Try ‘grinding’ it out

Jul 16, 2007 4:05 AM

Planet Hollywood is doing some nice things in its poker room with head honcho Brad Bryant tailoring some interesting tournaments and promotions for everyday players.

One of them takes place this week with "The Grinder’s No Limit Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament."

The tourney has a $440 plus $40 buy-in with daily satellites and is hosted by Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi.

For those who don’t know him, Michael is one of the up-and-coming poker players on the professional tour.

His nickname is The Grinder. For most poker players who want to create an intimidating or accomplished image, that particular moniker would not be the first choice. But he chose the nickname because it signified his determination and fiercely competitive spirit at the poker table. "I am a machine," he says. "I don’t stop grinding." And anyone who has seen him play knows this to be true.

When Michael started playing poker online, he was following the lead of his brother, Robert, who had already claimed success at it. Soon after he entered college on the premise of his childhood dream of becoming a doctor, he was playing Limit Hold’em at various online gaming sites with limits of $30-$60 and eventually $100-$200. Considering his great successes and growing passion for the game of poker, he decided to withdraw from college and begin to play on a full-time basis.

In early 2004, Michael took a trip to Las Vegas to participate in the 2004 World Series of Poker. After placing 11th in the $1,500 No Limit Hold ”˜Em tournament and being dissatisfied with anything other than first place, he entered a $500 tournament weekly game at the Bellagio. Winning that tournament assured him that he was in the right line of work and on the way to bigger, better things.

He continued to do well in tournaments across the country in 2004, placing second in the Pot Limit Hold ”˜Em tournament in the California State Poker Championship. And in the top ten of several other tournaments.

Michael entered the World Poker Open, a stop on the World Poker Tour, in January of 2005. Making his way through more than 500 players, he made it to the final televised table. Though he was eliminated from the game in fifth place, he showed the world that he was a tough competitor and a top-tier player.

Walking away from his WPT debut with over $288,000 in prize money, he then entered the L.A. Poker Classic several weeks later. Again, he beat out over 500 players to be seated at the final table with the likes of Ted Forrest and Erick Lindgren. With his fiancé, brothers, mother, and friends cheering him on, he was victorious in the end, walking away with the coveted WPT title, a seat at the WPT World Championship, and almost $1.9 million.

The first thing Michael did with his sizable winnings was to purchase a luxurious tour bus so Aidilay and their son could travel with him across the country. Before long, the family was in Las Vegas for the Championship, where Michael placed 11th and won almost $100,000, quite a feat when competing against the best players in the world. At only 24-years old, there is a long road ahead of The Grinder in the world of professional poker, and he has the bus to take him wherever it may lead.

Come out to Planet Hollywood and take a shot at the bounty on Michael’s head. You may not get another chance like this one.