Mizrachi Leads POY Race

Michael Mizrachi
Mike "The Grinder" Mizrachi is emerging as a favorite for the WSOP 2010 Player of the Year.

By the time we wrap up Thursday night, 29 of the 57 bracelet events on the schedule for the 2010 WSOP will be in the books.

We're just about halfway through, and the race for 2010 WSOP Player of Year is shaping up to be a race to chase down Mike "The Grinder" Mizrachi.

Mizrachi came into Thursday atop the prize money list for the 2010 WSOP at $1,627,995, with most of that coming in his win in the $50k Players Championship.

The Grinder also placed sixth in the $10k Seven-Card Stud Championship, and he'll add to his POY total Thursday, as he's currently at the final table in the $10k Limit Hold'em Championship.

Mizrachi was already within 35 points of the POY lead coming into Thursday, and with the first half of the WSOP complete, it's looking like the year of The Grinder in 2010.

"The obvious pick right now is The Grinder, and he's down to the final nine in the Limit (Championship) as we do this interview," said 2008 POY Erick Lindgren.

"I have to believe he has a great chance. He's playing great and he plays all the games."

Lindgren joked that he felt like his POY honors actually happened in 1998, but added that he wasn't surprised about Mizrachi's success.

"It's about time he broke through here at the Rio," Lindgren said.

"It's one of those things where I didn't break through for a long time, and it looks like he's broken through this year."

James Dempsey came into Thursday with the lead in the POY race at 180 points, but his place on the list will likely change pending Mizrachi's finish in the Limit Championship.

Dempsey already has a bracelet win and a second-place finish in this year's WSOP, and the British pro will certainly be a factor in the race.

A bracelet win awards 100 POY points, making any multi-bracelet winner a big favorite for the POY.

Jeffrey Lisandro won the 2009 POY on the strength of three bracelet wins, meaning 2010 bracelet winners like Eric Buchman, Men "The Master" Nguyen and Dutch Boyd are all amongst the early POY contenders.

Boyd, who won his 2010 bracelet in $2.5k Limit Hold'em, feels like this could be a multi-bracelet year for him.

"It seems like every year at the World Series of Poker, since I've been here at least, there's at least one player that wins two," Boyd said.

"It really does say something about the luck factor in this game. I'm constantly trying to work on my game and trying to stay positive, and I'm expecting big things."

The 2010 WSOP continues through July 17. For comprehensive coverage live from Las Vegas tune in to PokerListings' Live Updates and News.

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