Born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel, Eli Elezra first learned to play cards with his friends. Upon graduating from high school he trained to become a member of Israel’s elite commando unit, the Golani Brigade. In his fourth year of service, he was injured in the Lebanon War and was confined to a hospital bed. During his recovery, Elezra took up poker and the rest, as they say, is history.
After healing, Elezra moved to Alaska and began working as a cab driver and convenience store owner. In 1988, he moved to Las Vegas, where he opened various businesses and invested in property, all the while honing his poker skills in his off-hours. As his net worth grew, he slowly moved up in stakes; before long, he was playing on the same tables as Doyle Brunson and Amarillo Slim.
Initially a cash game player, Elezra first got a taste of live tournament money when he made the final table of the 2001 World Series of Poker $2K Limit event, cashing in sixth for $41K. Three years later, he hit it big at the 2004 Mirage Poker Showdown by winning the tournament for $1 million. In 2007, he won his first WSOP bracelet, claiming first place in $3K World Championship Seven Card Stud Hi-Low split-8 or Better for $198K. He made another final table at the 2008 WSOP, finishing fifth in the $10K Mixed Event for $108K. All told, he has over $2 million in live tournament earnings.
Currently, Eli Elezra spends as much time at the tables as he can, but the game does not take priority. He owns and operates over 20 businesses in the Las Vegas area, including the popular night club Seven. Most importantly, he is devoted to his wife, Hila, and their five children: Jonathan, Guy, Sean, Ryan and Maya.