You've probably seen him on television before, playing in a World Series of Poker or World Poker Tour event. He's Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi, and in my opinion, he's the best tournament player around right now. Yeah I said it. Better than Phil Ivey. Better than Daniel Negreanu. If I had to back one player in an event, it would be Mizrachi.
So the question is, what makes him so good?
First off, Mizrachi is aggressive, aggressive, aggressive. He's not afraid to lose. In the beginning of a tournament, he'll put the pressure on his opponents, forcing them to make crucial decisions in the beginning parts of a tournament. Most people, unless they have the absolute nuts, will not commit their chips this early in a tournament. This gives Mizrachi an advantage, and often players will fold better hands because of this. This is why often Mizrachi will be chipleader right at the beginning of a tournament.
Mizrachi also has an uncanny ability to play is opponents, which is his most powerful skill. Watch him when he plays on TV (you'll get to see a lot of him this year as he final tabled two World Poker Tour events in a row). He is excellent at reading his opponents, and knows exactly when to apply the gas, and when to hit the brakes.
Anyone doubting Mizrachi's skills needs to get their head examined. I mean, 2nd place and 1st place at World Poker Tour events back to back? What did he have, 7 cashes in the World Series of Poker last year. The man is a sick player, and deserves to be called one of the best poker players around today.
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