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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تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك كس

1 comment:

commoncents said...

THANK YOU for posting this! I'm glad I found your blog!


Common Cents



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