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Player Profiles

Erik Seidel Profile

Erik Seidel is a phenomenally successful and highly respected poker professional with total live tournament winnings in excess of $10,350,000!

Seidel was born and raised in New York. In his teens he proved to be something of a backgammon prodigy and spent 8 years on the backgammon circuit playing the best players in the world.

It was while playing at a backgammon tournament in Las Vegas that Seidel picked up a thin strategy book written by David Sklansky. He used the information to win at the $1-$2 Limit Hold'em tables that same day and it spurred him to take up poker on his return to New York. He met and formed a lifelong friendship with fellow pros Howard Lederer and Dan Harrington whilst playing poker at New York's Mayfair Club.

For many years, Seidel traded on the stock market and played poker on the side. Then in 1987, when the market crashed and he lost everything, he decided to make poker his full-time career. It quickly started to pay off for him and with Lederer and Harrington's encouragement, Seidel headed for Las Vegas to play in the 1988 WSOP Main Event.

Failing to win any of the nine $1,000 buy-in one-table satellites that he entered, it was looking like he wouldn't get a seat in the Championship. Fortunately he managed to sell 80% of himself to friends, and with the added responsibility riding on his shoulders, he made it all the way to the WSOP Main Event final table at his very first try.

His opponents were the reigning World Champion Johnny Chan, T.J. Cloutier, Jim Betchel, Humberto Brennes, and Ron Graham. Seidel finished as the runner-up to Johnny Chan. The very last hand of their heads-up encounter saw Chan flop and trap with a straight while Seidel had top pair and moved all-in on the river. It's a hand that became famous and immortalised in the cult poker movie, "Rounders".

Seidel made the WSOP Main Event final table again in 1999 and came fourth.

Seidel has since played the unlucky "runner-up" role in many big tournaments including the 2007 Aussie Millions $100K Highroller, the 2008 Aussie Millions Main Event, and the 2010 NBC National Heads-Up Championship.

Don't feel too bad for him as though as he earned $550,000 (AUD), $1,000,000 (AUD) and $250,000 respectively from those second place finishes!

And Erik has won an extraordinary EIGHT WSOP bracelets events...

1992 --- WSOP $2,500 Limit Hold'em – $168,000

1993 --- WSOP $2,500 Omaha 8 or better – $94,000

1994 --- WSOP $5,000 Limit Hold'em – $210,000

1998 --- WSOP $5,000 Deuce to Seven Draw – $132,700

2001 --- WSOP $3,000 No Limit Hold'em – $411,300

2003 --- WSOP $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha – $146,100

2005 --- WSOP $2,000 No Limit Hold'em – $611,795

2007 --- WSOP $5,000 World Championship No-Limit Deuce to Seven Draw Lowball w/rebuys – $538,835

... and cashed 60 times at the World Series!

Seidel has also won a World Poker Tour title too. It was the 2008 WPT Foxwoods Poker Classic for which he earned a whopping $992,890. He has made three WPT final tables in all and cashed at least 18 times.

In 2010, Seidel (along with his long-time friend Dan Harrington) was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in recognition of his contribution to the field of poker.

Erik Seidel's wife is called Ruah. They have two daughters together.

TAGS: Erik Seidel  /   sly
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Player Details

Name: Erik Seidel
Age: 58
Born: New York
Lives: Las Vegas
Nickname: Sly

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