Mike Mizrachi’s feat, winning the $50k Players Championship two out of three years, has sparked a bit of a debate regarding the greatest achievements in the modern era of poker (2003 through the present day). In this article I’ll list my Top 5, ranking each and explaining why I chose to include it.
T#5 –2011 WSOP: Ben Lamb’s dominance
At last year’s WSOP Ben Lamb was the only man who was able to keep the 2011 WSOP from becoming the Phil Hellmuth show. Lamb finished 3rd in the Main Event, won the $10k PLO event, finished 2nd in the $3k PLO tournament, made a total of four final tables and cashed five times for over $5.3 million.
T#5 – 2012 WSOP: Phil Ivey’s dominance
Through 50 or so events Phil Ivey has made five final tables at the 2012 World Series of Poker, which gives him a shot at the all-timed record held by An Tran (who made 6 final tables at the 1992 WSOP). Obviously with more events to be played Ivey could quickly move up this list.
#4 – 2011 WSOP: Hellmuth’s 3 runner-up finishes and runner-up in Player of the Year Race
Even though Lamb edged him out for the Player of the Year award, Phil Hellmuth’s 2011 WSOP was a thing of beauty, made all the more impressive by his 2012 performance where he won bracelet #12. Three runner-up finishes and a runner-up finish in the WSOP POY race is nothing to sneer at, and what made it all the more impressive was that Hellmuth did most of his damage in non-Holdem events, considered by many to be his Achilles heel.
#3 – 2009 WSOP: Jeff Lisandro wins 3 Stud Poker bracelets
The 2009 WSOP belonged to Jeffrey Lisandro. Lisandro joined a very exclusive club of poker players that have won three WSOP bracelets in the same year, and became known as the King of Stud, as all three bracelets came in Stud Poker disciplines. Lisandro also finished 9th in a fourth Stud event in 2009.
#2 — 2003/2004 WSOP: Dan Harrington makes back-to-back Main Event final tables
This one happened early on in the poker boom, but the feat still stands as one of the greatest in poker history considering the size of the fields. In 2003 Harrington finished 3rd in the WSOP Main Event and in 2004 he fell by only a single spot finishing in 4th place.
#1 — 2010-2012 WSOP: Mike Mizrachi wins Players Championship makes WSOP Main Event Final Table
It’s hard to separate one aspect of Mizrachi’s 2010-2012 WSOP run out, considering he won the Poker Players Championship in 2010 and 2012, won another WSOP bracelet in 2011 at the WSOP Europe, and finished 5th in the 2010 WSOP Main Event. Did I mention that he also has SIX other final tables in that span as well! For everything Mike Mizrachi has done over the past three WSOP’s I have to give him the top spot on this list, and he’s starting to approach Stu Ungar/Johnny Chan territory in terms of amazing runs.
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