flopping a gutshot also to give him a sweat. No joy on turn or river though and it was all over for him. Lights out, curtain city.

The Grinder is the chip leader! And Mrs Grinder - Michael and Robert's mother looks so proud of that fact.

With all that carnage, it's no suprise the players need a short break so they are taking it easy for 20 minutes before they return five-handed to play down to the bracelet.

We'll be back shortly. The current chip counts are just over to the right, but because we're kind here they are anyway.

The Leaderboard

Michael Mizrachi  4,200,000
Vladimir Schmelev  4,100,000
David Oppenheim  3,800,000
John Juanda  2,850,000
Robert Mizrachi  1,800,000

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

$50k Player's Championship - Thuritz Busts! (8th)

Thuritz' day is done.
Thuritz' day is done.

It surely had to happen - the dam had to burst with so much pressure building on the shortstacks - the blinds being a hefty 25k/50k with a 15k ante.

Moments ago, indeed it did and it was the most likely candidate for elimination - the uber-shortstacked Mikael Thuritz who was devoured. Here's how.

Roasted Swede (Thuritz - 8th)

Baker opened the pot to 140k and shortstacked Thuritz made the call for his tournament life - although his paltry 55k couldn't even meet the opening bet requirement. Michael Mizrachi also called from the big blind and the three went to a flop of 6 6 4 - only Baker and Mizrachi still live in the pot.

Check from Mizrachi and Baker led for 180k, only to see his opponent check-raise him. He quickly folded and Thuritz must have been fearing the worst with all this action - his Q J looking pretty unconnected with the flop.

Well it could hardly have been worse - Mizrachi showing down 6 4 for a whopping full house!

Miracles were needed but none came and Mikael Thuritz bows out in 8th spot, with $182,483 his reward for a deep run.

7-handed they continue with Vladimir Schmelev holding the chip lead from John Juanda.


Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

$50k Player's Championship - Movers and Shakers

Looking bad for Thuritz right now.
Looking bad for Thuritz right now.

The game continues 8-handed, although we could conceivably have lost a couple of players in the last level - if the cards had fallen slightly differently.

Right now the shortstacks are riding their luck though and hanging in there, and Vladimir Schmelev has risen up through the leaderboard to become the current chip leader.

Here's how it has panned out.

Mashed Swede

Mikael Thuritz got a dose of Alaei power that saw a huge hole carved into his stack.

Raising it up to 110k, John Juanda opted for a flat call, before Alaei shipped it for 1.3 million. Thuritz wasn't intimidated, also moving all-in and Juanda jumped out of the way, leaving the pair heads-up.

Jacks for Thuritz, ace-king for Alaei, the classic flip was won by Alaei who hit an ace on the turn to leave a floundering Thuritz shortish and in danger.

Baker Gets Burned

David Oppenheim began the hand by making it 110k, only for David Baker to three-bet his opponent to 375k.

Oppenheim flatted and the pair went heads-up to a K T 5 board.

Oppenheim checked and Baker bet enough to almost set him in - 500k.

In fact Oppenheim proved he had a few chips more by check-shoving for 525k, and a priced in Baker made an obligatory call with pocket sixes.

Oppenheim had been playing possum however, showing a sneakily-played pair of aces, that held through the blank turn and river to double him through to almost 2 million chips.

Daniel Alaei
Alaei loves a good flip.

Ramp Up The Mik

Mikael Thuritz was short following that earlier disaster and decided to move with K J against Daniel Alaei's opening raise.

Bad timing sir, Alaei had him crushed with A J.

A flop of 6 5 3 brought some succour to Thuritz - a flush draw offering a window of salvation - and praise the lord, the 7 on the turn completed his redemption.

Running good? Well...

Brrrrrr! So Cold!

Thuritz got lucky there but he'd run out of rabbit's feet and lucky heather a few hands later when he 4-bet all-in from under-the-gun with pocket kings, only for opponent Schmelev to make the call.

With pocket aces. Ouch!

No lucky catch for Thuritz this time, he was left with a pittance of 5k, although he is mounting a mini-comeback right now, having spun his little stack back up to 100k - still very short.


Here's the latest counts, courtesy of www.worldseriesofpoker.com.

