Eli Elezra takes down U.S. Poker Open $10,000 8-Game

Geoff Fisk
Published by:
Posted on 06/10/2021

The $169,600 payday is Elezra’s career-high for any mixed-game tournament

Eli Elezra showed that he still has it Wednesday night, and the poker legend put his well-rounded set of poker skills on display at the U.S. Poker Open.

Elezra came away with the win in U.S. Poker Open Event #6: $10,000 8-Game, clinching a $169,600 payday at the PokerGO Studio. The $10,000 8-Game Mix event featured a field of 68 players, most of which came into the tournament with their own legendary resumes in the field of mixed-game poker.

Now 60 years old, Elezra just added another major title to his resume. The four-time WSOP bracelet winner can now claim a U.S. Poker Open title alongside his long list of poker accomplishments.

Elezra outlasted Steve Zolotow (2nd – $150,000) in the heads-up match for the title. The two longtime players agreed to a heads-up deal that saw both players take a $150,000 payout before heads-up play. The deal included an additional $19,600 for the winner, with Elezra clinching that added prize.

U.S. Poker Open Event #6: $10,000 8-Game final table results

PlacePlayer NamePrize
1Eli Elezra$169,600*
2Steve Zolotow$150,000*
3Daniel Negreanu$88,400
4Richard Sklar$68,000
5Erik Sagstrom$54,400
6Nick Guagenti$40,800
7David “ODB” Baker$34,000
8Mike Gorodinsky$27,200
9Mike Wattel$27,200
10Alan Richardson$20,400
*Reflects the terms of a heads-up deal

Where does Wednesday’s win rank among Elezra’s accomplishments?

Elezra’s presence in tournament poker spans multiple eras, with results that go all the way back to 1996 according to the Hendon Mob database. The Israeli-born player struck a ubiquitous figure on the poker television shows of the 2000s, making Elezra one of the icons of the poker boom era.

Some of Elezra’s greatest poker accomplishments, however, have come in recent years. Elezra is always a threat in just about any game variant at each year’s World Series of Poker, including the mixed-game format on display in U.S. Poker Open Event #6.

Wednesday’s victory marks Elezra’s biggest career cash in any mixed-game tournament. His previous best came at the 2008 WSOP $10,000 World Championship 8-Game, with Elezra finishing fifth for $108,288.

The U.S. Poker Open win pushes Elezra’s career live earnings to just under the $4 million mark. His heads-up opponent, Zolotow, made his third final table in the first six events at the 2021 U.S. Poker Open.

The second-place finish puts Zolotow just behind Joe McKeehen in the 2021 U.S. Poker Open Leaderboard standings. Here’s a look at the winner and the runner up from each of the first six events n the series so far:

U.S. Poker Open winners (through six events)

TournamentWinnerRunner-UpFirst-Place Prize
Event #1: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’emJake DanielsDan Shak$218,500
Event #2: $10,000 Pot-Limit OmahaSam SoverelJordan Cristos$175,500
Event #3: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’emJoe McKeehenRay Qartomy$200,200
Event #4: $10,000 Big Bet MixJohn RiordanSean Perry$163,200
Event #5: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’emJoey WeissmanAdam Hendrix$204,400
Event #6: $10,000 8-GameEli ElezraSteve Zolotow$169,600

Six more tournaments remain in the 2021 U.S. Poker Open. Event #7: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em, played down to a final table last night, with the remaining eight players reconvening at the PokerGO Studio today and playing down to a champion.

Andrew Lichtenberger leads the field going into today’s final table. The U.S. Poker Open continues through next week, with the series finale, Event #12: $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em, playing out on June 14-15.

Featured image source: PokerGO