We are so joyful to be celebrating the extended-awaited publication of the English-language version of Eli Elezra’s autobiography. The guide, entitled Pulling the Set off, was initially prepared by by Matan Krakow and Yoav Ronel and published in Hebrew in March 2017. I experienced the honor of translating the manuscript into English, and we all labored together with Mason Malmuth to have it published by Two In addition Two Publishing.
Back in October, Eli paid a go to to Israel and I experienced the satisfaction of meeting with and interviewing him in Jerusalem, exactly where he was born and elevated. I hope you delight in seeing the online video a transcript is also involved beneath.
Acquire “Pulling the Set off: The Autobiography of Poker Professional Eli Elezra” on Amazon
Hey most people, Robbie Strazynski right here in Israel, with Eli Elezra. We’re in Yerushalayim. Hello, Eli. How are you?
That is superior. Israel’s national poker hero, Eli Elezra. First, I see you typically, and I have to talk to you: You are constantly carrying Michael Jordan gear. What is it about Michael Jordan? How did you get into basketball in the to start with put? Why him?
First of all, he’s my idol. I like Michael Jordan. But I don’t forget, I would say 15 many years in the past when he was on the prime and he won all these rings, he arrived up with Nike and his line of outfits, and I was excess fat. So my spouse, she bought me all this Michael Jordan clothes and they coated almost everything, so since then it’s become one particular of my most at ease shirts.
Nicely, that is the basketball stuff. But you have been dwelling in Vegas for many years and now all of a unexpected, in excess of the previous year or two, you have gotten into hockey. The Golden Knights are in Vegas. Convey to me, what does an Israeli know from hockey? Convey to me.
I inform you what, it’s unbelievable. I never ever essentially went to a hockey game until eventually the Knights arrived to Vegas. And the ambiance — I went to one particular game, and it was the most unbelievable — I took my kids with me, and we relished it so substantially, so I start asking about the guidelines. Ahead of I made use of to guess right here and there, one particular game. But I comprehended all the time, Canadian, and persons in the North, that is the persons that go to hockey games. And then when they arrived to Vegas, what they did in Vegas, it was most unbelievable, so we all like it now.
So you acquired definitely into the staff.
How typically do you go to the games?
Now and then. I think I’ll go at the very least ten occasions for the duration of the period, and possibly about three or four occasions for the duration of the playoffs.
For the reason that of program they are likely to make the playoffs…
Hopefully they’ll go to the playoffs one particular far more time.
Incredibly cool. Wonderful. Nicely, hockey is awesome, basketball is awesome, but we’re also right here specially in Jerusalem to talk about Eli’s guide, the autobiography. It’s essentially October 2018 ideal now, but we did a little something very cool. This is Eli’s guide, the Hebrew guide, Agadat Poker. It’s been translated into English, and it’ll be referred to as Pulling the Set off: The Autobiography of Eli Elezra, and it’s slated to be published in January 2019. That is a serious major second.
Let’s start from the beginning, nevertheless. From Israel, you started likely out and viewing the environment. You started speaking about your many years in Alaska, in the guide, ideal? You put in a even though there, it was about four or 5 many years on the fishing traces, in the cannery, doing the job there. Are you even now in contact with any one back from these days in the mid-’80s, and do persons there know that you have become Eli Elezra, the profitable businessman and poker player?
Truly, I would say the only one particular I’m in contact with is Jonathan’s mother, which is, my boy, he’s from Alaska, from Kotzebue. And I’ll start by telling you that the purpose I went to Alaska, is in my unit in the military in Golani Brigade, one particular of my officers reported “Oh, you can make a ton of money in the fish small business in Alaska.” And it was amazing, he was 100% accurate. I went in excess of there, and I manufactured a ton of money, “back then,” you know. That manufactured me enough, gave me enough time to go and journey off in the Far East. And then, following I concluded all my money in the Far East, alternatively of coming back to Israel, I went back to Alaska, and the 2nd time I stayed there for an extra three many years. Overall, Alaska was amazing we did a ton of fishing and looking.
