8 WSOP bracelets and Erik Seidel does not intend to quit anytime soon
Although a lot of movers in the poker world today don't consider him to be one of the top players, Erik Seidel is a strong contender when it comes to being the best poker pro of all time. Highly underrated, he should be considered as one of the strongest player in poker not only these days, but also throughout the history of the game. Currently based in Las Vegas, Erik Seidel was born in 1959 in New York City. His journey toward the poker tables started in backgammon boards and stock trading on Wall Street. He was a professional backgammon player for 8 years; however, even though he was quite well-known on the field, he yearned for a tougher competition due in part to the game's smaller prize pools and tournaments. Poker answered this dilemma. He found himself in New York's famous Mayfair Club in 1985, and using his expertise of backgammon and some knowledge about poker, he went on to pursue being a professional poker player, following the footsteps of poker greats such as Dan Harrington and Howard Lederer, as well as Steve Zolotow. Without him realizing it, he had his fist breakthrough only three years later at the 1988 WSOP Championship Event. Together with Jim Bechtel, Humberto Brenes and T. J. Cloutier, he made his way to the finals. Playing against these strong players, the novice Seidel came out to beat them and face Johnny Chan where he lost to his expertly timed moves. Seidel admittedly said he was way out of his league. That was the last time he found himself in such situation.
After 4 years, Erik Seidel claimed the first of his 8 WSOP bracelets. In 1999, he also came back to the final table at the WSOP $10,000 Championship Event. Aside from his victories in No Limit Hold'Em events, he also won tournaments in No Limit Deuce to Seven Lowball and Pot Limit Omaha. He holds the distinction of being one of the only five people to win a bracelet for three succeeding years, along with Doyle Brunson, Allen Cunningham, Johnny Moss and Gary Berland. His eight bracelets earn him a spot behind Chan, Phil Hellmuth and Brunson when it comes to the number of championships won. The WPT has been a bountiful ground for Seidel, too. In April 2008, he won the Foxwoods Poker Classic, aside from cashing in 16 events from the tournament and making it to two final tables. His income of more than $9 million puts him at the ninth place in terms of all-time cash earnings.