Eli Elezra is one of the most instantly recognizable poker players in the world, thanks to him enjoying a long and illustrious career going back to the mid-1990s. The five-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner is equally adept at tournament poker as he is at high-stakes cash games.
Elezra was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2021.
Elezra was born November 24, 1960, in Jerusalem, Israel, and has lived a colorful and varied life. Like many Israelis, Elezra served in his country's army, donning the uniform id the Israel Defence Force's Golani Brigades, one of the country's elite military units. Elezra spent three weeks in prison for refusing to comply with military orders but went on to become a lieutenant.
A leg injury sustained during the 1982 Lebanon War curtailed Elezra's military career. Elezra learned more about poker while he was in the hospital recovering from his injuries. He moved to the United States following his discharge from the army.
Alaska was Elezra's first port of call. Here he had several jobs, including working in the thriving Alaskan fish industry, he drove a taxi for a while, before heading to Las Vegas where he became the owner of a successful film-developing business.
Now flush with cash from his business interests, Elezra began playing more poker in and around Las Vegas. he initially focused on the lucrative cash games but soon found he had a penchant for tournament poker.
His first WSOP cash came in 1999 when he finished seventh in a $2,500 Limit Omaha event. Since then, Elezra has cashed more than 70 times in WSOP events, winning five gold bracelets along the way. Bracelet number one came at the 2007 WSOP in the $3,000 World Championship Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo event. Elezra has since added another four bracelets to his collection.
Eli Elezra WSOP Bracelets
|2007||$3,000 World Championship Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo||$198,984|
|2013||$2,500 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball Limit||$173,236|
|2015||$1,500 Seven Card Stud||$112,591|
|2019||$1,500 Seven Card Stud||$93,766|
|2022||$10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship||$611,362|
The $611,362 prize that accompanied Elezra's fifth bracelet win was the second-largest tournament score of his career. Only the $1,024,574 he captured for winning the $10,200 Mirage Poker Showdown World Poker Tour event in 2004 is larger.
Poker Hall of Fame Induction
Elezra was immortalized in the Poker Hall of Fame in 2021, beating off stiff opposition from the likes of Mike Matusow, Michael Mizrachi, Layne Flack, Bertrand Grospellier, Antonio Esfandiari, Chris Ferguson, and Ted Forrest.
If you are something of a bookworm, PokerNews recommends checking our "Pulling the Trigger" Elezra's autobiography that Robbie Strazynski translated into English.