Can the Mizrachis repeat their 2010 WSOP feat?

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By Christopher Cosenza

Odds. When they’re stacked against a desired outcome it’s all the more remarkable when they’re defied. Remember the first time you saw (or were victim of) a one-outer on the river when the players were all-in and how amazing (or brutal) you thought that was?
Try this one on for size: One family has four brothers, all within a handful of years from each other. Every one of them has an interest in poker and each becomes successful at playing the game. They’re so good they all enter the same World Series of Poker Main Event and each of them cash. That’s exactly what the Mizrachi Brothers did in 2010.

What are the odds of this story duplicating itself? Well, you’d have to find a family with at least four siblings (not an easy task in itself). Those four would have to know how to play advanced poker. They’d have to scrape together $40K collectively to enter the WSOP, and then would have to survive days upon days against thousands of the world’s best players, all the while dodging suckouts, coolers and bad beats. What are the odds of this happening again? Even the best bookies in Vegas couldn’t predict those odds. Of course, that is, unless you mean can the Mizrachis do it again in the 42nd annual World Series of Poker at the Rio in Las Vegas?

“I’m hoping,” Michael “Grinder” Mizrachi said. “Let’s see if all four of us play first. I think all of us will play, so we’ll see.

“For four brothers to play in the $10K buy-in, you know, it gets expensive. And then to cash? It’s an amazing thing, and it’s something you’ll never forget. It’s with you for the rest of your life.”

The Mizrachis are a rare breed. Robert, the oldest sibling whose early interest in playing cards is what nudged these guys in this direction, finished 116th last year ($57,102). Donny (listed by his given name Danny) was 345th ($36,463) and Eric was 718th ($19,263).

But, of course, who could forget the Grinder? Michael was a member of the November Nine and finished fifth for $2.3 million, winning the Ante Up WSOP Player of the Year for his overall efforts, which included winning his first bracelet in the $50K Players Championship.
The Brothers Mizrachi are a tight group, often participating in ventures together, including charity events such as the Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza at Daytona Beach Kennel Club’s poker room on May 22 (see story Page 26). After that tune-up, it’s off to Vegas.

“I’ve been working out hard every day and I’ve lost about 15 pounds,” Grinder said. “Last year I only played three or four events prior to the World Series. … This year I took it real easy and played a lot online, and that was my preparation for the World Series. … When it comes down to the World Series all I do is think about work and work and working as hard as I can.”

The WSOP has 58 bracelet events this year and runs from May 31 until July 19. Considering last year’s WSOP was home to nine of the 17 largest poker tournaments in history, this year could be record-shattering. Some new things this year: a $25K heads-up championship on the first day, the removal of the $25K six-max event and the addition of the 10-level rule. This rule was implemented to give poker players a chance to actually get some rest between sessions. No more than 10 levels will be played on any day of a bracelet event (except the main event).

Speaking of the $10K main event, it begins July 7 with the first of four Day 1s. There will be a Day 2A and 2B, followed by a day off. That’s when the stretch run will begin as players participate for six straight days until the November Nine is reached on July 19. Those nine players will return to Vegas on Nov. 5-7 and the final table will be broadcast Nov. 8 on ESPN.

Will the brothers duplicate their feat? The odds are long, but if any family is proficient at defying them, it’s the Mizrachis.

2011 WORLD SERIES OF POKER SCHEDULE
1. May 31, noon, casino employees NLHE (two days), $500
2. May 31, 5 p.m., NLHE heads-up (four days), $25,000
3. June 1, noon, Omaha/8 (three days), $1,500
4. June 2, noon, NLHE (three days), $5,000
5. June 2, 5 p.m., stud (three days), $1,500
6. June 3, noon, limit hold’em (three days), $1,500
7. June 3, 5 p.m., pot-limit hold’em (three days), $10,000
8. June 4, noon, NLHE (five days, two starting days), $1,000
9. June 4, 5 p.m., no-limit 2-7 draw (three days), $1,500
10. June 6, noon, six-handed NLHE (three days), $1,500
11. June 6, 5 p.m., Omaha/8 (three days), $10,000
12. June 7, noon, triple chance NLHE (three days), $1,500
13. June 8, noon, NLHE shootout (three days), $1,500
14. June 8, 5 p.m., limit hold’em (three days), $3,000
15. June 9, noon, pot-limit hold’em (three days), $1,500
16. June 9, 5 p.m., 2-7 draw lowball (three days), $10,000
17. June 10, noon. H.O.R.S.E. (three days), $1,500
18. June 11, noon, NLHE (three days), $1,500
19. June 11, 5 p.m., six-handed LHE (three days), $2,500
20. June 12, noon, NLHE (three days), $1,000
21. June 12, 5 p.m., stud (three days), $10,000
22. June 13, noon, PLO (three days), $1,500
23. June 13, 5 p.m., 8-game mix (three days), $2,500
24. June 14, noon, NLHE shootout (three days), $5,000
25. June 14, 5 p.m., stud/8 (three days), $1,500
26. June 15, noon, six-handed NLHE (three days), $2,500
27. June 15, 5 p.m., limit hold’em (three days), $10,000
28. June 16, noon, NLHE (three days), $1,500
29. June 16, 5 p.m., 10-game mix (three days), $2,500
30. June 17, noon, seniors NLHE (three days), $1,000
31. June 17, 5 p.m., PLO (three days), $3,000
32. June 18, noon, NLHE (three days), $1,500
33. June 18, 5 p.m., stud/8 (three days), $10,000
34. June 19, noon, NLHE (three days), $1,000
35. June 20, noon, six-handed PLO (three days), $5,000
36. June 21, noon, NLHE (three days), $2,500
37. June 21, 5 p.m., H.O.R.S.E. (three days), $10,000
38. June 22, noon, NLHE (three days), $1,500
39. June 22, 5 p.m., PLHE-PLO (three days), $2,500
40. June 23, noon, six-handed NLHE (three days), $5,000
41. June 24, noon, LHE shootout (three days), $1,500
42. June 24, 5 p.m., PLO (three days), $10,000
43. June 25, noon, NLHE (three days), $1,500
44. June 25, 5 p.m., razz (three days), $2,500
45. June 26, noon, NLHE (three days), $1,000
46. June 27, noon, six-handed NLHE (three days), $10,000
47. June 27, 5 p.m., Omaha/8-stud/8 (four days), $2,500
48. June 28, noon, NLHE (three days), $1,500
49. June 28, 5 p.m., 2-7 triple draw (three days), $2,500
50. June 29, noon, Triple Chance NLHE (three days), $5,000
51. June 30, noon, PLO/8 (three days), $1,500
52. June 30, 5 p.m., mixed hold’em (three days), $2,000
53. July 1, noon, ladies NLHE (three days), $1,000
54. July 2, noon, NLHE (five days, two starting days), $1,000
55. July 2, 5 p.m., Players Championship (five days), $50,000
56. July 2, noon, NLHE (three days), $1,500
57. July 5, 5 p.m., PLO/8 (three days), $5,000
58. July 7-19, NLHE Main Event, $10,000