And there are plenty far more tales in the guide about that as effectively. In the guide, you point out Jonathan, and I’ve fulfilled your spouse Hila, you talk a ton about getting a loved ones guy. And of program, you have a ton of loved ones with you in Las Vegas, but you do come back right here to Israel fairly typically. Do you have loved ones who even now life right here, good friends, that form of thing?
Sure, unquestionably. First of all, Jerusalem will constantly continue to be my city. I was born in excess of right here, and I like Israel and I like almost everything, you know, the Israeli persons. And I’m an American, and at the similar time I’m an Israeli. And every single family vacation, every single, I would say sometimes two times a year, I come in excess of right here. Sure, I even now have loved ones users, you know, uncles and aunts. My dad life right here he comes a ton of time to Vegas, like three occasions a year. But for me, Israel will constantly be on the map and I will constantly come and go to.
Sure. Nicely, Israelis are identified to like to journey the environment, wherever you go in the environment, you will obtain anyone from Israel, and you talked about your backpacking days traveling in all places following your assistance in the IDF. How about in your far more grownup daily life? Where by have you been in the environment that is just, like, your favorite put, and is there anyplace that you have not yet traveled that possibly is on your bucket record to even now go?
I inform you what. Ahead of the military days, or for the duration of the military days, I never ever in my daily life imagined that poker, and poker only, would deliver me to see the environment. And I went nearly to every single spot in Europe that experienced poker, and then we went to… I necessarily mean, for me the most favorite areas would be Melbourne, Australia, and New Zealand. I went in excess of there for the duration of my Complete Tilt days, and I put in about 5 weeks, and it’s amazing, it’s definitely amazing. And I believe that if it’s not for poker, I wouldn’t see possibly fifty nations that I’ve viewed. And I traveled and played and relished the nations.
When you go and you do all that participating in of poker, do you essentially go and see the city and do sightseeing and see the landmarks and all that?
Sure, as you know, not all of us make it deep in tournaments. So sometimes, when you start obtaining to a put and it’s a Principal Celebration, commonly you acquire five-7 days. So if you get knocked out in the to start with or 2nd working day, you go and see the city. And these are the occasions that I go and explore a ton of towns and a ton of areas that I never ever believed I would be able to see.
Nicely, you know, daily life is superior now. We’re in a lovely resort in Jerusalem, a lovely look at of the old city. You are speaking about all of your days traveling the environment. Moments weren’t constantly so superior. It was not constantly so quick for you, you know, back in Alaska exactly where you were grinding sixteen-hour days in the taxicab or in the cannery, and of program, just before, right here in Israel. It was not an quick daily life. You grew up in a compact minimal neighborhood, Baka. Do you ever believe about these occasions any longer? Or possibly at the tables, when you are in a definitely pressured predicament, like, “oh, I can cope with everything, I was in the military.” How typically do you believe of your previous, or are you form of like, that is in the previous and now I’m shifting forward?
I necessarily mean, I believe that every single man or woman, almost everything in your daily life has the electrical power to make you a better man or woman you constantly have to don’t forget exactly where you arrived from. I arrived from possibly a compact neighborhood in Jerusalem, referred to as Baka, but at the similar time, I like that I experienced my domestic, it tends to make me so potent and, you know, with a superior loved ones. Jointly with that and then likely into the military days, I reported to most people, “you know, you have to be in the Israeli military and go to Alaska to be so potent.” I don’t forget days that you know, like what you reported. Throughout the military, it was so challenging, you know. And I served four many years as a lieutenant.
In the Golani brigade.
It manufactured me. And it assisted me, it surely assisted me for the duration of the poker days when I played poker. Of program I don’t forget. I constantly don’t forget exactly where I arrived from, and I think some of these traits that I acquired in poker, I acquired from these old days.
Confident. And you know, when you talk about, the Golani brigade. For these not acquainted, that is the equal of form of the American Eco-friendly Berets. This is anyone who has definitely not just served his time, but in huge operations in Lebanon for the duration of wars and stuff. He’s been by way of a ton far more than experiencing an all-in shove at the stop of a degree near the bubble or a little something. So yeah, anyone who’s definitely confronted some adversity.
