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Eli Elezra Wins His First WSOP Gold Bracelet

Eli Elezra Wins Event #24, $3,000 Seven Card Stud Eight-or-Better


There is a laundry list of great players who have never won a World Series of Poker bracelet, but today you can scratch one star off the list. Eli Elezra outlasted a stellar field of 236 players, who created a prize pool of $651,360. Elezra was arguably one of the greatest players never to win a bracelet until he defeated Scotty Nguyen heads up in a battle that lasted almost two hours. Elezra entered the day as chip leader with $303,000, holding a slight edge against second-place finisher Scotty Nugyen ($255,000). The rest of the field entered as follows: George Hardie ($182,000), David Sklansky ($171,000) Dutch Boyd ($170,000), Thor Hansen ($167,000), John Harkness ($141,000), and Marshall Ragir ($28,000).

Elezra eliminated Boyd in third place to send him into heads-up play with Scotty Nguyen. Boyd got all in with his last $72,000 against Elezra on third street, showing (7-7) Q. Elezra held (K-K) Q and was ready to get his chips into the middle. In the end Boyd's hand came K-Q-7-7-9-4-3, but it was not enough to best Elezra's K-K-Q-8-5-3-X. Boyd was sent home with a $71,650 payday. This solidified Elezra's chip lead heading into heads-up play and the count was $1,099,000 for Elezra and $318,000 for Nguyen.

However, Elezra did not hold the chip lead for long. Nguyen took the momentum from the beginning of the match, and by the end of the first hour he had wrested the chip lead from Elezra. Soon after, Elezra reclaimed the chip lead, but both he and Nguyen had lost an important aspect of their game…sobriety.

Nguyen was double-fisting his favorite brew, and soon enough Elezra had joined in the Dionysian revelry. Their match looked more like a frat party than a world championship poker tournament. It included a spectator coming down from the rail to deliver beer to the table, and Elezra receiving a round of applause after he announced to the crowd he was drunk. Despite these antics, a bracelet was on the line. During the course of two hands Elezra crippled, and then eliminated Nguyen.

On seventh street, Elezra looked down at his cards, screamed, "Yes!" then bet. Nguyen made the call then mucked a pair of sixes when Elezra showed 7-7-2-2. That left Nguyen with just $20,000. He put them all in the middle on the next hand when he was dealt (7-7) A and Elezra called with (K-Q) 10. They both stood and toasted each other as the cards were dealt. Nguyen ended up with (7-7) A-Q-10-2 for a pair of sevens. He was ahead when Elezra's first six cards came (K-Q) J-10-7-3. Elezra jumped on the table in celebration when he turned over an ace, which gave him the nut straight and the tournament. Elezra's win earned him $198,984 and his first WSOP gold bracelet. Interestingly, rumor has it that this victory also won him another half million in side action. Either way he should be able to afford the one thing he will need tomorrow morning: Ibuprofen.



over 14 years ago

WHAT!!!!!!!!! he doesnt have a bracelet in Props?


over 14 years ago

Elezra, the John Daly of poker?