Erik Seidel Poker Career, Private Life, Net Worth & More!
The former Wall Street trader brought his talent for making money to the table, and since then, he has managed to become one of the most high-profile poker players in the world! The word legend is bandied around the poker world a little bit too frivolously these days, but with over 35 million in lifetime earnings, nine World Series of Poker bracelets, and a WPT title to boot, I would say Erik Seidel deserves that title. In this article, you learn how a young Seidel battled with dyslexia, his love of Backgammon and poker, and how his unique perspective on life has led to him competing in the highest stakes tournaments in the world for the past three decades.
Erik Seidel was born in New York, NY, on November 6, 1959. During childhood, he loved reading crime books and wanted to become a lawyer. A few years later, little Erik thought of getting into the business world to make money. However, he had difficulties during school due to dyslexia, or “reading disability.” It happens when a kid has difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words, known as decoding. The disability results from individual differences in areas of the brain that process language. Although Erik was a normal kid with a normal vision and intelligence, he had a hard time learning to read. That made him believe he was unqualified for the business world or any other world! Little Erik convinced himself that he was not bright. Dyslexia caused him a lot of trouble at a young age because he did not do well in school, and he was convinced that everyone around him was much smarter than he was. In such scenarios, you have two options, (a) beat yourself up and think that you are a failure, or (b) decide to prove that people are wrong and find something you can really excel in. Erik took the second option, started to work harder, and found the right thing.
Erik & The Magic of Backgammon!
He started by playing Backgammon and developed winning skills at the game. It turned out he was gifted enough to play, win, and make money! He was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time because, at the time, there was a big renaissance of Backgammon, and it happened to take place in the town that he lived in, i.e., New York. Paul Magriel, who changed and revolutionized the game was around, and Erik made friends with him. So, had he been anyplace else, he wouldn’t have been able to develop those skills. So, he was literally in the right place at the right time!
Although his father was unhappy with the idea of playing Backgammon to make a living, Erik was determined to get good at something and survive! Later, when he becomes insanely successful in both Backgammon and poker, his father becomes happy enough with him playing and making money!
The Super Shy Kid!
Yes, the legend used to be very shy, especially around women. He used to be socially isolated, and this is interesting becausethe poker world is filled with people with some social awkwardness! Don’t get this wrong, though! It does not mean you must be a freak to become a poker legend!! That simply means a poker table is where you can be safely weird!!!
The Wolf Of Wall Street!
As pointed out earlier, Erik decided to take risks, and his thirst for risk-taking took him to Wall Street. He worked as a trader until the stock market crashed in 1987. Then, Seidel decided to put his poker passion to good use. He loved cards and learned how to play poker from the top players at the famous Mayfair Club in New York, with Dan Harrington and Howard Lederer being his favorite mentors.
Erik Seidel Professional Poker Career
One year after the stock market crash down, in 1988, Seidel recorded his first major poker tournament achievement when he was runner-up in the 1988 WSOP Main Event. If you watched the movie, Rounders, you should know that it features Seidel and Johnny Chan‘s final table in the 1988 WSOP.
It was just the beginning of his le-gen-dary poker journey. Next year, in 1999, he made the WSOP Main Event final table again, finishing fourth. In 1992, Erik won his first-ever WSOP bracelet in a $2,500 Limit Hold ’em event with $168,000. Since then, he has won eight more bracelets and made history!
Seidel started his World Series of Poker bracelet winnings in 1992, which still continues! His winnings are unique as he has bracelets in five different games, including Hold ’em, Omaha, and Deuce to Seven Draw. In the history of the WSOP, Phil Hellmuth, Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, and Phil Ivey are the only players who have won more bracelets than Seidel. He also has nearly 120 WSOP cashes. This record puts him fifth on the historic ALL TIME MONEY LIST, with almost 50 of those cashes counted as top 10 finishes.
|Erik Seidel WSOP Bracelets|
|GGPoker WSOP Online Event #11: $10,000 Super MILLION$ High Roller||2021||$977,842|
|$5,000 No-Limit Deuce to Seven Draw||2007||$538,835|
|$2,000 No-Limit Hold’em||2005||$611,795|
|$1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha||2003||$146,100|
|$3,000 No-Limit Texas Hold’em||2001||$411,300|
|$5,000 No-Limit Deuce to Seven Draw||1998||$132,750|
|$5,000 Limit Hold’em||1994||$210,000|
|$2,500 Omaha 8 or Better||1993||$94,000|
|$2,500 Limit Hold’em||1992||$168,000|
Top 5 WPT Winnings
The WSOP isn’t the only place the legend Erik shines. During the sixth season of the World Poker Tour, he won the 2008 WPT Foxwoods Poker Classic, earning $992,890. He has eight final table finishes in his WPT resume!
