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Mizrachi finishes fifth in WSOP Main Event

7 Nov 2010

By Aaron Todd
Michael Mizrachi has been in a lot of coin flips in poker tournaments throughout the years. He's won some big ones, and lost some big ones too. But he's never had one as big as he did against Jonathan Duhamel on Saturday night in the World Series of Poker Main Event.

Mizrachi moved all in with pocket threes after Duhamel raised from the button. The shove actually put Duhamel's tournament life on the line, and Mizrachi wasn't expecting his overbet to be called. When Duhamel called and turned over an ace-nine offsuit, the race was on.

"I was really surprised (he called)," said Mizrachi. "Maybe he felt like gambling or he felt like he was short and gave up."

Unfortunately for Mizrachi, he lost the flip and went from tournament chip leader to one of the short stacks. He busted out of the tournament in fifth place, winning over $2.33 million.

Mizrachi was pleased with his fifth-place finish.

Mizrachi was pleased with his fifth-place finish. (photo by Vin Narayanan)

"I'm happy with my performance today," said Mizrachi. "At one point I was the chipleader, and at other points I was the short stack. Unfortunately I finished fifth, but it could have been worse. I could have been ninth."

The finish ends one of the finest performances in a single WSOP in the tournament series' 41-year history. Mizrachi claimed the $50,000 Poker Players Championship and made two other final tables. The performance, however, wasn't enough to nail down WSOP Player of the Year honors. Mizrachi needed a win in the Main Event to finish tied with Frank Kassela, who won two WSOP bracelets over the summer.

"I had a great performance, but Frank Kassela deserves it," said Mizrachi. "He won two bracelets and I'm happy that he won it. He's a great guy. (Before we started today) he wished me luck and said it would be cool if both of our posters were up next year (as Players of the Year). I wish him well and hopefully I'll have as good a performance next year as I had this year."

Mizrachi said he made at least one loose call against fellow Floridian and good friend John Racener because the price was right, but also because he wanted to give Racener action.

"I wanted to give him a chance if I was wrong (on my read)," said Mizrachi. "When I have enough chips, I'm going to take those risks and my ultimate goal is to win the tournament. Sometimes you have to gamble."

Mizrachi said he may be back on Monday to watch the final two players duel for the title. With Racener in the final two, Mizrachi just might keep his word.
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