Even today, new pro poker players are constantly emerging. Every year, big tournaments like the WSOP attract thousands of entrants, each hungry for fame,  fortune, and a chance to win one of the coveted World Series of Poker gold bracelets. Today, we’ll cover one modern-day poker pro that everyone should get to know: Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi.

Player Overview

Michael Mizrachi is an American professional poker player best known for his tournament results. His prolific career includes wins in high-profile tournaments like the World Poker Tour (WPT) and European Poker Tour (EPT). 

Mizrachi’s most impressive showings, however, were all at the WSOP. He has five bracelets, three of which are from the incredibly prestigious Poker Player’s Championship event. He’s made 53 final tables, has one WSOP circuit ring, and has earned over $9 million lifetime from just WSOP events.

Outside the WSOP, Mizrachi has two WPT titles, one EPT title, and over $17 million in total earnings, putting him 48th on The Hendon Mob’s money list. He’s a recipient of numerous awards, including the 2006 Card Player Magazine Player of the Year and the 2010 ALL IN Magazine Player of the Year.

Early Life

Michael Mizrachi was born in North Miami Beach, Florida, on January 5, 1981. Like many other poker pros, he discovered poker early on, thanks to his parents, who shared the love of the game with him and his siblings. Michael began playing online with his younger brother Daniel, while their older brother, Robert, participated in live tournaments. Robert is an accomplished player in his own right, with four WSOP bracelets. Michael also has a fraternal twin, Eric, who is also a professional poker player.

Early Career

Michael’s career began slowly online, winning ultra-low-stakes tournaments for small payouts. Over time, he upped the stakes, eventually reaching the point of hundred-dollar payouts.

Mizrachi began attending live tournaments as soon as he could after he turned 18. His first live cashes came in 2004, earning a few thousand dollars here and there at events like the WSOP and the Bellagio Weekly Tournaments.

December 2004 saw Mizrachi get his first big break in the form of a $273,040 win at the Five-Diamond World Poker Classic. He didn’t slow down, following the win with a $288,241 fifth-place finish at The Sixth Annual Jack Binion World Poker Open.

Less than a year after this first big cash, Mizrachi struck gold with a massive $1,859,909 win at the WPT 2005 L.A. Poker Classic. Shortly after, he scored a $203,700 win at the Mirage Poker Showdown.

Mizrachi claimed another WPT title at the WPT Borgata Winter Open the following year, taking home $1,173,373. In 2006, he took down the Bellagio Cup II and the Mandalay Bay Poker Championship for over $200,000 in total. He continued a steady streak of tournament cashes up until 2010, his breakout year.

The Poker Player’s Championship

After a few years of grinding tournaments in Vegas, Mizrachi began his seventh run at the WSOP. Here, he won the 2010 Poker Player’s Championship, worth $1,559,046. Initially established in 2006 as the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E Championship, 2010 marked the event’s rebrand to The Poker Player’s Championship. It’s considered by many pros to be the most challenging event at the WSOP, surpassing even the main event in difficulty. 

Knowing all of this, it’s no surprise that Mizrachi’s biggest achievement is winning the Poker Player’s Championship three times, more than anyone else in history. His second title came in 2012, beating out players like Viktor “Isildur1” Blom and Stephen Chidwick. This made him the first-ever player to earn two titles. He cemented his record by winning in 2018, outlasting a final table against names like Phil Ivey, Dan Smith, and Brian Rast.

The Grinder

Mizrachi is nicknamed “The Grinder” for his indomitable mentality. Never a quitter, his perseverance is a defining part of his playstyle. While the term ‘grinder’ often denotes careful, conservative play, that doesn’t apply to Mizrachi. He’s one of the most aggressive players out there, regularly fooling his opponents with unpredictable moves.

Beyond his wins at the Poker Player’s Championship, Mizrachi has bracelets from the 2011 WSOP Europe Mixed No Limit Hold’em event and the 2019 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better event. He also has a ring from the WSOP International Circuit Vanderbijlpark. 

Michael and his brother, Robert, both made the final table of the 2010 Poker Players Championship. Robert finished fifth, making the two the highest-earning family duo in WSOP history. In that same year, all four Mizrachi brothers cashed in various events at the WSOP, which was a family first.