Name: Erik Seidel
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Total Winnings: more than $9,000,000
WSOP Bracelets: 8
Many people outside the poker world know the names Amarillo Slim, Doyle Brunson and Chris Ferguson (because the last fellow is sometimes referred to as Jesus). But only the knowledgeable poker fans and amateur players know who Erik Seidel is. The main reason for this relative anonymity is Seidel’s quiet nature and low-key style of play. But that hasn’t kept him from winning hundreds of thousands of dollars in professional tournaments around the world.
Currently, Seidel has eight World Series of Poker bracelets and a World Poker Tour title as well. He has put more than $9 million in his poker bank account, with his largest paydays coming in 2005 - $2,000 No Limit Hold ‘Em, $611,795 and $5,000 World Championship No Limit, $538,835. He won more than $160,000 in 1992 in the $2,500 Limit Hold ‘Em event. But Seidel’s expertise isn’t limited to the popular Hold ‘Em scene. He also captured bracelets in Omaha 8 or Better, Deuce to Seven Draw and Pot Limit Omaha.
This unassuming pro was born in New York City in 1959, which means he is just a bit older than 50. In his younger years he wasn’t a regular at the poker tables. In fact, he was an accomplished backgammon player and worked in the stock market scene for a number of years. He apparently used his excellent mind to accomplish things in several areas before turning to poker as a full-time endeavor.
He first came to the nation’s attention in 1988 when he was runner-up in the WSOP main event to Johnny Chan. He is also closely associated with the Mayfair Club group that included Dan Harrington and Howard Lederer. Only four players have won more bracelets than Seidel, yet these four (Brunson, Helmuth, Chan and Moss) are probably much more likely to be recognized by name. People may remember Seidel for this appearance – he is tall and very lanky.
But as mentioned earlier, those within the poker world know Seidel very well. Not only does he command a lot of respect around the poker table he is considered a knowledgeable poker businessman as well. Seidel is part of the Full Tilt Poker team that includes some of the biggest names in the game – Phil Ivey, Chris Ferguson, Jennifer Harman, Gus Hansen etc. He once responded to a chat question about his plans for the weekend by saying that he was headed to Atlantic City for a tournament. When the other person said, “Nice,” Seidel replied, “For who?”