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Poker Legends: Eli Elezra

“For me to be alongside Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth and Barry Greenstein...I finally made it!”

Image: AssoPoker


Eli Elezra recently became the 60th member of the Poker Hall of Fame, and there’s hardly a pro more deserving of the recognition. Since he moved from Israel to America, Elezra has moved up the stakes until he began to dominate the biggest cash games in Las Vegas and won some major tournaments. He holds 4 World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets, and his total live earnings amount to more than $4.5 million.


In his autobiography, Pulling the Trigger, Poker Legend Doyle Brunson introduces him as both a close friend and a worthy competitor. “It was apparent he didn’t have a lot of experience, but what he lacked in knowledge, he made up with a heart that was as big as Dallas,” writes Texas Dolly. “He was fearless, which is almost unbelievable in an inexperienced player, and his aggressiveness more than made up for his lack of understanding everything a top player needs to know.”


Of course, Doyle and Elezra have been competing for over 20 years, and Elezra has grown a lot as a poker player since then.


The Israeli Icon


Eli Elezra comes from a poor neighborhood in Jerusalem, and he still cherishes those roots and keeps a close connection to his home country from his current home in Vegas. He still watches Israeli TV, keeps up on the news, and visits when he has time.


As the most prominent Israeli poker player, he’s an icon for other Israelis. “Eli Elezra has long been Israeli’s national poker hero,” says Robbie Strazynski. “I believe I can safely speak for my fellow Israeli poker lovers and fans in saying that we couldn’t be more proud to have him as our country’s first ever representative in the Poker Hall of Fame.”


Elezra is down to earth and doesn’t forget where he came from. He’s been known to show up a home games in Israel just to put a smile on his fans’ faces, and he has no problem throwing down for $20 or $20k.


Eli Elezra may be in the Hall of Fame now, but his lucrative poker career is far from over. Keep an eye out for him at the final table and for more celebrity appearances on your favorite poker TV shows.



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