Before 2010, Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi was known as one of the leading figures of the "best without a bracelet" club, having amassed over $7 million in tourney winnings since 2004.
Then came the $50,000 Players Championship Event, the 8-game mixed event that drew 116 of the world's toughest players. Mizrachi broke through there and won his first bracelet, earning a huge $1,559,046 payday.
Mizrachi followed that with three more cashes, including two final tables, both in $10,000 "Championship" events. He took sixth in the $10K Seven-Card Stud event, then finished eighth in the $10K Limit Hold'em event.
Today Mizrachi started in second place, and after a little over hour of play remains in second just behind Theo Jorgensen. In addition to the ongoing story of the Grinder's WSOP annus mirabilis, his deep run keeps alive a couple of other interesting side stories, too.
One is the remarkable performance of the four Mizrachi brothers in the Main Event, all of whom cashed -- Eric in 718th, Danny in 345th, and Robert in 116th.
The other is the WSOP Player of the Year race. By cashing in the Main Event, Frank Kassela locked up a share of the POY title, and only the Grinder has a shot at tying him -- but only by winning the Main Event. In fact, Mizrachi was at Kassela's table when he was eliminated on Day 4.
At the time of Kassela's elimination, Mizrachi was short-stacked himself and it didn't seem very likely that he'd have a real shot at possibly winning the ME. Much has changed in three days, however, and so the story of the WSOP POY remains alive.