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Mizzi Finds Aussie Millions Magic in Melbourne
Sorel Mizzi is beginning to develop quite an affinity for Australia.
And after a final table appearance at a 2009 Aussie Millions prelim and a deep run all the way to 16th in the main event last year, who can blame him?
"I hit a lot of sets in Australia," he joked. "But seriously, I have a really good feel for the table dynamic here. There's something about Australia. Maybe it's the air here that just helps me get in the zone a lot easier.
"Right now I'm playing the best poker I've ever played. Most of my reads are right on and feel like I have a good idea of where people are."
Wednesday, the 23-year-old Canadian found himself among the chip leaders on Day 2 of the 2010 Aussie Millions main event and appeared primed for yet another deep run.
"For some reason, every time I'm in Australia, I'm really focused," he said. "Maybe it's because I travel 25 hours to get here, so I might as well sit down and just focus on the task at hand."
Playing under the screen names Imper1um and zangbezan24, the Betfair Poker pro is nothing short of an online poker legend.
And while the live results have followed, including more than $1.6 million in career earnings over just the past four years, something is still missing from his resume.
Among several deep cashes, Mizzi finished third in the 2007 Irish Open, second in the 2008 World Series of Poker Europe's £5k Pot-Limit Omaha and second again in the 2009 WSOP's $5k PLO.
However, a major poker title still eludes him.
"If you look at my results I have a lot of finishes from 10th to 30th and it's funny, because online, that's usually where I dominate," he said. "When 10-30 people are left, I go in for the kill. But live, I've just been running really bad at the end of tournaments.
"It really bothers me that I've never won a major tournament. I've actually only won just one live tournament, a side event at Bellagio. It was nice, it was a $3k buy-in with 160 players, but, you know, it's not a big deal. You don't get that much satisfaction out of winning something like that."
The good side of coming so close, so many times is that Mizzi has stayed focused on his ultimate goal of winning a major title. But that certainly doesn't make him want it any less.
"I see lot of people that win a couple of tournaments and they lose that desire," he said. "I don't want to end up like that and having these close finishes just gives me more thirst and gets me more focused on achieving my goals.
"In the end, though, a title is very important to me. I really want to get that monkey off my shoulder. Hopefully I'll win a big event this year, maybe even this one."
To follow Mizzi's progress and comprehensive coverage of the entire 2010 Aussie Millions main event, tune into PokerListings' Live Updates through the Jan. 30 final table.