World Poker Tour News Article
Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi
It has been a good New Year for Michael Mizrachi. Following a second place
finish at the WPT Tunica event less than two weeks ago, “The Grinder”
improved by one place in Atlantic City, emerging as champion of the 2006
Borgata Winter Poker Open. For the win, he received $1,173,373, a $25,000
entry into the WPT Championship, and a 2006 Cadillac Escalade.

As is the case with all WPT main events, the final television table only
consisted of six players, but it was a very strong six. Erick Lindgren started as
the chip leader with $2.6 million in chips, followed by Mizrachi with $2 million.
Three more were over the million mark – Josh Spiegelman, John D’Agostino,
and Stu Paterson. Amnon Filippi had some work to do with only $820,000 in
front of him.

About an hour into play, Mizrachi made the first kill of the day, when his A-K
dominated Paterson’s A-10. After that, Lindgren beefed up his stack, taking it
to almost $4 million. He’s a lock for the final two, right? Not so fast. The John D’
Agostino train was about to get rolling.

First, he caught some luck, when he went all-in with J-8 against Spiegelman’s
K-Q, flopped two pair to eliminate Spiegelman in fifth place. On the next hand,
he doubled up through Mizrachi, Q-Q versus 9-9. Less than ten minutes later,
he knocked out Filippi in fourth place. After taking more chips from Mizrachi
(not long after Mizrachi found a miracle river to stave off elimination at the
hand of Lindgren), D’Agostino had about half the chips at the table. A short
time later, D’Agostino finished off former chip leader Lindgren, making it heads-
up between him and Mizrachi.

It was fairly even going into heads-up play, Mizrachi with $5 million, D’
Agostino with about $4.6 million. The Grinder started out by scooping the first
two pots, the second being a substantial one. At that point, Mizrachi had
about a 2-1 chip lead and proceeded to grind down (pun intended) his
opponent over the course of the next forty minutes.

Mizrachi finally capped the championship when he caught D’Agostino moving
all-in on the turn on a semi-bluff, with a gutshot straight draw. Mizrachi had
flopped two pair, so he had a huge advantage going into the river. The river
helped neither player and Mizrachi took the title.

Final Table Results – Television Table in BOLD

(Place/Player/Prize Money)

1. Michael Mizrachi -- $1,173,373
2. John D'Agostino -- $591,312
3. Erick Lindgren -- $282,721
4. Amnon Filippi -- $184,785
5. Josh Spiegelman -- $147,828
6. Stuart Patterson -- $110,871
7. Peter Feldman -- $73,914
8. Joe Miceli -- $55,436
9. Don Mullis -- $46,196

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Ending a drought which saw
him go over a year without a
major tournament victory,
Scotty Nguyen, “The Prince” of
poker, emerged as champion
of the 2006 Gold Strike World
Poker Open. Nguyen left the
Gold Strike Casino Resort in
Mississippi with $969,421 and
an entry into the $25,500
World Poker Tour World
The World Poker Open
returns to Tunica for its
seventh year and will be held
exclusively at Gold Strike
Casino Resort. Attended by
both nationally and
internationally renowned poker
players, the Gold Strike World
Poker Open begins Jan. 9 and
culminates with the World
Poker Tour's championship
event January 19-23.
Considered one of the biggest
and most successful poker
tournaments in the world, Gold
Strike is now the exclusive site
for the World Poker Tour's
annual televised stop in Tunica.