Eli Elezra is a high-stakes poker legend from Israel. He is also the most recent member of the Poker Hall of Fame. Elezra has joined such players like Stu Ungar, Daniel Negreanu, and Doyle Brunson. This news was announced by the World Series of Poker just before the start of Day 2 of the final table of the Main Event this Wednesday.
Last month, the World Series of Poker has invited poker fans all around the globe to nominate eligible candidates for the 2021 Hall of Fame member. In the end, the following poker players were nominated: Mike Matusow, Michael Mizrachi, Layne Flack, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Antonia Esfandiari, Chris Ferguson, Ted Forrest, and Eli Elezra. After the fan nominations were over, the current members of the Poker Hall of Fame were asked to make their votes based on the fan selection. Once all of the votes were collected and counted, Eli Elezra turned out to be on top of the list. Other players will have to wait until next year to try and join the Poker Hall of Fame again.
Eli Elezra was very grateful that he was chosen to join the Poker Hall of Fame after all these years. Here is what he had to say:
“Amazing, amazing, thank you. For me to be alongside Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, and (Barry Greenstein), and even (Jack McClelland) and (Mori Eskandani), all those people…I finally made it.”
Eli Elezra’s Career
Before Elezra was able to become a professional poker player, he has served in the Israeli Army. Elezra was discharged after an injury during the 1982 Lebanon War. After that, he moved to the US, where he started his poker career.
Eli Elezra is a well-recognized poker player with many winnings to his name. Elezra is a four-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner with over $4.6 million in live tournament earnings. His most recent WSOP bracelet came from the 2019 WSOP Event #20:$1,500 Seven Card Stud. Elezra has also participated in the 2021 WSOP where he was able to cash in seven different events and reach three final tables.
Even though Eli Elezra is known for his live tournament achievements, that isn’t where he excels the most. The former Full Tilt Poker pro is an excellent and well-respected high-stakes cash game player. The 60-year-old Las Vegas resident has competed in the largest Las Vegas games for the last 20 years.
Because of these accolades, Elezra has also appeared on several popular TV cash game shows such as Poker After Dark and High Stakes Poker during the poker boom era.
If you are interested in Eli Elezra’s life, you can also read his autobiography titled “Pulling the Trigger”. In this book, you will follow Elezra’s story from his childhood in a rough Jerusalem neighborhood to gutting salmon on an assembly line in Alaska, to becoming a regular high stakes poker player in Las Vegas.
Future Poker Hall of Fame Nominees
The World Series of Poker will once again elect a new member as part of the 2022 Poker Hall of Fame class next summer. It is quite hard to tell right now who it will be, but there are certain poker players that came up short this year and will have another shot at this next year. Of course, we assume that the WSOP continues with the same format for inducting a new member, where nominated players will have to go through a round of fan voting before they can advance to the final stage where current Poker Hall of Fame members do the voting.
In 2020, the WSOP has made a decision to cut the annual Poker Hall of Fame selections in half and induct only one member. Anthony Zinno is one of the most perspective Poker Hall of Fame members in the future. He has also just turned 40, which is a minimum age required to enter the Poker Hall of Fame. Brian Rast, who has won his fifth WSOP bracelet last month also hopes to become the 2022 Poker Hall of Fame member. He believes that he’s the most deserving eligible candidate in that class.
Current State of the WSOP Poker Hall of Fame
Currently, there are exactly 60 members of the Poker Hall of Fame with Huck Seed, the 1996 world champion, being the 2020 addition to the Hall of Fame. There are certain criteria that poker players need to meet in order to be considered into the Poker Hall of Fame. For example, a player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition. The player also had to play for high stakes and be a minimum of 40 years old at the time of their nomination. Of course, the nominee needs to be a consistent poker player with quite a lot of respect from their peers. The player was also able to stand the test of time or contribute to the overall growth and success of poker in the world with long-lasting results.
Here is the list of the current members of the Poker Hall of Fame: