Michael Mizrachi Signs with Lock Poker

Poker pro Michael Mizrachi, known as “The Grinder”, is no stranger to endorsement deals, and now he can add another to his list, having signed a deal last week to be a Team Pro at online poker room Lock Poker.

The owner and CEO of Lock Poker, Jennifer Larson, said of Mizrachi, “Michael is a pioneer of this industry. He is the perfect combination of dedication, passion, insight, perseverance and unbelievable skill.”

Mizrachi, a native of Florida, is one of poker’s best-known and most colorful characters, and he is also one of its winningest. Currently he occupies the impressive position of number eight on the “All Time Money List” with tournament winnings totaling $14,324,079.

Adding to his awe-inspiring resumé are two $50,000 Players Championship titles at the WSOP – in 2010 and again in 2012. His accolades also include two World Poker Tour titles, a fifth place finish at the 2010 WSOP Main Event, and a WSOP Europe bracelet in the €10,400 No Limit Hold’em (Split Format) event.

Mizrachi expressed enthusiasm about his new position with Lock Poker, saying in a statement, “Lock has grown exponentially and proven to be a leader in the online poker industry in a very short period of time. I am excited about this partnership with Lock and even more excited to join their team of pros. I can’t wait to get started.”

The deal with Lock Poker comes on the heels of the announcement of another endorsement deal for Mizrachi, this one with land-based Turlock Poker Room in Turlock, California, a town in California’s central valley located in between Modesto and Merced. In his new role, Mizrachi will serve as the official poker ambassador for 2013.

The Turlock property has a poker room with sixteen tables in it, and also offers pai gow poker and blackjack games. Mizrachi’s duties as 2013 poker ambassador will include representing the room at poker tournaments in addition to emceeing events and tournaments held at Turlock Poker Room.

Again, Mizrachi spoke of his delight with the honor of representing Turlock Poker Room, saying, “I’m excited to start my ambassadorship at the Turlock Poker Room. The room is beautiful, the staff is second-to-none and they really know what it takes to run a first class operation. Together, Turlock and I are going to have an outstanding and memorable 2013.”

While these endorsements are certainly a delight to Mizrachi, the recent news of his arrangements have left us wondering what ever became of the sponsorship deal that was announced between the poker pro and Breeders’ Cup Ltd back in 2011.

At the time of the announcement of the deal, which was intended to attract poker players to horse racing, Breeders’ Cup vice president of media and entertainment Peter Rotondo said, “We believe that there is a strong cross-over between poker and horse racing, which has not yet been realized. We’re thrilled to have a relationship with ‘The Grinder’ which will allow for one of poker’s superstars to reach out to the poker world and educate them about the Breeders’ Cup and the over $160-million in liquidity during our two-day event.”

In actively courting poker players, Breeders’ Cup may have been strategically aligning itself with the market in the event that online poker become regulated in the United States, a scenario that seems more unlikely to happen given the failure of proposed  legislation in the Senate at the end of last year.

We can only assume that Breeders’ Cup has quietly dropped their deal with Mizrachi, as nothing appears to have come of the partnership since the 2011 announcement. This might also speak volumes about the horse racing industry’s hopes for regulated poker in the United States.

Last week Nevada Senator Harry Reid, a major online poker proponent, appeared on local television in his home state and said that it would be difficult for online poker regulation to pass at the federal level given the current political climate in the country as well as in the legislature.

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