Poker’s most exclusive club has a new member. Israeli poker pro and businessman Eli Elezra has recently been inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame (PHoF), becoming the 60th member of the coveted PHoF.
Elezra was announced as the newest inductee to the club on November 17, during the final table of the 2021 WSOP Main Event. He was picked by the majority of the 32 living members of the Hall of Fame.
Also nominated this year were tournament director Matt Savage and PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg, as well as accomplished poker pros Antonio Esfandiari, Mike Matusow, Chris Ferguson, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Ted Forrest, Michael Mizrachi, and Layne Flack who just passed away this year at 52.
The eight other nominees have another shot to be inducted into the prestigious club next year.
“I finally made it”. This was Elezra’s reaction upon knowing that he’s finally joining the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Chris Moneymaker, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, and Mori Eskandani in the Hall of Fame. The 60-year-old native of Israel said he has enormous love for the game and anyone who knows him and has played with him can attest to that.
Elezra’s Poker Career Highlights
Eli Elezra is among the world’s most successful tournament players, with $4.6 million in live tournament earnings. He has four World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets which he won in 2007, 2013, 2015, and 2019. He is also a World Poker Tour (WPT) champion. The biggest score of his career came in 2014 when he finished as runner-up in the $100K Super High Roller at the Bellagio for $1.6 million.
Elezra is also an accomplished high-stakes cash game player, taking part in the biggest games in Vegas for over 20 years. Because of this, the poker pro has earned the respect of his peers, which is among the main criteria to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Elezra was at one time an ambassador for the controversial Full Tilt Poker site and frequently appeared on classic poker TV shows such as High Stakes Poker on The Game Show Network, and Poker After Dark on NBC.
Elezra’s experience and skills aren’t just limited to poker, as he was also a former member of the Israeli Army and served in one of the force’s Golani Brigades. He sustained a leg injury in the 1982 Lebanon War and was subsequently discharged. Elezra then moved to the US where he began to get involved in numerous business endeavors. To this day, the 60-year-old owns over 20 retail businesses in Las Vegas.
Apart from that, Elezra is also an author. In his autobiography titled “Pulling the Trigger”, Elezra shares his humble beginnings in Israel and his journey to the biggest poker games in Las Vegas.
Strazynski Proud of Elezra’s Latest Achievement
Elezra is good friends with Cardplayer Lifestyle founder Robbie Strazynski. The poker writer and presenter was the translator of Elezra’s autobiography. Upon learning that Elezra was finally inducted into the Hall of Fame, Strazynski couldn’t be prouder, describing his friend as Israel’s national poker hero. He said Elezra has worked so hard to earn that recognition and he deserves it.
Matt Savage, who has been nominated for the Hall of Fame multiple times, also said he’s happy for Eli.
Brian Rast, Anthony Zinno Eligible for 2022 Class
Those nominated this year still have another shot for the 2022 class, but under existing rules, they still need to make it through the fan voting stage. In 2022, another name will likely be added to the list of Poker Hall of Fame nominees. Eligible candidates for next year could include Anthony Zinno and Brian Rast, both of whom just turned 40, which is the minimum age required to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.