Dec 10, 2016
Erik Seidel Passes $30m - Top 5 Career Moments
By RTR Dennis
Erik Seidel has just joined a very prestigious club – he’s the only poker player besides Daniel Negreanu to earn over $30 million in tournaments.
The 57-year-old has had an outstanding year, winning over $4.7 million and taking third in the Aria Super High Roller Bowl ($2.4m). In honor of Seidel’s rare accomplishment, let’s look at the top 5 moments of his poker career.
1. Finishing Second in the 1988 WSOP Main Event
It’s hard to be immortalized while losing a tournament, but Seidel did so by finishing runner-up to Johnny Chan in the 1988 WSOP Main Event. The reason why is because Seidel and Chan’s final hand was featured in Rounders, which is widely regarded as the greatest poker movie ever.
Aside from appearing in Rounders, another reason why this second-place effort is special is because it was Seidel’s first major poker tournament. He started out playing in underground games in New York City’s Mayfair Club, but the 1998 WSOP was the first time that he ventured out to compete in the spotlight. In a way, Rounders could be about Seidel since the movie’s main character, Mike McDermott, leaves New York to play in the WSOP.
2. Seidel Has a Magical Year in 2011
When Seidel looks back on his poker career, 2011 will certainly stick out. The reason why is because he was absolutely on fire, winning over $6.3 million. The year started with a bang as Seidel took fourth in a $25.5k PCA High Roller ($296k), third in the $100k Aussie Millions High Roller ($618k), and first in the $250k Aussie Millions High Roller ($2.47m).
He ‘cooled off’ for a month before coming back in March and winning the NBC Heads-Up National Championship along with $750k. April saw Seidel take second in the WPT Hollywood Poker Open ($155k), while May saw him win the Five Diamond Poker Classic ($1.1m).
Seidel had a quiet 2011 WSOP, but he again got hot, taking second in an Epic Poker League event ($604k), and fourth in another EPL tourney ($184k).
3. Another Huge Year in 2015
Seidel has made a lot of money in the last two years, including nearly $5.1 million in 2015. This successful year began with another good run at the Aussie Millions, where he finished sixth in the $100k High Roller ($395k) and fifth in the $250k High Roller ($427k).
He then won the 2015 EPT Grande Final High Roller, collecting a $2.2 million prize. Seidel finished out the year by taking seventh in the Super High Roller Bowl ($860k), seventh in a WSOPE side event ($113k), and sixth in an APPT High Roller ($291k).
4. Seidel Wins First Bracelet in 1992
Long before no-limit Texas hold’em became the dominant form of poker, limit hold’em was what many grinders played. And Seidel would win his first WSOP gold bracelet in a $2,500 limit hold’em event in 1992.
He navigated through a 168-player field to win the tournament along with $168,000. Interestingly enough, his final opponent was Phil Hellmuth. We imagine that winning this first bracelet took the sting out of finishing second in the 1988 Main Event and 1991 $5k WSOP limit hold’em tournament.
5. Winning Bracelet #8 in 2007
Following his first gold bracelet in 1992, Seidel continued winning WSOP tournaments up until 2007. This is the year that he took down a $5,000 2-7 draw lowball event along with $538,835. He topped a 78-player field to win his eighth bracelet, which puts him sixth all time.
Given that Erik Seidel is still winning tournaments and grabbing big scores, it’s entirely possible that he’ll add more career highlights to what’s already an impressive list.