Erik Seidel - winner of ten WSOP bracelets, also a member of the Poker Hall of Fame

Erik Seidel: Biography

American professional poker player Erik Seidel has collected more than $40,000,000 in live tournaments. The American owns ten World Series of Poker bracelets, is a member of the Poker Hall of Fame and is one of the top ten poker players in terms of prize money. His last gold bracelet was the WSOP Online 2021.

Personal life

Erik Seidel was born in 1959 in New York into an ordinary American family. From an early age, Eric showed exceptional mathematical abilities. First of all, the boy was interested in competitive games in which the winner was determined only by luck. After entering university, Seidel became interested in backgammon and dropped out to become a professional backgammon player.

Eric joined the Mayfair Club (a community of board and card game enthusiasts) and competed in backgammon tournaments for eight years. The prize fund of some tournaments reached $250,000.

When he’s not playing backgammon tournaments, he plays Texas Hold’em in Las Vegas. In Las Vegas Erik Seidel initially thought of poker as just a fun diversion, but in the late 1980s, backgammon tournament prizes began to decline and many players switched to poker.

To get a stable income, the American got a job as a stock broker in 1985. At the same time, he participated in poker tournaments with modest prizes; After the stock market crash in 1987, Eric moved to New York, where he became even more interested in poker.


In 1988, he reached a level sufficient to participate in the World Series of Poker (WSOP). With the financial support of a friend, he qualified for the WSOP Main Event, where he finished second to Johnny Chan. His winnings amounted to $280,000. The American then continued his success.

Significant victories of all time

Year Victory
1991 First in a Limit Hold’em tournament
1993 Winner at Omaha 8 or Better
1994 First in a Limit Hold’em tournament
1998 Victory at the WSOP in the No Limit 2-7 Deaw tournament and another gold bracelet
2010 Victory at Aussie Millions 2010 and Omaha
2011 Winner of Super High Roller and third in No Limit Hold’em
2014 Third in Aussie Millions 2014
2016 Won the Aria Hugh Roller and finished second in No Limit Hold’em Turbo 6Max Tournament No. 79 at the European Poker Tour Grand Final in Monte Carlo
2017 Second in the Super High Roller Triton series
2018 Fourth place in the High Roller PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, sixth in the no Limit Hold’em Super High Roller PartyPoker Millions grand final in Barcelona and third in No Limit Hold’em
Event 24 B European Poker Tour
2019 Eighth place at Triton Montenegro, as well as sixth place at Pot Limit Omaha High Roller 8-Handed Event 45 – 50th World Series of Poker in Las Vegas

Eric Seidel’s biggest win in a single tournament was first place in the Melbourne Super High Roller (2011) for $2,472,555. Despite his advanced age, Eric is no stranger to younger players, as he proved by winning the 2021 WSOP Online at the age of 61.


Erik Seidel became a personal trainer for writer Maria Konnikova, who wanted to learn the basics of poker and write a book about psychology. Maria owes her success in the world of poker to Eric. After a year of training with this American professional coach, she won $86,000 at the PCA National Poker Championship.


In addition, in 2003, the American player took part in the Bad Beat on Cancer charity program, which aims to research, prevent and eradicate cancer; Many famous poker players, including Erik Seidel, have donated one percent of their cash prizes to charity.

WSOP bracelets

It took him a long time to recover from finishing in second place at the 1988 World Championship of Poker, despite an extremely successful debut in the tournament. He returned to work as an agent and took a break from poker for a while. However, in 1991, the American returned to poker and took second place in a $5,000 buy-in tournament. The next three years became the most significant in the poker player’s career – he took three WSOP bracelets:

Year Entrance fee Discipline Prize money
1992 $2500 Limit Hold’em $168,000
1993 $2500 Limit Omaha Hi-Lo $94,000
1994 $5000 Limit Hold’em $210,000

Eric’s third WSOP bracelet was the catalyst for him to begin his professional poker career. Of course, the player later moved to Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the world. His next breakthrough came in 1998 when he won the WSOP Lowball Championship, earning his fourth bracelet for $132,750. A year later, he finished fourth at the WSOP, earning $280,000. From 2001 to 2007, Erik Seidel won four WSOP gold bracelets:

Year Entrance fee Discipline Prize money
2001 $3000 Limit Hold’em $411,000
2003 $1500 Pot Limit Omaha $146,000
2005 $2000 Limit Hold’em $612,000
2007 $5000 Lowball $539,000

2010 was a breakthrough year for Erik Seidel, who was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame thanks to his 28th tournament win. It wasn’t just the WSOP that was successful for the American this year. He also won the WPT, finished third in the SHRB, sixth in the Aria Super High Roller and a place in the EPT.

World Poker Tour records

In 2011, Eric became the series record holder by winning his ninth WPT title in a row. No other poker player had such a record – Seidel won 20 times, five final tables and one WPT title; in 2008 he won WPT gold, and in 2011 he won the WPT for the first time in his career. That same year, the American became one of the champions of the prestigious series, taking home $992,890 in prize money.

Latest achievements

The player’s latest success happened a few days ago – he won his 10th bracelet and $1,704,400 in the WSOP Paradise Super High Roller.

You can meet Eric in tournaments under the nicknames Sly, Seiborg, Empty chair. Considering the size of Seidel’s prize money, the American plays a lot and quite professionally, but he has more luck in live games than in online tournaments. The man has a conservative attitude towards finances, and he is described as a gambler who has never had difficulties with money. Eric is considered a living legend in the poker community.

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