Vladimir Schmelev  3,170,000
Robert Mizrachi  2,850,000
Daniel Alaei  2,725,000
John Juanda  2,455,000
David Baker  2,280,000
David Oppenheim  2,235,000
Michael Mizrachi  1,575,000
Mikael Thuritz  100,000


Level 24: Small Blind 25k; Big Blind 50k; Ante 15k

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

$50k Player's Championship - No Limits Baby

David Baker: Lovin' the No Limit right now.
David Baker: Lovin' the No Limit right now.

All eight players remain and no one is taking the bull by the horns just yet in the Player's Championship. It must feel a little strange for the players to suddenly switch to No Limit Hold'em, having nestled into the 8-game groove after the previous four days.

Strangely it is the man most outspoken against the change who has prospered best so far, mainly as the result of one big hand. Read on for more details.

Baker's Cooking On Gas

David Baker may have complained about the switch to No Limit - and he definitely has a point - but this hand may have chipped away at the pillars of his conviction just a little.

Robert Mizrachi opened to 95k and Baker made the call. The flop fell 8 4 3, Baker checked and Mizrachi led for 115k. Baker called.

A scare card hit the turn - the A looking bad to both players as they checked behind.

Finally, the 7 on the river elicited a bet of 275k from Baker, and a confused-looking Mizrachi made the call, only to quickly muck when Baker showed down pocket sevens for a rivered set.

That hand swapped the chip lead round, Baker leap-frogging Mizrachi into first place.

David Oppenheim
I ain't goin' out like that, ain't goin' out like that.

Oppen and Shut Case

Vladimir Schmelev opened to 100k - around 25% of David Oppenheim's stack - and Oppen decided to make a flat call.

Come the 8 4 3 board, Oppenheim performed the classic, lesser-used-these-days move of the "stop and go" - moving all-in for his remaining 290k.

Schmelev showed no interest in defending the pot, quickly folding and keeping Oppenheim in contention.

Cagey's All The Ragey

Cagey is perhaps the wrong word. Players are certainly respecting 3 bets and opening raises at this stage though, with many pots uncontested, failing to reach a flop stage.

"It's going to all kick off soon though. I can tell," was the observation of one excited railer.

Chip Count

David Baker  3,500,000
Robert Mizrachi  2,800.000
John Juanda  2,650,000
Michael Mizrachi  2,175,000
Mikael Thuritz  2,150,000
Vladimir Schmelev  1,925,000
Daniel Alaei  1,600,000
David Oppenheim  700,000

Blind Structure:

Small Blind - 20k; Big Blind - 40k; Ante: 10k

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

$50k Player's Championship - Hunting the Bracelet

Robert Mizrachi is in prime position.
Robert Mizrachi is in prime position.

The $50k Player's Championship is one of the most, if not the most prestigious tournament playing out at WSOP 2010.

The winner is guaranteed to have played many hours against the finest players in the world at a series of different poker disciplines, ensuring he can justifiably call himself one of the best players in the world.

The final will revert from the 8-game format, used throughout the tournament to a No Limit Hold'em format. This is a contentious issue - David Baker in particular was critical of the format change, pointing out his skills in the various poker variants were what had got him to the final table and now the goalposts are moving.

Inevitably though, the No Limit Hold'em format will provide more explosive developments than the previous mainly Limit format so from a spectator's point of view, the stage is set, the gunpowder is charged and the fuse is lit.

Of course there is some attractive prize money on offer too - over $1.5 million dollars being shipped to the winner - if more motivation was needed.

The Mizrachi brothers both reaching the final is an incredible achievement and Michael and Robert have already created their own slice of poker history - even if they don't end up winning the bracelet.

We're in for fireworks here  - you can check the leaderboard over to the right for the latest counts - so hold tight and we'll bring you all the exciting action from one of the WSOP showpiece events. We're moments away from the start.

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment
Event Name Event 2 - $50k Player's Championship
Venue Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
Date 28 May 2010
Final Day 1 June 2010
Buy In $50,000
Entrants 116
Prize Pool $5,568,000
First Prize $1,559,046

Michael Mizrachi

Event 2 - $50k Player's Championship

Top Money Finishers Prize
1. Michael Mizrachi $1,559,046
2. Vladimir Schemelev $963,375
3. David Oppenheim $603,348
4. John Juanda $436,865
5. Robert Mizrachi $341,429
6. David Baker $272,275
7. Daniel Alaei $221,105
8. Mikael Thuritz $182,463
9. Nick Schulman $152,730
10. Alexander Kostritsyn $152,730