Bio of Four Time World Series of Poker Bracelet Winner Eli Elezra
Eli Elezra is one of the greats of the poker scene. He is still going strong at the tables today, having recently moved into his sixties. Elezra is one of the faces of the Nevada live poker scene and has had the nickname ‘Mr. Vegas’ bestowed upon him. This is an amazing achievement, as he only moved to Vegas at the age of 28 and it was then that the game of poker caught his eye.
This page covers his WSOP successes, poker playing style and includes a quick bio.
Eli Elezra at the World Series of Poker
At the World Series of Poker, Elezra has managed to cash an incredible 62 times. What makes this achievement even more incredible is that he has converted 15 of those 62 into final table appearances, which is some rate of return. With 15 final table appearances, you might expect the Israeli born player to have one or two bracelets to his name. But once again, Eli Elezra has over-performed, converting those 15 final tables into four wins.
Stud and Triple Draw Bracelets
His first ever bracelet win came in 2007, when he finished first at the $3,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low event. He beat a field of 236 to claim the first prize of $198,000, beating Scotty Nguyen at the heads-up stage. Six years later he won the $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball Limit event for a cash of $173,000, this time getting the better of Daniel Negreanu heads-up. In both 2015 and 2019 he won the $1,500 Seven Card Stud events, pocketing wins of $112,000 and $93,000, respectively.
You might think that at the age of 60 Elezra would let up, but in 2021 he cashed five times in the series, including two final tables and total winnings of $195,000.
Elezra in the Main Event
His best-ever performance at the Main Event came in 2011, where he finished 107th, winning $54,000 for his efforts. He famously folded pocket nines pre-flop in a big pot with Greg Raymer in 2004 – a 9 came on the flop that would have given him a set. Raymer went on to win the tournament.
Other Tournament Successes for Eli Elezra
The biggest tournament win for Eli Elezra came in 2004. He entered the No Limit Hold’em main event at the Mirage Poker Showdown on the World Poker Tour. The buy-in was $10,000 and he beat a quality field of 281 players to take the $1,024,574 first prize. Other players at the final table included John Juanda, Allen Cunningham, and Scotty Nguyen.
A more recent success came in 2021 at the US Poker Open, winning the $10,000 buy-in 8-Game event, with Daniel Negreanu finishing third in the event.
In total, Eli has enjoyed 13 cashes of more than $100,000 in his poker career, although it is a sure thing that this number will increase.
Much of the fame attributed to Eli Elezra has come from his many TV appearances on shows such as High Stakes Poker and Poker After Dark. He was there at the very start of High Stakes Poker and is quoted as saying:
‘In my wildest dreams, I never could have imagined that it would make me as famous as I am.’
Poker Playing Style of Eli Elezra
Elezra is not one of those players who will make a song and dance at the tables. He is usually the quiet one at the table, with a focus and concentration that does not waver. It is clear from the way he converts those cashes into final tables and those final tables into wins that he thrives in the latter stages of tournaments. While some players are happy with their cashes, this is where Elezra steps it up and goes for that all-important first place.
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About Eli Elezra
Eli Elezra was born in Jerusalem in November 1960. After finishing school, he would join the Israeli military, as part of the Israeli Defense Force’s Golani Brigade (one of the world’s crack units). At one point he would serve three weeks in military prison for disobeying orders, but this did not stop his sterling career, eventually working his way up to lieutenant. A leg injury sustained in the Lebanon war put paid to his career and it was at this point that he made the move to the US.
His initial move was to Alaska, and he did a variety of jobs including gutting fish and becoming a taxi driver. In 1988 he made the move to Las Vegas, purchasing a small film processing business, which would become the start of an entrepreneurial career in the city that never sleeps. This move to Vegas would spark an interest in poker, after playing at the Stardust Casino. By the late 1990’s he had made a name for himself playing in local tournaments.
More Poker Pro Bios:
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- John Cynn Poker Strategy (2018 winner)
- Scotty Nguyen WSOP Legend (1998 winner)
- Phil Hellmuth (16x bracelets!)
- Dan Harrington (1995 Winner)
- Shaun Deeb (WSOP Crusher!)
Image credit: Wikipedia, with a little help from free picture editor Canva.