Erick Lindgren was at one time one of the biggest names in poker. The man known as “E-Dog” was one of the faces of Full Tilt Poker during the poker boom era of the 2000s, and owns a poker resume with more than $10 million in lifetime tournament earnings.
Lindgren was a fan favorite and considered to be a world-class player in his heyday. By the 2010s, however, mounting gambling losses and unpaid debts away from the table began to take its toll on the public perception of a player who was once one of poker’s most popular figures.
Let’s take a look at the life and poker career of Erick Lindgren:
Erick Lindgren’s Success in the 2000s and Beyond
One of the first big scores of Lindgren’s career came in the 2002 Bellagio Five Diamond Poker Classic, which Lindgren took down for a $228,192.
The win marked the beginning of a long run of tournament success for Lindgren. The northern California native added a pair of wins on the World Poker Tour to his accomplishments by early 2004, including a $1,000,000 score in a $7,000 Limit Hold’em event at PartyPoker’s Million III Cruise.
That seven-figure score is still a career-best for Lindgren, who continued to add to his legend with consistent tournament success throughout his career.
Lindgren won the first of two World Series of Poker bracelets in 2008, taking down the $5,000 Mixed Hold’em event for $374,505. The win was one of five cashes for Lindgren at the 2008 WSOP, which earned him the 2008 WSOP Player of the Year award.
Lindgren added a second WSOP bracelet to the resume in 2013, winning the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six Handed event for $606,317. His latest six-figure cash came in 2018, with a second-place finish in the WSOP Circuit Cherokee $1,675 Main Event.
His ability to produce results in live tournament action is undeniable. Lindgren’s gambling exploits away from the table, however, began to come to light in 2012.
Full Tilt Poker and Poker Stardom
Lindgren’s tournament success and notability as a poker player known to the mainstream made him one of the game’s most recognizable personalities in the 2000s.
Lindgren was one of a group of professional poker players that made up the shareholders of Full Tilt Poker, one of the two largest online poker operators in the world during the poker boom of the 2000s.
As one of the faces of Full Tilt, Lindgren’s presence was ubiquitous on the poker television shows that flooded the airwaves during poker’s heyday as a mainstream sport.
Check out this hand from High Stakes Poker, which sees Lindgren taking on Patrik Antonius in a hand and getting into a bit of a verbal spar with Phil Gordon:
Gambling Addiction and Unpaid Debts
Like many of the Full Tilt pros, life seemingly couldn’t have been better for Lindgren from an outsider’s perspective during the peak of the Full Tilt days. In addition to his tournament success and fame as one of poker’s most popular players, Lindgren was a Full Tilt shareholder at the peak of the online poker site’s success.
Away from the poker table, Lindgren garnered a reputation for betting on his own ability on the golf course, as well as betting on sports in general.
A TwoPlusTwo thread that came out in 2012, however, began to reveal the true scope of Lindgren’s sports betting activity. The thread began with a post from user $kill Game, known to be the screen name of poker player Max Weinberg, which called out Lindgren for not paying an $11,000 fantasy football debt.
That post began a flurry of activity in the thread, with various people calling out Lindgren for not making good on betting debts. The largest claim made in the thread came from Haralabos Voulgaris, who stated that Lindgren had owed him money for years.
The issue was exacerbated by the shutdown of Full Tilt Poker by the US Department of Justice in April 2011. After the shutdown, Lindgren’s monthly dividend payment, estimated to be $250,000 per month, was no longer coming in from Full Tilt.
After the shutdown, information later was later released about a loan owed to Full Tilt Poker itself by Lindgren. Lindgren still owed Full Tilt around $2.5 million after the shutdown, and that debt was purchased by PokerStars when the Stars Group bought Full Tilt in 2012.
The debt remained unpaid to PokerStars, which filed a lawsuit against Lindgren in 2015 for the $2.5 million.
Current State of Affairs for Erick Lindgren
With multiple debts mounting, Lindgren put himself in an even deeper hole by trying to gamble his way out of the debt. By the end of 2012, with the situation spiraling out of control, Lindgren checked into a gambling addiction rehabilitation clinic.
As a professional poker player, of course, gambling is still at the heart of Lindgren’s chosen profession, and since the beginning of 2013, Lindgren has still consistently been on the grind. He added a pair of six-figure scores to the career total in 2013, with his second WSOP bracelet win, as well as a win in the $25k WPT World Championship for $650,275.
Lindgren was married to fellow poker pro Erica Schoenberg in June 2011, but the couple divorced in 2014. In 2015, Lindgren filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with estimated debts of more than $10 million.
The Erick Lindgren story isn’t over, as the now 43-year-old can still be found grinding it out with occasional appearances on the mid-stakes tournament circuit. Lindgren is still a threat at the tournament table, with his most recent win coming in July 2019 at the Ante Up World Championship in an $1,100 Knockout event.