Eli Elezra Voted Into Poker Hall of Fame

0
Eli Elezra is the newest member of the Poker Hall of Fame. (photo: World Poker Tour.)

High-stakes cash game pro and four-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Eli Elezra has been named as the 2021 inductee into the Poker Hall of Fame.

At a ceremony just before the start of the Poker Hall of Fame Bounty tournament at the 2021 World Series of Poker, tournament director Jack Effel took the stage and made the announcement of Elezra induction. Elezra then addressed the players in the room and thanked those who have helped him along the way.

“I landed in Las Vegas in 1987, back then I never could imagine or dream that my love for poker would land me in the Poker Hall of Fame,” Elezra said. “Everybody who knows me and has played a hand of poker with me knows how much I love this game. I’m 60 years old and I happen to be the 60th member of the Poker Hall of Fame. I’ve been playing six or seven days a week and I plan to keep on playing for many more years to come.

“Twenty years ago, when I first sat down with my mentor the late Chip Reese and Doyle Brunson, who is here I know. I played with them the highest stakes cash game. I immediately knew that I wanted to be a professional poker player like them. To Chip and Doyle, I cannot thank you enough to teach this fish to swim with the sharks.”

Elezra’s notoriety in poker flourished during the poker boom of the early 2000’s as a regular on the popular poker programming of the day. Elezra, often touted as a “businessman” back then, was a regular cast member on the first six seasons of High Stakes Poker and made numerous appearances on Poker After Dark high-stakes cash games. After Poker After Dark was resurrected by PokerGO in 2017, Elezra once again emerged as a go-to fixture for the show.

At the same time, Elezra proved himself as a formidable tournament player, winning four WSOP bracelets, one in Seven Card Stud Hi-Low (2007), one in 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball (2013), and two in Seven Card Stud (2015, 2019). He’s earned more than $4.5 million in lifetime live tournament earnings over a career that spans 25 years. In that time he’s amassed 13 six-figure scores, including his recent 4th place finish in the 2021 WSOP $50,000 Poker Players Championship for $286,963. His tournament earnings are headlined by his 2004 win in the Mirage Poker Showdown where he bested Lee Watkinson heads-up for $1.024 million.

Accolades aside, Elezra is perhaps best known amongst his peers as a fixture in “The Big Game” at the Bellagio where some of the biggest mixed games in the world take place inside the room best known as “Bobby’s Room.”

Elezra concluded his speech with an eye on the future of the Hall of Fame.

“I also wanted to say that there are so many deserving nominees who have worked hard to earn a place in the Hall of Fame. More and more great players and builders are starting to turn 40 years old. I really hope that the World Series of Poker begins to induct a couple more nominees each year.”

Elezra was the lone person elected to the Poker Hall of Fame after a nomination process that created a shortlist of 10 eligible persons and a follow-up vote by the 32 living members of the Hall of Fame.