BY RUSS SCOTT
RELEASE: OCTOBER 12, 2010
Readers Ask About Mizrachi’s Chances and Staging an Event to Help Veterans
Readers this week want to know: Can Michael Mizrachi win the World Series of Poker main event? How do you prepare for a fundraising tournament set to last three hours?
Q: I only recognize one player’s name at this year’s WSOP final table, Michael Mizrachi, so I’ll be rooting for him. Does he have a good chance to win? — Bill S. in Dallas, Texas.
A: When final table play resumes in Las Vegas on Nov. 6, Mizrachi will be the crowd favorite but he is seventh (out of nine) in chips and faces a nearly 5-1 chip deficit against the leader, Jonathan Duhamel of Quebec, Canada.
More bad news for Mizrachi: Action will resume with blinds of 250,000-500,000 and a 50,000 ante for about 75 minutes before increasing again. That means Mizrachi’s chip stack of 14.45 million is equal to about 28 big blinds, which is nearing the typical fold-or-shove level.
And finally: Only one of his opponents is an amateur. The others are pros, several with decent poker resumes.
It’s clear that Mizrachi, despite $9 million in official career tournament winnings and being the only World Series bracelet holder at the table, is an underdog to win poker’s biggest award and the $9 million that comes with it.
But wait! This is poker, and anything can happen.
Not only is Mizrachi the most successful and experienced player in this group, his style of play perfectly suits his situation. He’s called “The Grinder” because he never gives up and is a masterful short-stack competitor.
More good news: He drew the perfect final table seat. He’ll be acting immediately after the two players with the tallest stacks — John Dolan of Florida (46.25 million chips) and Duhamel (65.97 million).
That means he’s in great position to choose to stay out of their way, push back at them with his strong hands, or attack the shorter stacks if Duhamel and Dolan fold in front of him.
You can’t say Mizrachi has a “good chance” to win, but if he plays to his strengths and doesn’t have early bad luck, he definitely could come out on top.
Q: I’m helping put on a no-limit hold’em tournament next week to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project at our local U.S. Army base, but we need to finish in three hours. Any suggestions? — Peter H. in Moline, Ill.
A: There are formulas for starting chip stacks, progression of blind levels, and number of players which can yield a tournament of predetermined length.
You told me you were expecting upwards of 100 players, so you’ll likely want starting stacks of about 2,000 chips and blind levels that increase every 10 or 15 minutes.
The largest variable you face is having unlimited rebuys available for the first hour. This probably will cause a significant jump in the total number of chips in play, so you may have to accelerate the increases in blinds in the second and third hours to reach your targeted finish.
Although most players I know aren’t fans of multiple-rebuy events, that’s not an issue here, Peter. The Wounded Warrior Project provides great support for our injured veterans, which should prompt lots of rebuys for this worthy cause.
My tip to players not accustomed to rebuy events on a speedy timetable: You don’t have time to wait for premium hands, so get aggressive early and try for a few double-ups before the rebuy period ends. Mostly, just have fun!
More about this event: The tournament runs from 7-10 p.m. on Tuesday (Oct. 19) at VFW Post 2153, 1721 7th Street, Moline, 309-764-3344. Buy-in is $20, with $10 rebuys. A steak dinner for $9 starts at 4:30 p.m. Prizes will be awarded and all proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior Project at the Rock Island Arsenal. A number of injured local veterans will compete in the event, which is open to the public (21 and older).
E-mail your poker questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org for use in future columns. To find out more about Russ Scott and read previous LuckyDog Poker columns, visit www.creators.com or www.luckydogpoker.com.
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