I guess we should talk to a handful of poker issues it is a guide about your poker daily life as effectively. When the thought of large-stakes poker was forming, anyone is familiar with that Mori Eskandani, the renowned poker producer, he arrived up with this thought. And you talk a minimal little bit in the guide about how he arrived into Bobby’s Space and just started speaking to you guys. Can you form of like, paint the photograph? What was it like? Was it like a, “we’re all meeting at 8 o’clock,” or was it form of exactly where he form of strolled in in the center of a hand? What was that period of time of time essentially like?
He essentially walked in I don’t forget it like yesterday. He walked in, and we were participating in — me and Doyle and Chip and Gus Hansen, and I think Phil Ivey and Barry Greenstein. And he reported, “Guys, I want to set this game that you have right here, as is, into a Television poker game, and a Television collection.” So I don’t forget Chip started asking some issues. He reported, “You are likely to enable us talk the way we want, we can do regardless of what we want?” He reported “yes.” And I never know if you guys don’t forget, at the beginning, the to start with period and 2nd period, we even played props. Famous props, and then…
“I see it, I see it.” I don’t forget.
And then, following the 2nd period, Mori arrived and reported, “Guys, you know, the mother and pop out there cannot definitely recognize when you say “I see it” and then you start composing things down.
So the only thing we improved essentially was that we took the props out to be able to alter far more. I never ever in my wildest goals didn’t think that this was likely to make these an amazing collection, that I would be so renowned for the duration of this time, that it was profitable, and you know what? I did superior executing these seasons. I manufactured money, and I believe ideal following the Moneymaker win, it all of a unexpected manufactured most people believe they could be a superior poker player and that most people can perform, and it does not subject that we perform so large in excess of there, now anyone can perform even in compact games.
Confident. And it’s not just from back then when Eli was on Television, you have been in a pair episodes of PokerGO’s new Poker Following Dark collection. Do you delight in getting on tv?
Sure, I necessarily mean, I believe I am a talker, you know, vs . other persons. Mori did not want to get these persons with the sun shades and hoodies and never say practically nothing. Mori was hoping to enable most people know that poker is enjoyment, also. And I believe that, I think I do it and I believe that some of the guys coming in, they make it. Even Phil Hellmuth, who comes in and generating so numerous, you know, falling off the chair and executing, you know. This is superior for poker! And I just, I think that now, with the new PokerGO likely, it’s likely to be even better, you know?
Confident. You’ve pointed out a ton of names there, Phil Ivey, Barry Greenstein, Gus Hansen, Chip Reese. That reminds me of a time, and yet again, you talked about it in the guide, Pulling the Set off, gotta get it now. The Company. This is a quantity of the major large-stakes execs who combined their bankrolls, they pooled them to facial area off in opposition to the banker Andy Beal of Beal Lender. You point out that you were the captain of the staff for a selected time, but you never ever essentially played in opposition to Andy. Why did you opt for to set other players in and not by yourself facial area off? Or possibly you have regrets, possibly you would have like to acquire him on a minimal heads-up?
No, essentially no, I never ever. I was never ever a superior limit hold’em player. And Andy, essentially, when he arrived he was very amazing. He arrived and he reported, “I can beat the finest in the environment.” And I was captain for only one particular session, you know we experienced I would say with him about 15 sessions. I was companion only fifty percent of the sessions. I manufactured money, but Andy, I understood ideal away that I will not be able to beat him, due to the fact I didn’t perform a ton of hands.
For the reason that it was only limit Hold’em, that you played.
Yeah, limit Hold’em. And for the duration of the time that I was captain, it was me and David Grey, we went in excess of. He wished to perform at Wynn, due to the fact he figured that in Bellagio he could not make money. And essentially, in Wynn it was funny he beat us for $ten million and then we arrived back and Phil Ivey arrived and definitely acquired him fairly superior. Phil Ivey took him for $37 million, so we were profiting $27 million or regardless of what. It was fairly amazing.
That is a ton of shekels.
And I never believe we’ll ever, ever see these type of things yet again.
A distinctive time in poker historical past. Eli, why was it critical for you to inform your daily life tale in this guide. You know, you are even now very youthful, only in your fifties even now, you have a ton of daily life forward of you. What manufactured you sense it’s time to write a guide?
