Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Recap: 2010 WSOP Day 6 Main Event (Continued) - The Surging Scandis and the Lone Mizrachi

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Day 6 at the WSOP included a surplus of action, so much so, that the crew at 441 Productions spliced together four episodes to show you what transpired on one of the most crucial days at the 2010 Main Event. We were treated to the third and fourth installments of Day 6, and just like last week, I watched the episodes on ESPN with my laptop handy and following along with the Day 6 semi-live blog on Tao of Poker and the list of Main Event money winners, which I used to guess which bust out they were going to air next.

The crowd gathers for Day 6

Day 6 began with 205 players and Evan Lampera held the top spot. By dinner break, half the field had busted and John Racener jumped out of nowhere to snag the lead. When the day ended, Theo Jorgensen, a silent Scandi sat on the top of the mountain and the Grinder close behind with the second biggest stack. But we're getting a little too far ahead of ourselves. Here's the highlights and lowlights of the last bits of Day 6 that focused on the Brothers Mizrachi...

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Houses of the Holy

The Mizrachis are sort of like the Medicis of poker at this point (after all, the Medici clan cranked out four popes and a banking empire). Two of the brothers remained at the onset of Day 6 -- the Grinder and older brother Robert. The youngest Mizrachi, a magician named Donny, stood on the rail as a spectator and part of the support staff along with the Grinder's twin, fellow pro Eric. The Grinder and the Robert were conveniently situated on the two featured tables because the beef jerky lounge provided a perch that allowed you to keep an eye on both tables. That's where the Mizrachis gathered and nervously awaited the fate of their beloved family members, especially the Grinder, who seems to be destined for greatness and a favorite son of the fickle poker gods. Two Mizrachis brazenly ventured into the killing fields and managed to survive the brutality longer than anyone imagined.

The Grinder's featured TV table included Canadian pro Peter Jetten (you know, the button guy), and Russian young gun Alex Kostritsyn. On the first hand of the episodes, Jetten and the Grinder rumbled. Jetten, the former philosophy major dropped his studies to play poker, which is a wise choice because philosophy degrees pay jack shit in the real world. The Grinder tried to push around Jetten with a nut flush draw against Jetten's flopped second pair. The Grinder missed on the river, yet fired anyway, and Jetten sniffed out the river bluff.

Randy "The Dorf" Dorfman, a former options trader on Wall Street, didn't shy away from a gunfight with the Grinder, who held just had two pair with A-Q on a paired board. The Grinder fired a shot on the river and The Dorf responded with an all-in shove. The Dorf was way ahead and had flopped a set of nines and turned a boat, but the Grinder knew something was rotten, fishy, and out of place.

"Too much acting," said the Grinder, suspicious on Dorf's body language, as he released his two pair.

The Grinder jumped into the overall lead after he sent Matthew Schreiber packing. The Grinder's Js-10s was no match for Ace-rag. That's what happens when you're path to salvation has been paved by the poker gods.

The Grinder and the Dorf got into another spat. The Grinder opened up a pot with Ad-10c. Two other players were along for the ride when action came to the Dorf in the blinds. He woke up with Kings and shoved. Everyone bailed, including the Grinder and the Dorf was unable to get any action with his cowboys.

The second hour of episodes began with the Grinder holding court at the featured table and all three of his brothers proudly sitting in the stands, but with a glint of competitive dejection in their eyes. It was an All-American Norman Rockwell moment, including an underlying tinge of somberness, knowing that the Grinder's success was indirectly a result of his brothers' collective failure. Hey, at least they all cashed, right?

The Brothers and extended family members watched the Grinder hunker down and attempt to win $9 million by playing cards. Sounds simply absurd, but that's what was happening. More absurd was that I was getting paid to write about it -- when it happened. What is even absurder, is that I'm writing up a report about something that happened a couple of months ago, but replayed via television, so it's sort of like living the past through someone else's eyes, while using my original notes as a guide. That's just super trippy if you really sit down to think about it.

Anyway... enough post-modern verbal jousting...

Duy Le, (who has one of my favorite names in poker pronounced Dewey Lee) attracted a bevy of delicious Asian tail on the rail. Too bad he did not advance to the November Nine. Anyway, Le got involved with a Russian and a Mizrachi. Nothing good could come with that! And Le had to bail out of that hand, as Alex Kostritsyn's pocket sevens prevailed over Grinder's Ace-rag.

The Grinder maintained his big stack after winning clutch hands like one against the Dorf that started out four-way, but ended up heads-up with the Dorf and the Grinder. Both were on draws -- the Dorf made a straight on the turned, but the Grinder caught running cards to flush him out on the river. The Dorf was pissed, but the Grinder smirked as he dragged in the pot.