|Erik Seidel WPT Winnings|
|WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star $7,500 Main Event||4th||2013||$295,590|
|Hollywood Poker Open $9,600 Main Event||2nd||2011||$155,103|
|Bellagio Cup V $15,000 Championship Event||6th||2009||$164,640|
|Foxwoods Poker Classic $9,700 Championship||1st||2008||$992,890|
|Festa al Lago III $10,000 Doyle Brunson North American Poker Championship||4th||2004||$165,000|
European Poker Tour & Other Poker Ventures
Siedel is a poker legend without borders! On May 15, 2015, he made it to the 2015 €100,000 Super High Roller European Poker Tour Grand final table for €2,015,000. Although this is his single EPT title, his winnings do not end with this title!
|Erik Seidel Top 5 EPT Winnings|
|EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final €10,000 Turbo 6-Max||2nd||2016||$158,479|
|EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final €100,000 Super High Roller||1st||2015||$2,222,222|
|EPT Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller||2nd||2013||$745,224|
|Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller||6th||2012||$188,721|
|PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $25,000 High Roller||4th||2011||$295,960|
In Jan 2007, Seidel finished 2nd in the Aussie Millions $100,000 event and earned $550,000(AUD), beaten by Erick Lindgren in a Heads-Up play. A year later, in 2008, he finished 2nd in Aussie Millions $10,000 main event and took home $1,000,000(AUD). He kept winning until 2011, when he returned to Australia for a bigger win! At first, Seidel finished 3rd at the A$100,000 No-Limit Hold’em event and, a week later, conquered the A$ 250,000 Super High Roller and took home a total of over $3 million in cash. In May 2011, he had another significant win in the $100,000 Super High Roller Event at the Ninth Annual Five Star World Poker Classic and took home $1 million cash.
He keeps playing and crushing it!
|Erik Seidel Top 5 Recent Cashes in 2023|
|$10,150 No-Limit Hold’em Six Max (2023 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure)||11||Feb03,2023||$21,100|
|$3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Mystery Bounty (2023 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure)||24||Jan28,2023||$7,050|
|PokerGO Cup #5 – $15,700 No-Limit Hold’em (2023 PokerGO Cup)||2||Jan17,2023||$176,400|
|PokerGO Cup #4 – $10,500 No-Limit Hold’em (2023 PokerGO Cup)||6||Jan16,2023||$46,800|
|Aria High Roller #35 – $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em (2022 Aria Winter High Rollers)||2||Dec19,2022||$72,800|
Erik Seidel’s Wife, Net Worth & Private Life
Although he used to be shy around women when Ruah came along, everything changed! Erik found the love of her life, got married, and now has two beautiful daughters: Jamesin and Elian. Before Ruah, Erik had a relationship that didn’t work out.
If you are curious about his secret winning formula and magic ingredient for maintaining the steady rate of being at the top, it has something to do with his lifestyle and state of mind. First of all, Erik has a great perspective on the random nature of the game. Hence, it takes less wear and tear for him mentally than for others. He has a better perspective on the world’s randomness than most people. In other words, he has less self-involvement in the results of what’s happening. He plays his cards right and allows luck to do the rest! Another significant winning attribute that Seidel has, is knowing when to fold’em! And in the end, he is a meditator! Believe it or not, he practices meditation to train his mind.
Erik Seidel’s net worth is estimated to exceed $42 million in 2023, which means he still plays and has no plans for retirement yet!
Interesting Facts About Erik Seidel
|Full name||Erik Seidel|
|Date of Birth||November 06, 1959|
|Residence||Las Vegas, NV, United States|
|Occupation||Professional poker player|
|# of children||2|
|Total live earning||$42,469,394|
|Best live cash||$2,472,555|
|United States All Time Money List||3rd|
|All Time Money List||5th|
|New York, USA All Time Money List||2nd|
|Facebook fan page||@ Erik Seidel|
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