Erik Seidel’s resume of poker achievements makes him one of the most accomplished players in the history of the game. Seidel’s career spans more than 30 years, and as of November 2020, he’s No. 4 on the all-time tournament earning list according to the Hendon Mob database.
Seidel’s $37.7 million in tournament paydays include eight World Series of Poker bracelets, a World Poker Tour title, and five scores of $1 million or bigger. That short rundown of accomplishments barely scratches the surface of Seidel’s legacy, however.
Let’s take a look at Erik Seidel, one of poker’s all-time greats.
Erik Seidel’s Tournament Results and Biggest Cashes
As of November 2020, Erik Seidel’s career poker tournament earnings total $37,748,126. Seidel’s five biggest tournament scores include:
- 2011 Aussie Millions A$250,000 Super High Roller (1st – $2,472,555)
- 2016 Super High Roller Bowl $300,000 No Limit Hold’em (3rd – $2,400,000)
- 2015 EPT Monte Carlo €100,000 Super High Roller (1st – $2,222,222)
- 2019 partypoker MILLIONS World Bahamas $ 250,000 Super High Roller Bowl (4th – $1,275,000)
- 2011 Five Star World Poker Classic $100,000 Super High Roller Event (1st – $1,092,780)
Check out Seidel’s entire resume of tournament cashes on his Hendon Mob page.
Erik Seidel’s Memorable Hands
Perhaps the most well-known of poker hands involving Erik Seidel takes place as the final hand of the 1988 WSOP Main Event. This hand makes an appearance in the iconic poker movie Rounders and pits two of the greatest players of all time against each other with the Main Event bracelet at stake.
This hand sees Seidel check to Chan, who bets 40,000 on a Q♣ 8♦ T♥ flop. Seidel raises to 90,000, and Chan makes the call. Hole card cameras were still 15 years away at the time of the 1988 WSOP broadcast, but we now know that Chan holds J♣ 9♣ in this hand for the nut straight. Seidel has Q♣ 7♥ for top pair.
The turn comes 2♠, Seidel checks, and Chan checks back in what’s become a legendary trap in poker lore. The river comes the 6♦, Seidel goes all in, and Chan snap calls, tabling the nuts and taking down his second consecutive WSOP Main Event championship.
Seidel took home $280,000 for the runner-up finish, a total that’s dwarfed by some of his cashes from the 2010s.
Erik Seidel turned 61 in November 2020 but still stands as one of the top tournament players in the world. Seidel made one of the more gutsy hero calls of all time at the 2015 EPT Monte Carlo Super High Roller, on his way to a win and a $2,222,222 score.
Seidel and Dzmitry Urbanovich went heads-up as the final two players in the €100,000 buy-in tournament. This hand from that matchup left Urbanovich in disbelief:
Urbanovich limps, and Seidel checks back with J♦ 4♦. The flop comes 6♠ A♠ A♦, and both players check.
The turn comes K♦and Seidel check-calls a 300,000 (slightly less than half-pot) bet from Urbanovich. The river falls 5♥, Seider checks again, and Urbanovich bets 525,000 into the 1,280,000 pot.
Seidel, with just jack-high, goes into the tank for more than five minutes, then decides to make the call. Urbanovich, knowing he’s defeated, turns over 4♠ 2♠. He can only smirk as Seidel tables his hand and shows off the great hero call.
Poker Journey and Personal Life
The 1988 WSOP Main Event was Sediel’s first major tournament. Just 29 years old at the time, that event started off one of the longest and most prolific careers in poker history.
Before his runner-up finish to Johnny Chan, Seidel played backgammon professionally and worked in stock trading. He won the first of eight WSOP bracelets in 1992, winning a $5,000 Limit Hold’em event.
Seidel’s tournament prowess spans over multiple poker variants. He’s taken home WSOP bracelet wins in No-Limit Hold’em, Limit hold’em, Omaha 8, Deuce to Seven Draw, and Pot-Limit Omaha.
All of Seidel’s top five biggest cashes came in the 2010s, after his 50th birthday. All of those results came at the highest of tournament stakes, with buy-ins of $100,000 or more. Seidel stands 6-foot-8 and is an unmistakable presence in any poker room he’s in. Seidel was born in New York City and is married with two daughters.
The following 2011 music video, titled Seiborg, pays tribute to Seidel’s poker legend:
Erik Seidel Net Worth
According to the website TheRichest, Erik Seidel’s net worth stands at $41.9 million as of November 2020. His $37.7 million in tournament earnings put him at No. 4 on Hendon Mob’s all-time list.
Seidel held the No. 1 spot on that list for a period in 2017. He accomplished that feat after posting the two highest-earning years of his career in 2015 ($5.093 million) and 2016 ($5.108 million).