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The Rover

Tony "Bond_18" Dunst

Former chipleader Tony Dunst had a rough Day 6, which got worse when he had his Aces cracked by Ah-Qd, after two Queens flopped. An upbeat Dunst as he shook off the bad beat.

During his couch interview, Dunst explained his deep interest in looking presentable at the poker tables, which is why he always wears a suit when he plays. Change100 was fascinated in how he matched his ties with suits, but I sorta tuned out that part because I'm not that into fashion and stopped wearing suits after my last stint on Wall Street. But it's good to see someone in poker who looks classy. I first met Dunst at the Crown Casino in Melbourne in 2007 and he was wearing a suit then. The only thing that has changed is that his suits are getting better and he's spending some of his bankroll on high-quality accouterments.

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The Wanton Song

Italian fun factory Filippo Candio won a hand and unleashed an orgasmic scream of joy right in front of the press box. You would have thought that he lost his virginity to Sasha Grey or something, the way he erupted with an enthusiastic response after his Aces held up against Queens. I didn't see the hand, but looked up from my laptop the moment that he jizzed in his pants and let everyone in Las Vegas know that he was feeling groovy. The Italian got a penalty for his over exuberance.

"I don't know these rules," he sputtered in broken English and apologized to the floor guy.

Norm didn't like the penalty, and he should blame Hevad Kahn. I'd be pissed if I was at the table or in the hand, but from a spectator standpoint, the occasional freak out livens up the tense mood inside the room. Let's be frank, at this stage, the Main Event is a TV show, and any sort of bizarre incidents are welcomed by the producers to spice up the standard poker telecast. Besides, the Italian was not shticking it up for the cameras like a starlet showing her snatch to a TMZ camera crew. We witnessed a genuine display of raw emotion for someone who is on the verge of becoming a millionaire. Hey, but that's what we love about demonstrative Italians. They are the opposite of the stoic Scandis, who look good, but don't utter a word other than "raise" and "all-in."

Candio took his one-round penalty, and the citation quieted down the Italian for sure. At one point, he was resorted to singing softly to himself when he got involved in a big pot and need something to do to quell his nerves.

Toward the end of Day 6, Candio five-bet shoved with Big Slick and Manny Davidian tank-called with pocket tens. You could not have scripted it better for Candio with a King on the flop... and an elated, but subdued Candio surged to over 5 million as he quietly sung to himself. Wonder if it was Queen's We Are the Champions in Italian? Or perhaps Bron-yr-aur from Zeppelin?

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In the Light

Future November Niner, John Racener, began the clock on his fifteen minutes of fame with his couch interview, which became an eloquent homage to his father, who passed away last year.

"Dreaming about winning..." was a phrase that he uttered, which allowed us to glimpse into his goals as a poker player.

In previous years, Racener watched episodes of ESPN with his father, who predicted that his son was good enough to make the big time. Racener's old man taught him how to play the game of poker, in addition to other competitive card games. Up until his death, Racener's father supported his quest for poker glory.

Racener gave a short, but touching interview, which made it hard to hate the youngster. You have to root for Racener now, because he wants to win while evoking the spirit of his deceased father.

Racener sorta came out of nowhere just before the dinner break, when he took the lead. Despite his upswing, he couldn't knock out pesky Theo Tran. A short-stacked Tran opened-shoved with Ad-9h and Racener called with 2h-2d. The board ran out K-10-4-4-10 and the deuces were no longer good when the ten counterfeited on the river. Tran doubled up with his Ace high. That would be one of the few times Racener was on the shit end of the stick.

Racener later on got the Italian Orgasm Machine to pay him off after he flopped trips with A-Q. With two Aces on the flop, Candio did not believe him and called all the way to the river with a marginal pair of sevens. Racener happily tabled his trip Aces and dragged the pot.

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Custard Pie

Robert Mizrachi (aka the Robert aka the brother of the Grinder) was rocking a patio store furniture patch during close ups on the secondary table. That was the same company that the Grinder was pimping during the 50K final table. Hey anything counts, right? Even if it is a patio store in Vegas. I'm sure if Don Draper was at the helm, he would have the Mirazhis pimping something other than patio furniture. I dunno why everyone is giving them shit for shilling patio furniture. Isn't that one of the points of televised poker, especially the November Nine -- to attract non-poker and non-gambling advertisers who will purchase the heads and chests of poker pros? So, the patio furniture wasn't your typical online poker room, but a legit real life business and nothing involving internet commerce. That should be a big deal, but because it's patio furniture and not a major soft drink company, we're dismissing the legitimacy of their brand. Ah, if I'm the folks who own the patio store, I'd be saying, "T'was fun while it lasted!" Because I doubt the Grinder will be sporting their patch come the November Nine, and if he magically wears their patch, then that's a bug coup for the patio people. If that's the case, I predict a huge upswing in patio furniture in the days after the November Nine. If you'd like to manipulate the market and profit on this upsurge, I know a penny stock that specializes in patio furniture cushions. I have seen the future and it's in patio cushions.

