This week’s classic Poker After Dark hand features Phil ‘The Poker Brat’ Hellmuth as well as an old favorite player who has been both in the limelight and in the shadows during his career, Eli Elezra.


Eli Elezra, a former Israeli army commando and Las Vegas businessman, is a fascinating character. He’s exactly what a cash game grinder cliché might look like, yet at the same time could be completely the opposite at the same time. Like a few other poker players, he falls between two stalls.

It’s as if Elezra Elezra was born in the infancy of the Swinging Sixties, turning two when The Beatles released their first number one hit record. But he’s only 58 years old. He would have been a mere ten years old when the World Series was formed, yet he’s won three bracelets, albeit never having won any wrist-based jewelry in No Limit Hold’em.

Watch the full episode from which the clip above originates on PokerGO right now. Every throwback show from Poker After Dark includes a lengthy recap video in which the pros themselves analyze the hands they played. 


Elezra is nicknamed ‘Mr. Vegas’, and has played in Sin City often, taking part in many of our recent televised cash games. Before that, he was part of The Big Game, High Stakes Poker and, you guessed it, Poker After Dark. In fact, he featured in six out of the seven seasons, only missing the final outing for the show.

With all his credits mentioned, Elezra opted to promote his magnum opus on 2+2, kicking off a massive discussion about owing people money and how many high stakes players take to the felt with borrowed money. According to Elezra, quite a few of them.


One question that springs to mind when anyone brings out a poker book is the eternal question of why. Presuming it’s not all for the love of money – books are not a great way of getting rich overnight – the upside of giving away any tactical nous you have accrued about the game of poker might be right up with the riskiest plays you can ever make in the game.

When Doyle Brunson’s Super system 1 & 2 came out, players took to it, dissected it and used the brilliant methods therein to create their own playbook based on the musings of the mercurial Doyle Brunson. The former basketball player-turned-poker legend was a two-time world champion and could reinvent his game to anticipate the moves his opponents would make base on his style of play, turnover play if you like. But is every one that flexible?


It’s not just in this Poker After Dark hand that Eli Elezra and Phil Hellmuth caught up, with the latter helping the former out with a little promotion of his book back in January while sharing the felt in the Bahamas.

Elezra’s no holds barred story promises to lift the lid on the Full Tilt years as well as decades of games at the felt in some of the most dramatic cash games hands ever seen. Will he be able to reinvent himself once people know what he’s up to, or will he be too set in his ways to change?

If Eli Elezra is able to outlive the musings he has made in print, maybe he’ll get some revenge on the mercurial Hellmuth for this Poker After Dark hand. You can find out by watching Elezra take on the best in the business in the recent episodes of Poker After Dark and last year’s 888poker Sit n Go title showdown with Maria Ho. Subscribe today and you’ll have access to PokerGO’s exclusive on-demand catalog of poker content.

Phil Hellmuth, Eli Elezra, The Vault, throwback hands