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Michael Mizrachi Wins His Third WSOP $50,000 Poker Players Championship Title

'The Grinder' Sets The Record For Most Wins In This Prestigious Event


Card Player’s 2018 WSOP coverage is sponsored by BetOnline Poker. Get a 100% bonus, up to $1,000, by joining now. The site offers great cash game action and a chance to win more than $1 million in guaranteed tournaments throughout the month.

On the night of June 19, 2018 Michael Mizrachi achieved one of the most incredible feats in tournament poker history. The man known to many as “The Grinder” defeated 87 of the world’s best players to win his record-setting third title in what is arguably the most prestigious tournament in the world: The World Series of Poker $50,000 Poker Players Championship. Mizrachi earned his fourth WSOP gold bracelet and $1,239,126 as this year’s PPC champion, increasing his career earnings to more than $16.7 million.

Mizrachi will have his name added to the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy for the third time, having previously won in 2010 and 2012. The trophy is named for the inaugural champion of this event, Poker Hall of Famer Chip Reese, who passed away in 2007. This was the thirteenth annual running of this tournament, which began as a H.O.R.S.E. event and now features an eight-game mix with the addition of no-limit hold’em, pot-limit Omaha and triple draw deuce-to-seven lowball.

“When I won the first one, it was amazing. The second one, it was great. I mean, the third one is so unheard of,” Mizrachi told WSOP reporters after coming out on top. “This is quite an accomplishment and this is definitely my event. I’m already looking forward to next year.”

In addition to the money and the bracelet, Mizrachi was also awarded 816 Card Player Player of the Year points for winning this event. This was his first final table finish of the year.

Third-place finisher Dan SmithMizrachi came into the final table as the chip leader, with roughly 40 percent of the chips in play with six remaining. His opponents weren’t just going to let Mizrachi have it, though. The five of them combined for 10 gold bracelets between them, with the lone player without a WSOP title being Dan Smith, who had more than $20.3 million in live tournament earnings coming into this event.

Aaron Katz was the first to hit the rail, getting his final few bets in during a round of limit hold’em with top pair against Benny Glaser’s bottom pair and backdoor flush draw. The running diamonds came in for Glaser, earning him the pot and sending Katz home with $191,234. Glaser followed not too far behind Katz, pairing up deuces on the final draw in triple draw deuce-to-seven lowball to hit the rail in fifth place ($260,578).

Mike Leah was the player that knocked out Glaser, but he remained the shortest stack during four-handed play. He got the last of his chips in on a flop of JClub Suit4Club Suit2Diamond Suit after having three-bet Mizrachi’s open preflop. Mizrachi called with the 6Heart Suit5Heart Suit5Diamond Suit4Spade Suit and was ahead of Leah’s ASpade SuitKSpade Suit10Heart Suit7Heart Suit. The turn sealed Leah’s fate, with the 3Spade Suit giving Mizrachi a straight to leave Leah drawing dead. He was eliminated in fourth place, taking home $364,197 for his deep run.

Dan Smith started three-handed play off strong, winning enough hands to actually surpass Mizrachi for the chip lead. His momentum received a serious check in the form of a deuce-to-seven triple draw cooler. With plenty of bets in the middle, both Smith and Mizrachi stood pat on the final draw. Smith check-called, only to get the bad news that he had run into the nuts in Mizrachi’s 7-5-4-3-2. Smith had made the fourth best low possible with 7-6-5-4-2. Smith fought back again but eventually fell down into the danger zone in terms of stack size. Smith ended up getting his last chips during a limit hold’em round. After a flop of 9Club Suit8Heart Suit5Heart Suit, five-time bracelet winner John Hennigan bet and Smith raised all-in with the 10Heart Suit7Club Suit for an open-ended straight draw. Hennigan called with AHeart SuitKDiamond Suit for two over cards. The turn brought the QSpade Suit and the river the ADiamond Suit, giving Hennigan a pair of aces to win the pot. Smith earned $521,782 for his third-place showing.

Runner-up John HenniganMizrachi took just less than a 4-to-3 lead into heads-up play against Hennigan. Mizrachi extended his lead by winning a few key pots during the triple draw deuce-to-seven round, and then sealed the deal when the game switched to no-limit hold’em. In the final hand Mizrachi raised to 225,000 from the button with the blinds at 200,000-400,000. Hennigan three-bet to 750,000 from the big blind and Mizrachi called.

The flop brought the QHeart Suit9Spade Suit5Heart Suit and Hennigan put out a bet of 700,000. Mizrachi made it 2,000,000 to go, only to have Hennigan shove for 5,300,000. Mizrachi quickly called with the 9Heart Suit8Heart Suit for a pair and a flush draw. Hennigan held the JDiamond Suit10Club Suit for an open-ended straight draw. Mizrachi hit the 10Heart Suit right away to leave Hennigan drawing dead. The 8Diamond Suit on the river was a mere formality, eliminating Hennigan in second place for $765,837. This deep run came less than a week after he took down his fifth WSOP title in the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. event for $414,692.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Michael Mizrachi $1,239,126 816
2 John Hennigan $765,837 680
3 Dan Smith $521,782 544
4 Mike Leah $364,197 408
5 Benny Glaser $260,578 340
6 Aaron Katz $191,234 272

For more coverage from the summer series, visit the 2018 WSOP landing page complete with a full schedule, news, player interviews and event recaps.