Anyway, the Robert's demise was foreshadowed after a nearly fatal hand with John Racener. Two of the other Mizrachi brothers watched the ugly hand from up above. Robert flopped the joint with 9h-8h against Racner's As-10s and TPTK. But the board ran out Js-10d-7h-7d-10c and gave Racener a runner-runner boat. Robert sheepishly fired out on river only to face an ominous raise from Racener. The Robert's straight was no good and knew that he got torpedoed by the fucking boat. The Robert folded and as he eyed his gaunt stack, al he could muster up a dejected sigh and a "Soooo sick."

On his final stand, the Robert got it all in with Ah-10h against an Eurodonk's As-Ks. The Robert could not catch a miracle, and his run at the Main Event had come to an uneventful finish. The eldest Mizrachi fizzled out in 112th place, and was the third brother of the Mizrachi clan to cash in the Main Event. The Grinder won the family last longer as the Robert headed to the cage to sign for his winnings, and eventually made his way into the stands to sweat his younger brother.

* * * * *

In My Time of Dying

Here's a mish-mash about people who busted on Day 6...

- A couple of Euros were among the players who didn't get their eliminations aired. That's sort of like not being famous enough to get your obit in the New York Times. Anyway, we didn't see the exits of Jesper Hougaard (who got super short in last week episodes) and British pro JP Kelly ( who has two bracelets or one if you don't count WSOP-E bracelets). The Brits had a fantastic summer, but JP couldn't capitalize on the British run good and advance to the final table like his pal James Ankenhead pulled off in 2009.

- Breeze Zuckerman, aka the last woman standing, busted out when her K-10 ran into Eric "Basebaldy" Badlwin's pocket Aces. She hit the road in 121st place and took home the cup presented by Wicked Chops Poker.

- Russian backing guru Sergey "gipsy" Rybachenko knocked out Nick Rainey, who we learned got fired as Patrik Antonius' assistant.

- Theo Tran eventually found his fate at the hands of Manny Davidian, who flopped Broadway with Q-J to knock out Tran in 105th place.

- James Carroll lost a hefty chunk of his stack on a monster draw. The flop was Qd-8c-6c. Carroll decided to push his luck with a straight flush draw holding 10c-9c versus Pierre Canale's Ac-Ad. Canale faded the plethora of outs and doubled up with Aces, while Carroll slid to the bottom of the pack. Carroll eventually busted in 98th place when an Eurodonk took him out.

- This is not a bustout blurb, as much as I didn't have anywhere else to write about the hoopla surrounding Men the Master's bracelet ceremony. ESPN aired a clip of his ceremony, you didn't get to hear the chorus of boos that filled up the Pavilion as he hoisted up his bracelet. The crowd was reacting to Men's checkered past with numerous cheating allegations, and they were also admonishing Men for his incorrigible behavior against Brandon Adams en route to his bracelet victory.

* * * * *

Night Flight

OG David Baker doubled up with a set of Jacks against Basebaldy. Baker got to speak about his common name during a couch interview. David Baker is often confused with David "Bakes" Baker, who won a bracelet this year and is much younger than David Baker, which is why we call him OG for Original Gansta, or ODB for Old David Baker. Either works, and it's simple to call the other guy Bakes. I got it down, but it can get confusing when you're looking at the tournament on paper and trying to figure out which Baker is playing.

OD Baker got it all in with 10d-9d against French-Canuck Assouline's As-Jc, but ODB flopped a nine and doubled up. He also chipped up when he won a heady pot against Basebaldy.

Canada's Gary Kostiak was all-in for his tournament life with Ac-Qs against Gipsy's 9c-4c. The Russian turned a four to take the lead, but a fortuitous Kostiak rivered a straight and doubled up, something that he had done three times against Gipsy on Day 6 alone. He better stop that behavior otherwise he'll end up a floater in the Moskva River.

Kostiak played his final hand when his tens couple not run down Brandon Steven's Kings. Man, that's how you get some bad juju on your soul -- by knocking out the guy with MS in the wheelchair. I read a theory on Donk Down forums that Steven bubbled off the final table in 10th place because the poker gods were punishing him for picking on a guy in a wheelchair. Draw your own conclusions.

