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Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi from the 2006 World Series of Poker
Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi has accumulated more than $5 million in winnings since leaving college to pursue a career as a poker professional. The Florida native had seven finishes in the money during the 2005 World Series of Poker, and began 2006 with a second place showing in the Gold Strike World Poker Open and a win at the Borgata Winter Poker Open event in Atlantic City. PokerListings.com caught up with Mizrachi during a break in the action in the $3,000 buy-in Limit Hold'em tournament.
How do you feel your play is going today?
So far, it's going really bad today. I'm taking a lot of beats, and I'm losing hands I should be winning. I'm still in it, though, and that's all that counts.
What are the differences in terms of strategy between Limit and No-Limit play?
Well, in Limit, you know, you just have to prevent bluffing, whereas in No-Limit it's a different process. You can bluff to the river and then make one big bet, and most of the time you'll get a pot out of it. But in Limit anyone can, you know, call your bluff or whatever for most of the pots. That's how it happens most of the time. You can get away with a bluff in No-Limit, but it's harder to get away with it in Limit.
How do you feel about your play overall in the WSOP?
So far, it's been good. I've had a couple really tough, tough beats so far. I flopped J-10-4 holding J-10 only to see the other guy river a flush once. When there were only like fifty-something players left, you know, he got a diamond on the river. I lost a 30-1 favorite after the flop when I was in the money earlier in the week. And just now I took a few tough ones, but hopefully, you know, it turns around.
Are you going to play most of the events?
Hopefully. I hope I play most of them, but, the more I play the worse I'm doing. I'd like to make it to some second and third days.
Are you going to play in the H.O.R.S.E. event?
I believe so. I will be free for that day. I'd like to play in it.
Do you think the H.O.R.S.E. event will ever take over the $10,000 No-Limit tournament as the Main Event of the WSOP?
No, I don't think anything's going to take over from the No-Limit event. The H.O.R.S.E. event is going to have more poker players in it, you know. I mean, $50,000 is a large buy-in for any player. So I think you'll get around a hundred players for that event. So it'll be very prestigious to win it, but I don't think it will take over, no. I just want to win the Main Event, but the H.O.R.S.E. would be my second choice, definitely.
How do you feel the 2006 WSOP compares to the 2005 tournament?
It's growing. It's definitely growing. It's working its way up.
Where do you see the WSOP's popularity going from here?
I think it will keep growing in popularity. I think it depends on the final table as well. You know, if you have some newcomers, it makes poker good, draws more people in, and if you have some big names, that would be good as well.
Is there anyone you're looking forward to playing in the WSOP?
Not really. I mean, I'm going to come across most of the big names during the tournament, so not really. Maybe if I made a final table, hopefully there would be a couple tough players there. I like playing against good players. It definitely makes things more interesting.