Erik Seidel is one of the winningest and best known players in poker history. He is the remaining member of poker's old generation, but is still able to compete in the modern field collecting poker's major titles and trophies.
Erik Seidel is one of the most recognized faces in poker. With more than $20 million in career winnings, eight World Series of Poker bracelets and one World Poker Tour title, numerous money finishes in all of the world's major poker tournaments and a place in the Poker Hall of Fame, Seidel is nothing but poker's living legend.
Born in New York City in 1959, Erik Seidel always had a gifted mind for games of all kinds. He took up backgammon while in college and soon dropped out to pursue a professional career playing the game. New York’s famous Mayfair Club was like a second home to Seidel. There he was able to hone his skills against some of the best players around.
Seidel traveled around playing backgammon tournaments for about eight years before making some forays into the stock market. With more and more people indulging in poker at the Mayfair Club, Seidel decided to give it a shot. Poker wasn’t his only source of income though, as Seidel took up a regular job as a stockbroker with much more of a secure income. The security of a regular paycheck went out the window though in 1987 when the stock market crashed and Seidel lost his job. Luckily, he still had poker.
World Series of Poker
The Mayfair Club was growing with players and Seidel soon became one of the best of them, along with the likes of Howard Lederer and Dan Harrington. It was around this time that Seidel took a shot in Vegas at the 1988 World Series where he ended up placing second in the Main Event to the world renowned Johnny Chan. A few years later in 1991, Seidel would return to place second in another WSOP event. It would only take one more year for his wrist to be wrapped in WSOP gold.
In 1992, Seidel captured his first bracelet followed by a second bracelet in 1993. Another year later saw Erik walk away from the WSOP with another bracelet. The 1998 was another good year at the Series for Seidel. He was able to cash four times and win his fourth bracelet. One more year later, Erik made a run at the WSOP Main Event again, this time placing fourth for almost $280,000.
Taking the next logical step, Seidel moved out to Vegas with his wife and from there the winnings just seemed to pile up. The years 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2007 all saw Seidel walk away from WSOP with more gold wrapped around his wrist to give him a total of eight bracelets.
Erik Seidel's Top 8 WSOP Results
|1992||$2,500 Limit Hold'em||1st||$168,000|
|1993||$2,500 Omaha 8 or Better||1st||$94,000|
|1994||$5,000 Limit Hold'em||1st||$210,000|
|1998||$5,000 No-Limit Deuce to Seven Draw||1st||$132,750|
|2001||$3,000 No-Limit Texas Hold'em||1st||$411,300|
|2003||$1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha||1st||$146,100|
|2005||$2,000 No-Limit Hold'em||1st||$611,795|
|2007||$5,000 No-Limit Deuce to Seven Draw||1st||$538,835|
World Poker Tour
The WSOP isn’t the only place Seidel shines. He had a deep, second-place run at the Jack Binion World Poker Open in 2002 along with wins at Festa Al Lago II and III, where he secured wins in both events. In 2008 Seidel took down the Foxwoods Poker Classic WPT Event for almost $1 million.
Erik Seidel's Top 4 EPT Results
|2008||Foxwoods Poker Classic $9,700 Championship||1st||$992,890|
|2011||Hollywood Poker Open $9,600 Main Event||2nd||$155,103|
|2004||Festa al Lago III $10,000 Doyle Brunson North American Poker Championship||4th||$165,000|
|2009||Bellagio Cup V $15,000 Championship Event||6th||$164,640|
|2007||Spanish Championship €7,500 Championship Event||8th||€50,300 ($70,670)|
European Poker Tour
Despite his success at the WSOP and WPT tables, it wasn't until 2011 that Seidel cashed in an EPT event. It all changed at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure when Seidel made two final tables finishing in 3rd and 4th place at the $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em - 6 Max, and $25,000 High Roller events respectively for a total of $340,000.
Erik Seidel's Top 4 EPT Results
|2011||PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em - 6 Max||3rd||$ 46,560|
|2011||PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $25,000 High Roller||4th||$295,960|
|2012||Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller||6th||€153,600|
|2012||EPT Grand Final €10,000 Main Event||46th||€25,000|
In 2008 Seidel came close to winning the biggest poker event in the southern hemisphere, the Aussie Millions. He finished the Main Event in second place just behind Russia's Alexander Kostritsyn and took home almost $900,000 in prize money. He then returned to Australia in 2011 for an even more impressive performance. At first Seidel finished in third place at the A$100,000 No-Limit Hold'em event and then a week later conquered the A$ 250,000 Super High Roller taking home a total of over $3 million in cash.
Two months later Seidel won the NBC National Heads-Up Championship for $750,000 and then in May, 2011 he scored another $1 million cash by winning the $100,000 Super High Roller Event at the Ninth Annual Five Star World Poker Classic.
Seidel has been working at Full Tilt Poker as a member of the site's design team and was a Team Full Tilt member until the site lost its e-gaming license in 2011.
Did you know?
- Seidel's smallest tournament cash was the $555 he won after finishing in fifth place in the $300 Pot-Limit Omaha event at the Global Pot Limit No Limit Open in Los Angeles in 2000.
- Seidel became a professional poker player only because of the 1987 stock market crash.