Alas, an inspirational Kostiak got as far as 85th place in his first ever Main Event. Kudos, sir.

* * * * *


Alex Kostritsyyn showed off his vast range when he opened with 8h-6d. The Dorf put Alex on a button steal, and popped him back with a re-steal against the young Russian with 6h-5d. Alex did not hesitate and four-bet the former broker. The Dorf could do nothing but fold. The Russian won and defeated the capitalist.

The Grinder needled Alex seeking Alex's opinion on the "Best Russian" player, but Alex was sort of evasive. He did not want to offend any of his fellow countrymen. Many would say that Alex is considered one of the best young players from behind the Iron Curtain. He's won the Aussie Millions and even shipped a WCOOP event proving that he can win in both live events and online. His deep run was finally chronicled when he took a seat at the Grinder's table. A seat was not all that he took, he eventually took the lead and had to go through the Grinder's stack to get there.

Alex won a few pots to thrust him into the top spot, but then lost the lead to the Grinder, who dragged a pot with 7h-6h after he flopped trip sixes.

Alex added more chips to his stack when he went to war with pocket tens versus a Eurodonk's suited Slick. Alex flopped a set, but couldn't get the Eurodonk to fold his flush and Broadway straight draws. When the Eurodonk shoved on the turn, Alex insta-called. The river was the blank, Alex's set held up, and the Eurodonk busted in 95th place.

Alex would end Day 6 with over 5 million and among the Top 10 in chips.

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Trampled Under Foot

Theo Jorgensen acquired most of his chips in a wild wacky hand against the guy with one of the craziest names I have ever come across in poker... Fokke Buekers. Fokke's A-K lost to Theo's K-6 sooted. Call Interpol, because a Dutchie got robbed by a Dane. Theo's stack grew larger and larger as he rocketed toward the top.

By the way, listen to this gem and fan favorite episode of Tao of Pokerati featuring everyone's favorite French journalist.
Episode 68: Fun with Names: Fokkin Bonkers with Benjo - After realizing that Dutch pro Fokke Beukers has the best name left in the Main Event, Benjo and Pauly search the remaining players list and attempt to pronounce the truly obscure and difficult names.
Theo Jorgensen got moved to the featured TV table, and the three biggest stacks (Theo, Alex the Russian, and the Grinder) sat at the same table. It didn't take long before Theo asserted his power and got into a fracas with the Grinder. The Grinder opened with Kh-9h and Theo called with Ks-2s. Beware of a Scandi holding King-rag soooooted! The flop was 8h-6s-2h. Action. Of course there was gonna be action on the flop, whenever a Scandi hits bottom pair and the Grinder with a flush draw, you're gonna have a recipe for a thermonuclear hand. The turn was the 7c, giving Grinder more outs for a straight, but he whiffed when the Qs fell on the river. Theo checked his deuces, Grinder bet small, Theo check-raised, and Grinder folded his busted draws. Theo dragged the decisive pot, which propelled him into the lead.

Beware. The Scandis hath snagged thy lead.

And they barely showed the Day 6 progress of two uber-famous Scandis, Sweden's William Thorson and Norway's Johnny Lodden. Both were still alive and survived a hand against each other in the solo shot of them in either broadcast. Scandis are not like piranha. They will go after each other at any given time. The slang for "soft play" in Swedish is the same as the word "tampon."

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Thanks to Flipchip for the WSOP photos.

Here's previous Tao of Poker recaps of the Main Event on ESPN:
Day 2A - March of the Mizrachis and Dannypalooza
Day 2B - Happy Jacks, Action Dan, the Jenny Crank Diet, and Pancakes with the DonkeyBomber
Day 3 - Scotty Nguyen and the Rudiments of Gruel
Day 4 - Money Money Money
Day 5 - Wie Geht's Detlef Schrempf and OMG Runs Good
Day 6 - Life Is Just to Die
For in depth coverage of Day 6, read about the straight dope on Day 6 Semi-Live Blog, and don't forget about the end of day recap of Main Event Day 6 - Never Mind the Scandis, Here Come the Mizrachis.

And don't forget about other episodes of the Tao of Pokerati podcast that Michalski, Benjo, and I recorded live from the floor of the Rio.

For more of your WSOP fix, visit the Tao of Poker's Index of WSOP coverage.

I'm gonna be away next week on Phish tour in Colorado, but I'll be able to catch up eventually with the episodes. It might be a day late, but don't worry, I'll be back next week to recap Day 7 of the Main Event on ESPN. Until then...


  1. <span>Looks like you're prepping for Halloween. </span>
    <span>(wonder how many people will know what i'm talking about here)</span>

  2. Only one person noticed last week's theme. This one is more obvious.