27 September 2011

From IDF Lieutenant to World Series of Poker Champion

Eli Elezra grew up in Jerusalem, Israel. From eighth grade on, he played strip-deck poker with his friends. By 10th grade, he was handling the group's poker money. And, early on, he received his first valuable lesson in bankroll management after he gambled away all of the money he was holding for his group of friends. "After that, I learned one of poker's most valuable lessons; don't play over your head, and with that which is not yours," he commented.

Elezra, always a tenacious competitor, determined at a young age that if he wanted something, he was going to get it, no matter what. He fought his first major battle after graduating from high school with a mechanical engineering background when he was instructed to join the air force as part of Israel's mandatory military service. He refused, as he had his sights set on joining the Golani Brigade, one of the IDF's Infantry Brigades. "This is a select group that only a few can join," he recalled. "They didn't want to take me, but I fought for it. I sat in jail (military stockade) for three weeks because I would not go to the unit they assigned me." He even petitioned the Prime Minister of Israel by mail. Finally, an officer listened to his case, he aced all the tests, his physical strength and talents got him ahead, and he became a lieutenant during his four-year stint in the IDF.

But, his military career was cut short when he was wounded in the leg in the Lebanon War in 1982, and he spent three months on a cot.


While recovering, he rediscovered his love of poker, though that would take a backseat to a trip to Alaska. Upon rumors that there was money to be made, he moved there only to discover that the work was hard and the money wasn't what was promised, so he took several jobs and ultimately saved enough money to buy a convenience store.

When Eli's brother took a vacation to Las Vegas and reported that many opportunities awaited them there, Eli sold the store in Alaska and moved to Vegas. He immediately purchased a small film-processing store on the Strip, then proceeded to buy approximately twenty other businesses in the same area. Investing was inherent in this business-minded man, and he knew how to manage and reinvest his money in a hot market. During the time that he managed all of his companies, he found time during breaks to hit the local Strip casinos and play low-limit poker games. Years later, he found that poker - once he mastered the strategy of the cash games - was another wise investment.

Today, Eli is mostly a cash game player, playing at the highest limits - $4000-$8000 mixed games at the Bellagio in the "Big Game" with some of the best in the world like Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, and Jennifer Harman. However, when his friends in the game urged him to try tournaments, he found that there was some success to be found there, too. He has cashed in numerous World Series of Poker events and has some impressive wins to his credit, the most prestigious being a World Poker Tour event. It was the 2004 Mirage Poker Showdown, and he won the main event for over $1 million.

Career Highlights
  • Over $1.6 Million in Career Tournament Earnings
  • 1 WSOP Bracelet
  • 1 WPT Championship Title

Though living in Las Vegas for many years now, Elezra maintains close ties with family and friends in Israel. In the past he’s even donated $50,000 to build a gym for his former IDF unit.

Read Top Ten Jewish Poker Players here

Listen to ELI's interview on 2 plus 2 (at 46 min) here

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26 September 2011

Rosh HaShanah Greetings

אנו מאחלים לכולכם שנה של ניצחון ונקמה באויבנו, שנה של התיישבות שגשוג ופריחה בכל מרחבי ארצנו הקדושה, שנה שבה נחזור אל עצמנו כיחידים, כעם וכמדינה, שנה של שלום אמת, שנה של בנין המקדש ותיקון עולם במלכות ש-די.

שנה טובה!

We wish everyone a year of victory and vengeance over our enemies; a year of settlement, prosperity, and growth throughout our holy Land; a year in which we will return to ourselves as individuals, as a nation, and as a state; a year of true peace; a year in which we will build the Temple and perfect the world in the kingdom of the Almighty.

Shana Tova!


Shanah Tovah

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24 September 2011

5th Annual International Army & Police Exhibition in Tel Aviv

Every year I get to attend ISDEF in Tel Aviv. Why attend ISDEF?

Israel Defense Exhibition is the best place to create business opportunities between world leading manufactures and prospective clients in the Defense industry

The Israel Defense Exhibition (ISDEF) is a military and police trade show that takes place annually in Tel Aviv, Israel. ISDEF offers the best platform to create business opportunities between world leading manufactures and prospective clients in the Israeli Defense industry.

ISDEF's advantage is that it uses Israel's reputation as a world leader in the fields of Defense and Homeland Security and collaborates with major decision makers. Being the only major international defense exhibition in Israel, ISDEF attracts top key players, political and government figures.

The focus of ISDEF 2011 is Homeland Security: Disaster Control and Counter-Terrorism. HLS is based on four aspects; preparedness, protection, response and recovery, all of which are the same core components harnessed in natural disasters and crisis situations. Due to the global situation, and the evolving threats facing the world at large, the defense and security industries are faced with new challenges and are looking for answers

ISDEF will bring together leading international companies from the Defense, and HLS industry, as well as government and military officials, foreign delegations, and key figures from the market. ISDEF is expecting 150 exhibitors from all over the world and 8,000 guests from 70 countries, making ISDEF a summit for defense, business and cooperation.

ISDEF 2011 incorporates the entire Israeli defense and security community and is aimed at promoting business cooperation on both the local and international scale

ISDEF is the largest annual opportunity for players in the defense industry to meet with top level procurement, research and development executives from Israel and abroad.

It is an opportunity for manufacturers to meet with clients, to create business bridges, to feel the status of the market and to see, hear and sense current leading trends in defense technologies.

ISDEF focuses on pinpointing the highest quality and relevant security and defense companies. Substantial efforts are invested in planning the event and the interaction between exhibitors and visitors, so as to create impressive and high quality presentations while focusing on commercial activity and increasing the potential for more business transactions and partnerships.

Only top-notch companies are invited to exhibit at ISDEF and visitors enjoy the opportunity to see the latest developments in systems and equipment from the world's defense industry.

As a visitor, you will be able to:

-See the latest developments in the defense field
-View live demonstrations of new products and technologies
-Scout potential business in an intimate environment
-Enjoy the attendance of a professional crowd
-Network with the relevant individuals from the defense community

As a reminder, the exhibition is reserved for professionals with invitations or relevant industry/government identification.
Industry professionals can also register on line to receive and must provide identification with their registration upon entering the exhibition.

See pictures and read the writeup from last year's ISDEF HERE

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22 September 2011

Follow The IDF Motorcycle Legacy Tour

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20 September 2011

Interview on life in the Israel

I've been getting tons of email asking 
where I got the Don't Tread on Me Tshirt in Hebrew

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