Eli Elezra made his third final table of the 2015 World Series of Poker, and this time he finished the job, taking down Event #48: $1,500 Seven-Card Stud for $112,591 against a 237-player field.
“Winning the bracelet in stud, the old-school game nobody plays any more – it means so much to me,” he said. “I feel really good.”
This marks Elezra's third bracelet, joining the ones he won in Event #24: $3,000 World Championship Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low in 2007 for $198,984 and Event #59: 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball in 2013 for $173,236.
Elezra is likely most well known in the poker world for TV appearances on shows like High Stakes Poker, where he was a regular in the big cash game. He still considers himself primarily a cash game player, but he takes a break from his cash action to give it a run at the WSOP every summer, something he said earns him considerable ribbing among the other cash game regulars.
“Every day I go to Aria and Bellagio and they ask, 'Why do you keep doing it?'” he said. “I tell them I'm trying to be famous. No, I just love the competition and the action.”
Those cash games, which are generally of the mixed-game variety, have definitely prepared Elezra for his fantastic summer. He has also made final tables in Event #9: $1,500 Razz andEvent #29: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship, where he finished fifth and sixth, respectively. Elezra last cashed in a straight no-limit hold'em event back in May 2012, and a decision to focus on his strengths in non-hold'em games has been reflected in his recent success.
Running good doesn't hurt, either.
“I feel I'm running much better than I have in the past,” Elezra said. “Not only running good, but playing the right games. No-limit has become so advanced – all those young kids are much better than me. I better stick to what I'm good at.”
Elezra had to overcome about a 3-1 chip deficit heads up against Benjamin Lazer after Allen Cunningham bowed out of the tournament in third. Elezra needed close to two hours to turn that 10-big bet stack into his third bracelet. He got the last of it when he ran down Lazer's wired queens with /, running a straight with and to leave Lazer's unimproved queens dead before he could even squeeze out seventh street.
Elezra's third bracelet was special because he had a first-time guest watching – his 21-year-old son, who just graduated from college.
“He has no idea if an ace beats a king,” Elezra said with a laugh. “It's the first time he's seen me win a bracelet. That really feels good.”
Three final tables and a bracelet apparently isn't enough to satisfy Elezra, who predicted he will make one more final table before the series is in the books. He revealed he's been playing with a bit of a chip on his shoulder, ever since the 25K fantasy draft.
“They got me for only $1 in fantasy,” he said with a wide grin. “I'm going to show them that I'm worth more than that.”
Final Table Results
|1||Eli Elezra||Henderson, NV||$112,591|
|2||Benjamin Lazer||Kingston, NY||$69,532|
|3||Allen Cunningham||Las Vegas, NV||$44,846|
|4||Gylbert Drolet||Saint-Nicholas, Canada||$32,495|
|5||Kenn Wittock||Gilbert, AZ||$23,891|
|6||Byron Ziebell||Hales Corners, WI||$17,821|
|7||Jean Gaspard||Evanston, IL||$13,486|
|8||Matt Grapenthien||Chicago, IL||$10,352|