The flop came 7-7-4 rainbow, giving Mizrachi trip 7s. "I bet $500 to make it look weak," said Mizrachi, winner of a WSOP bracelet and two World Poker Tour titles.
"I wanted someone to raise me. A guy raised me to $2,000. The other guy folded. I just called because I wanted him to continue bluffing off his chips on a dry board."
The turn came the 2 of clubs, creating a board of full house, flush and straight possibilities. Mizrachi checked. His opponent bet $3,600. Mizrachi check-raised to $7,200.
"I wanted to give him a chance to come over the top of me," said Mizrachi, a pro from the Full Tilt Poker online site. "I didn't want to raise more because I felt he would've folded his hand. I wanted to give him a chance to make the bluff."
Mizrachi's opponent reraised all in for about $18,000. Mizrachi had him covered by about $2,500, but this essentially was Mizrachi's tournament life in play.
"I thought about it forever," Mizrachi said. "He could have A-7. But he might have 5-7 or 6-7 and my kicker was good. Or he might be completely bluffing, or he has a bigger pair.
"That guy's not much of a bluffer. He's not the kind of guy who would call a raise with a 7 in his hand pre-flop. He'd wait for the bigger cards. A lot of the tighter players just wait for big cards and try to play only big hands.
"I looked at the suits. I looked at the board. A lot of players are likely to play suited cards in that spot. He also might be overplaying jacks.
"If I felt I had the best hand, I had to call. It's not a math question. He might have a pair and be a 22-1 dog in that spot, or he could have air. I figured against his range, I had the best hand, so I called him."
Mizrachi's opponent turned up J-9 of clubs, making a play with a flush draw. The river came the 6 of hearts, giving Mizrachi a big risk-reward pot.
"I'm willing to take a risk at any level, whether it's the first level or going to the final table," Mizrachi said. "I play my hands the same. You can't be afraid to lose. I'm playing to win."
Mizrachi would go on to finish fifth in the main event and collect more than $2.3 million.
A pure bluff.
Steve Rosenbloom is a sports columnist for the Chicago Tribune and the author of the book "The Best Hand I Ever Played." He can be reached at