Seven-Card Stud High-Low (Eight-or-Better)
Number of Entries: 236
Total Prize Money: $651,360
Date of Tournament: June 14-16, 2007
WSOP GOLD BRACELET WINNER
EVENT # 24 – ELI ELEZRA
The winner of the Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split World Championship was Eli Elezra. He is a 46-year-old poker player and investor from Henderson, NV. Elezra holds duel-citizenship and also has connections to his native Israel. Elezra was born in Jerusalem. He once served as a commando in the Israeli Army.
Towards the end of the tournament, the heads-up match between Elezra and Scotty Nguyen was a poker entertainment at its very finest. The players started drinking beer together at the table and bantered constantly. The jovial nature of the proceedings masked what was a phenomenal heads-up confrontation. Elezra started off the duel with a 2 to 1 chip lead. But Nguyen reversed the lead over the next half hour and appeared primed to deliver a final knock-out punch. Elezra clawed back to even and then went on to win the tournament. His winning hand was an ace-high straight. Play at the final table lasted about five hours, during which 177 hands were played.
Elezra complimented Nguyen afterward, saying the former world champion was the one person he did not want to play against heads-up. “He is such a great player,” Elezra said. “To win this is amazing. But to win against a player like Scotty – that makes it all the more meaningful to me.”
Elezra’s victory was a real crowd pleaser. He’s been a regular WSOP attendee since 1999, yet had not won a gold bracelet until now. Elezra received a standing ovation from players when he was announced as the winner inside the expansive WSOP tournament room. First place paid $198,984. This was Elezra’s first WSOP gold bracelet after 11 in-the-money finishes. His previous best finish was sixth place. Elezra has won other majors, but this was the victory that mattered most.
Elezra is known to gamble big. Following his victory, he revealed that he made a huge side bet with another poker player prior to the start of the World Series, getting 10 to 1 on his money that he would win a gold bracelet this year. Elezra posted $25,000 and promptly collected $250,000 for his win. Confident of victory, he also made several assorted side bets with other players prior to the start of the final table, which boosted his total cash prize win to over half-a-million dollars.