I inform you what, it was Matan’s thought, Matan Krakow. He wrote the guide with me, and he arrived and he reported, “why never we do it? You are the only Israeli guy who can inform the tales about the serious major large-stakes poker games.” And I don’t forget when he fulfilled me, and he wrote it in his preface, and he explained to me “I believe we can write a very superior guide.” I never ever believed I would want to write a guide like Doyle Brunson, you know, the Tremendous Technique.
Not a method guide.
Not a method guide. I just wished to inform a little bit about my daily life, and better yet, he’s the one particular that arrived up with the identify. And by the way, “pulling the trigger” was Mike Sexton, ideal when I won my WPT, in a very major second that Lee moved me all in with 4s5s — I have ace-queen — I don’t forget Mike reported “Will Eli Elezra pull the bring about? Will he do it?” So Matan arrived up with Pulling the Set off, I referred to as and I won the million bucks back then. But I’m essentially very joyful that in Israel the guide was very profitable, and now we’re translating to English due to the fact Doyle arrived to me a handful of occasions and reported “I want to study your guide!” So all my good friends, a ton of English speakers will delight in it too, I think.
What was the opinions that you acquired? I don’t forget getting at the start of the Hebrew guide, it was about a year and a fifty percent in the past. What has the opinions been that you have gotten from good friends and other persons who’ve study it?
A ton of persons reported, “We never ever realized that you fought in the Lebanon War, we never ever realized that you grew up in Baka, we never ever realized what you did in Alaska, it’s so amazing.” And then, I think, I would say that we have about 70% about my daily life, and thirty% about poker. And even my poker, for me, it was the highlight, you know: to win a million bucks, to win my three bracelets, and to inform all the tales about meeting all the amazing persons, poker players I played with. And I just, I think that most people that will study it will delight in it due to the fact it’s a little something distinctive, it’s distinctive than any other poker guide that you have study out there.
Confident. And you started the course of action of composing the Hebrew guide numerous many years in the past, I guess 2011 or ’12. We’re in 2018, nearly 2019 it’s been a extended highway, a extended time. You have not been the one particular sitting down and composing always, but you know, it’s your tale you have been included the complete way. What does it sense like following this numerous many years to ultimately have the English guide out?
Nicely, I inform you what, it’s two causes. First of all, due to the fact I’m very lazy, it took 6 many years. And 2nd, I like participating in poker. So there was some eras exactly where I journey all in excess of and there, as I reported, I perform a event, and so substantially funds game, and I preserve pushing it to the side. And ultimately, with the persons like Matan and by yourself, we relished it and I can definitely go forward and ultimately set a V on it and say, “OK, ultimately, my guide is out.”
Nicely, thank you. And he reported, myself, I translated the guide, essentially, from Hebrew into English. It’s been a serious honor, and an outstanding journey just as the translator of the guide to hear the tales firsthand and to meet up with, wow, it’s not just Eli from Television, wow, it’s anyone who definitely did all these amazing things. So that is been my minimal perspective. If your tale, and sometime, you never ever know, you have viewed Molly’s Activity, Molly Bloom’s tale acquired manufactured into a movie. Possibly sometime Pulling the Set off, the Eli Elezra tale, could possibly get manufactured into a movie. If that would materialize, who would you want to perform you as an actor?
Oh, wow. Attention-grabbing dilemma.
You gotta come ready.
I would say Matt Damon. He’s the one particular, he’s the one particular. He can be in the war, he can be fishing in Alaska, and he’s a heck of an actor.
You believe he can pull off the Israeli accent? A minimal?
It’s a minimal like it.
We’ll educate you, Matt. We’ll educate you. Anyway, so, yeah, that is it. This is Eli Elezra yet again. This is the Hebrew guide, Agadat Poker, but by the time this airs, the English guide, Pulling the Set off: The Autobiography of Eli Elezra, will be out there. Here’s your prospect. Understand the tale firsthand, and I’m positive if you see Eli in Las Vegas, he’ll be joyful to indicator it for you.
I would like to do it, and I would like you to study it and delight in it.
This is Robbie Strazynski, I’ve been right here for Cardplayer Lifestyle. Once more, Eli Elezra, from Jerusalem. Thank you so substantially for joining us.
The write-up Interview with Eli Elezra appeared to start with on Cardplayer Lifestyle Poker Blog.