Wicked Chops Awards: Comeback Player of the Year

We dubbed the 2010 WSOP as The Year of the ComebackTM. So when the Entities Who Comprise Wicked Chops Poker huddled together via email last week and exchanged a couple of emails discussed for hours who truly deserved Comeback Player of the Year honors, we had a surprising number of good choices.

Consider that Gavin Smith, Chris Bell, Tex Barch, and Scott Montgomery all re-entered the collective poker consciousness with bracelet wins.

On the World Poker Tour front, Antonio Esfandiari claimed his first title in six years. And David Williams, who had also gone awhile without a major score, won the WPT Championship.

But ultimately, after literal seconds hours of analysis, one man stood out: Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi.

While Grinder wasn’t hand-jobs-in-the-parking-lot-of-Caesars-for-buy-ins down on his luck, he had a few rough years that certainly weren’t producing the results he experienced in 2005-06, when he was inarguably one of the best tournament players in the world.

That drought all changed with the first event of the 2010 WSOP, when Grinder captured his first bracelet and banked over $1.5M at the Players Championship. He went on to make another three $10k buy-in event final tables, culminating in his Main Event fifth place finish.

While Grinder may not know it’s Christmastime (he’s among the chosen people), he definitely knows how to make a comeback.


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