Erik Seidel at 2015 WSOP Europe: A Legend Takes the Lead
As play paused for the dinner break in the 2015 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event in Berlin on Wednesday, the remaining 37 players were just a few spots from making the money.
But at least one of poker's greatest players had enough chips to be thinking of something a little bigger than a min-cash.
The legendary Erik Seidel, a Poker Hall of Fame inductee and eight-time gold bracelet winner who currently sits third on poker's all-time money list with $25,502,045 in career earnings, had pushed into the lead with a little over 1,000,000 in chips and no one even close.
Seidel got the best of rising superstar Dzmitry Urbanovich in a series of massive hands to vault into the lead. Of course, the veteran rounder is more than familiar with the Polish upstart, who has exploded onto the poker scene here in Europe this year, earning a whopping $3,674,126 so far.
This due to the fact the two played heads-up for the title in the biggest buy-in tournament on this side of the Atlantic in 2015: The 2015 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final €100,000 Super High Roller this past April.
Today, Seidel told PokerNews the cards made all the difference in his ascent up the leaderboard.
"I've just really had the best hand against him a few times and that was pretty much it," Seidel said.
Seidel's eighth bracelet win came all the way back in 2007, but he's made an incredible 10 final tables at the WSOP in the chase for number nine since then. However, for a player whose first WSOP cash came when he famously finished runner-up to Johnny Chan in the 1988 WSOP Main Event, a win here at WSOP Europe would mean more than just a ninth bracelet for his trophy case.
"I wouldn't say it's number nine as much as it is just winning a major tournament," he said of his desire to win again. "This is a big tournament and it would be wonderful to win it, but I'm not going to get ahead of myself. There's still a long way to go."
While the number of players still around from the 1988 WSOP Main Event is small, and those still successful even smaller, Seidel has managed to find a way to survive, and thrive, in poker's modern era.
He says the game has changed and his game along with it.
"It's changed a lot," he said. "These kids have really revolutionized the game. But it's still poker. You're still trying to make good decisions against people, so in that sense, it hasn't really changed. It's just a matter of trying to think through these hands.
"I really just play. I don't put in the hours I should studying, but I love to play."
As the 2015 WSOP Europe rolls on, be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews for continued coverage.