If you're been paying attention to poker for any length of time, Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi needs no introduction.
Mizrachi is a 30-year old shark from the suburbs of Miami, Florida, and he's been playing poker professionally since 2004 when he underwent a serious change in his life course. Grinder had been studying to be a doctor, but the decision to step away from secular pursuits may have been the best decision of his life. How many doctors do you know that make more than $1.5 million per year? In his seven-year career as a player, Mizrachi has earned more than $11 million, and that's good enough for seventh place on poker's all-time money list.
Money is the measuring stick in this game we love, but it's the way in which Mizrachi has amassed his fortunes that's turned so many heads and put him in the discussion as one of the greatest players of all time. In 2005, Mizrachi won his first WPT title in California, and he won another one on the East Coast two years later. In 2010, Grinder snagged WSOP gold in a big way with a victory in the opening event, the $50,000 Players' Championship. More impressively, he cut through the 7,319-player Main Event a month later to secure his seat in the November Nine, eight players away from poker immortality. He'd go on to finish in fifth place for well over $2 million, the largest cash of his career.
Like Buchanan, this is Mizrachi's 26th career WSOP cash, but it's also his thirteenth six-figure cash. Mizrachi also has four seven-figure cashes. A victory today would put him into sixth place on the all-time money list and very close to the $12-million mark in career earnings.