Poker Hall of Famer Eli Elezra earned his fifth World Series of Poker bracelet early Saturday morning when he took down Event #63: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship for $611,362. Elezra defeated Chino Rheem during heads-up play to deny Rheem his first bracelet.
Elezra, who was made famous by his appearances on productions like High Stakes Poker and who just last year was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame, dominated a final table that included defending champion Josh Arieh (7th - $83,920), Ken Aldridge (5th - $146,242) and Robert Cowen (3rd - $271,219).
The PLO Hi-Lo Championship attracted a record 284 entrants and generated $2.6 million in prize money. Some of the players who made deep runs in the event include Phil Ivey (37th - $16,171), Daniel Zack (23rd - $20,214) and Joao Vieira (17th - $23,521).
Event #63: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship Final Table Results
|PLACE||PLAYER||COUNTRY||PRIZE (IN USD)|
|2||Chino Rheem||United States||$377,855|
|3||Robert Cowen||United Kingdom||$271,219|
|4||Damjan Radanov||United States||$197,637|
|5||Ken Aldridge||United States||$146,242|
|6||Filippos Stavrakis||United States||$109,910|
|7||Josh Arieh||United States||$83,920|
|8||Charles Coultas||United States||$65,113|
|9||Seungjin Lee||South Korea||$51,353|
Winning for His Dad
Winning the fifth bracelet was a particularly special moment for Elezra, whose father, Michel, recently passed away in Israel.
“You saw I was very emotional there because my dad died 18 days ago," Elezra told PokerNews after the victory. "And I wanted to win for him. And I did it."
Elezra further dedicated the bracelet win to his wife, Hila Elezra, who cheered for her husband from the rail on what happened to be the couple's 31st anniversary.
At 62, the Poker Hall of Famer said he had no plans of stopping.
“I love the competition, I love the adrenaline," said Elezra. "I know most of the players, I would say 90% of them I play with. I play 5-6 days a week in cash games. And I just keep competing."
Elezra, whose last bracelet was earned in a $1,500 Seven Card Stud event at the 2019 WSOP, also noted that he hasn't played a full WSOP schedule and “didn’t play half of the tournaments I wanted to play."
"So this is my fourth $10k instead of like my 11th, and I’m so happy I can show them this Hall of Famer’s still got it!” he said.
Final Table Action
One of the first to go at the final table was Arieh, who was looking to defend his title after winning the event in 2021. The 2021 Player of the Year fell in seventh when he was all in and couldn't improve against the top pair of Elezra.
Aldridge was short-stacked throughout final table play but managed to hang on and ladder to a fifth-place finish when his aces were cracked by the two pair of Rheem.
Two-time bracelet winner Cowen bowed out in third when his nut flush draw couldn't hit against the flopped set of Rheem, who entered heads-up play nearly even with Elezra.
The duo exchanged chip leads a few times before Elezra doubled through Rheem to take a big lead. In the final hand, Rheem moved all in after flopping top pair only to be out-kicked by Elezra, who maintained the best hand to secure his fifth bracelet and deny Rheem his first.
The two poker stars had engaged in playful banter throughout the day and shared a hug after it was all over. Rheem took the loss with a smile and even joined in for a winner's photo.
Elezra, whose other bracelets have come in Seven Card Stud and 2-7 Triple Draw events, noted that mixed games are his "speciality" and that he will "play any one (of them).”
“I know I am a dog in No-limit Hold’em," he said. "I’m not as good in regular PLO, but I love mixed games. And I keep telling everybody when you love a game, the game loves you back."
That wraps up PokerNews' coverage of Event #63: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship. Be sure to check out the WSOP hub for coverage of other bracelet events.