Epic Book Promo Fail: Poker Pro Eli Elezra Accused of Owing Significant Debts

Written by:
Nagesh Rath
Published on:
  • A self-promotional effort went terribly wrong

  • Poker pro Cole South alleges Elezra owes him a signficant amount of money and has been nonresponsive over the years

  • Claims "I always pay my debts" and says he is owed millions


The poker playing community has lashed out at pro Eli Elezra, essentially calling him a deadbeat.

Elezra made an appearance on the popular TwoPlusTwo posting forum in an effort to help promote his autobiography.  The title of the thread: "Ask Me Anything", a dare he would soon come to regret. 

Hello Two Plus Two:  To help promote my autobiography Pulling the Trigger, I'm here to answer any questions that anyone may have. So ask away. -Eli

What was at the time a live thread begins harmlessly enough with a question and the site moderator welcoming him on board.  It all went downhill from there as the subject of debt begins to come up rather inconspicuously.

Then this dropped, courtesy of Cole South:

I really don't like to get involved in public drama, but I can't stay on the sidelines when I see something like this.

Eli borrowed $100k from me during a cash game in Bobby's Room on July 15th 2010, toward the end of a long summer where we played a ton against each other and generally got along very well. At the end of the session, one of the most seasoned high stakes Vegas regs pulled me aside and warned me what I did wasn't a good idea, and not to do it again.

We didn't cross paths my final few days in Vegas that summer. Over the course of the next year, he was responsive and widdled down the debt from $100k to $40k (a few grand at a time, via Full Tilt transfer), which he still owes me. By summer 2011, he had stopped making payments but was still responsive with plenty of reasons why he couldn't.

Since then, he's been basically nonresponsive. I've sent him messages every now and then when he's hit a big tournament score and he's ignored them. The only time I got a response was when we were both in Vegas playing the same tournament, and he asked me not to make a public scene about it. I still have screen shots of texts and other evidence, but would like to give him a chance to respond before sharing more.

Elezra responded:

“Poker players always lending each other money. I always pay my debts”.

Elezra then began to play the victim.

“Almost $2 million is owed to me by poker players to whom I have lent money over the years, but I have never gone public with their names," he claimed.  “When a poker player decides to lend another poker player money, they do so with the inherent risk that it might not be paid back”.

In regard to Cole South specifically, Elezra said:

“I don’t ignore text messages and haven’t seen him or gotten a message from him [Cole South] in years”.

Elezra adds:

“The deals and arrangements they (poker pros) make in this regard have always been private and I believe they will always remain private. It’s nobody else’s business anyhow”.

Needless-to-say, his response to this matter didn't exactly go over well on the forums.

A member of the forum writes:

I think Eli was probably thinking , ppl all love me , think I’m interesting I’ll sell 100k copies and can get back in the big games , maybe go to Macau,

The last thing he thought ( very stupid of him ) was that people would come out and say he owes them money , bc apparently he told everyone if anyone outs him none will get paid , but after 9 years and being ignored cole decided to end this charade.

- Nagesh Rath, Gambling911.com

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