Eli Elezra Defeats Steve Zolotow to Grab U.S. Poker Open 8-Game Win

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Eli Elezra won the U.S. Poker Open $10,000 8-Game title on Wednesday night (PokerGO photo)

The average age of the players at most of the high roller final tables played inside the PokerGO studio at the Aria in Las Vegas is probably somewhere around 30 years old. On Wednesday night, the final table of U.S. Poker Open Event #6 ($10,000 8 Game) didn’t have a single player under the age of 36.

And in the end, it was the second-oldest player at the final table, 60-year-old Eli Elezra, defeating the oldest player at the final table, 76-year-old Steve Zolotow, to take home the title and the $183,600 first place prize.

The final seven also included Daniel Negreanu, David Baker, and former online poker legend Erik Sagstrom. Baker and Nick Guagenti were eliminated before the five-handed final table began.

Negreanu limped from UTG with AcKd9c3h and action folded around to Erik Sagstrom in the big blind. The Swedish pro checked his option with QcQd4d4s. After the Jh9d3d flop, Sagstrom led out for 175,000 and Negreanu responded by raising to 300,000 and Sagstrom called all in. Neither the 2c turn nor the Th river were able to save Sagstrom from elimination and he was out in fifth place.

Just 50 minutes later, Negreanu got to play the role of executioner once again. Negreanu opened to 120,000 with AhJh before Richard Sklar moved all in from the big blind for 345,000 with 8c8s. Negreanu called and then moved ahead on the Jc7h5s flop. The turn was the 7c and the river was the 3s to send Sklar out in fourth.

Zolotow folded his button and Elezra raised to 240,000 with KdQcJh9s and Negreanu defended his big blind with Ac7s5d5s, leaving himself just 425,000 behind. The flop came 8d3c3h and Elezra bet exactly 425,000 to put Negreanu to a decision. Negreanu used one time bank card before eventually calling. Despite was a 3-2 favorite after the flop, but Elezra picked up two extra outs after the 7d fell on the turn. Negreanu couldn’t fade all 16 outs as the Qs completed the board to give Elezra a better two pair and end Negrenau’s run in third place.

Heads up play began with Zolotow holding 4,795,000 chips to Elezra’s 3,700,000. Over the next 60 minutes, Elezra flipped those counts and eventually had Zolotow facing a 9.5-1 chip deficit before a Seven Card Stud 8 or Better hand become the final one of the tournament. With 540,000 already in the pot, Zolotow checked with Kh5sTc5d and then called after Elezra bet 120,000 holding Ad7d3h2d. Zolotow was dealt the 4c and Elezra added the Qs to his hand. Elezra checked, Zolotow bet 240,000 of his remaining 435,000, and then called off the rest of it when Elezra raised to 480,000. Zolotow’s sixth card was the 8d while Elezra improved to a pair of sevens with the 7s. Zolotow failed to re-take the lead with the Jc and Elezra’s meaningless seventh street card was the 9s.

The win was the first for Elezra since June 2019 when he won his fourth career World Series of Poker bracelet after beating 284 other entrants in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event. Zolotow meanwhile has made three final tables at the 2021 U.S. Poker Open, finishing fifth in Event #1 ($10,000 NLHE), fourth in Event #3 ($10,000 NLHE), along with his second place finish Wednesday. He sits second behind Joe McKeehen on the U.S. Poker Open leaderbaord with six more events to go.

U.S. Poker Open Event #6 Final Table Payouts

  1. Eli Elezra – $183,600
  2. Steve Zolotow – $136,000
  3. Daniel Negreanu – $88,400
  4. Richard Sklar – $68,000
  5. Erik Sagstrom – $54,400
  6. Nick Guagenti – $40,800
  7. David Baker – $34,000

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