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Five of the Best Non-Hold’em Grinders
Mixed games and non-Hold’em games are as popular as ever, especially with the World Series of Poker (WSOP) running. No-Limit Texas Hold’em is the most popular poker variant by far, but non-hold’em games have their place in the poker world.
The following five players are non-Hold’em specialists who are deadly in mixed, Omaha, Stud, and draw games. The list is missing several superstars, including the likes of the late David “Chip” Reese, who is arguably the best mixed game player to have ever picked up cards. However, the quintet is actively grinding such games, and are deserving of a place on our list.
Phil Ivey is the Daddy of Non-Hold’em Games
Phil Ivey is one of the best non-Hold’em players on the planet despite winning untold millions from Hold’em. Ivey has ten WSOP bracelets and each comes from a non-hold’em variant. He won the $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event at the 2000 WSOP for his first bracelet. The Poker Hall of Fame member has other bracelets in Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo, S.H.O.E., No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball, Eight Game Mix, among others.
Ivey has $32,331,928 in live tournament earnings and much more from grinding the highest-stakes cash games on the planet. Short Deck Hold’em, or six-plus as it is often called, is Ivey’s latest game of choice. Four of his last six major results are from this up-and-coming variant.
Benny Glaser’s Three Bracelets Are in Non-Hold’em Events
The United Kingdom’s Benny Glaser is another talented non-Hold’em specialist. The popular Brit continually racks up cashes in mixed games, including a runner-up finish in the recent $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. event at the 2021 WSOP.
Glaser has a trio of bracelets to his name. He won the $1,500 Limit Triple Draw Lowball in 2015 for $136,215. Glaser won two bracelets the following year, one in the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo, and another in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship.
It is not only live poker where Glaser excels. He has four WCOOP titles, all in non-hold’em events, and six SCOOP, where only one stems from the game originating from Texas.
Is Anyone Better Than Adam Friedman at Dealer’s Choice?
Adam Friedman is the best player you have not heard of. The man from Ohio has $3,139,168 in live tournament winnings, helped by securing a trio of bracelets. Those bracelets came in, you guessed it, non-hold’em events.
Friedman won the $5,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo event in 2012. He reached several H.O.R.S.E. final table following that win before achieving an amazing feat in 2018 and 2019. Friedman won the $10,000 Dealer’s Choice Championship in 2018 for $293,275. Amazingly, he won the same event in 2019 for an additional $312,417. Now Friedman is in the final ten of the same event at the 2021 WSOP.
Dealer’s Choice features up to 20 games, which gives players’ skill and knowledge a serious test.
Michael Mizrachi Has Won the $50,000 Poker Player’s Championship Thrice
The online poker generation often poke fun at Michael Mizrachi’s unorthodox style of play, but it is extremely effective. The Florida native has five WSOP bracelets, with only one coming in a Hold’em tournament.
Mizrachi won the $50,000 Poker Player’s Championship in 2010, the world’s toughest non-hold’em event. He proved that victory was not a flash in the pan by winning the same tournament two year’s later, before winning it again in 2018 for a third time.
Say what you will about “The Grinder” there is no denying he knows his way around a mixed game table.
Robert Mizrachi Loves Mixed Games
Robert Mizrachi is the brother of Michael Mizrachi, and he has four WSOP bracelets of his own. Each of that quartet are from non-hold’em tournaments. He won the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship in 2007 before a seven-year wait for his second. Mizrachi then won three bracelets between 2014-16 in the $1,500 Dealer’s Choice, $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo, and $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship.
Take a look at his results in mixed games over the years and Mizrachi’s record is nothing short of incredible. He shines bright in limit betting structures, especially Omaha games.