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Michael Mizrachi Biography

Michael Mizrachi
by Chad Holloway of

Michael Mizrachi, born on January 5, 1981, grew up in a family with four boys in Miami Beach, Florida. At the age of 13, Mizrachi and his family began playing poker against each other as a way of satisfying the boy's need for competition. Two of Mizrachi's brothers, his twin Eric and his younger brother Robert, are also accomplished poker players. After graduating high school, Mizrachi attended college in pursuit of a degree in medicine while playing Limit Hold'em online. Like so many young players, Mizrachi made the decision to leave college and take up poker full-time. Mizrachi credits his online play for his overall success: "I think my experience on the Internet helped my game because I played so many hands of poker. And when I play live, I pick up tells. I have great reads on people and I follow my instincts."

Mizrachi, who gave himself the nickname "The Grinder" to signify his determination and competitive spirit on the felt, has had tremendous success on the World Poker Tour. In January 2005, he made the final table of the World Poker Open, eventually finishing in 5th place. A few weeks later, he won $1,859,909 by winning the L.A. Poker Classic. He finished 2005 by finishing 11th out of 452 entrants in the $25,000 WPT Championship and tying a World Series of Poker record by cashing seven times. In 2006, Mizrachi won the WPT's Borgata Winter Open and was named Cardplayer's Player of the Year. He has also appeared on GSN's High Stakes Poker. In response to his success Mizrachi has stated, "I just like to win; I like to do it for the people who love me and my friends. I came to the poker world, and I'm trying to shatter all records. The way I play, I know I can keep winning and winning."

Mizrachi, whose father is of Iraqi Jewish origin, is fluent in Hebrew and is married with two children. His wife, Aidilay, is known as "Miss Grinder" and has been featured on the WPT's Ladies Night. In 2004, Mizrachi became a father when his son, Paul William (who is named after his grandfather), was born. Mizrachi explained his admiration over his son in an interview:

"Having my son was the greatest feeling in world. There's no comparison. I never cried before, but I cried tears of happiness when I saw my son. I got to see him be born. When he was in the incubator, I dealt him his first poker hand, and it was the 10h 5s. So, one day when I was in Tunica, someone asked me to sign a playing card for his son, and I signed the 10h. When I asked my mom what card I had signed, she said the 10h, of course. My son is the most beautiful thing ever created. No one is more beautiful than he is! He changed my life, and made me more responsible."

Mizrachi also has a daughter named Julie Malka, which means "queen" in Hebrew. Mizrachi is a bit superstitious, firmly believing he doesn't do well when he wears red, but does so when he wears green, black, or his favorite color, blue. He is also the new poker ambassador for Planet Hollywood, which offers special "Grinder Bounty Tournaments" where players can play against "The Grinder" for as little as $60. Mizrachi currently resides in Hollywood, Florida and is supported in his poker endeavors by his close-knit family. His lifetime tournament earnings total more than $5.8 million.


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