Poker Spotlight on Erik Seidel

His quiet demeanor and amiable attitude at the table leads many people to believe that Erik Seidel lacks the fierce competitive streak necessary to be a winning player. However, a look at his record at both cash games and tournaments will quickly dispel any rumors that the man doesn't know how to play poker. His achievements are the stuff of legends and at the age of 52, Seidel has become one of the most successful players in the game and is considered a pro within the online poker room, PokerStars. His eight World Series of Poker Bracelets and countless millions in cash game earnings are comparable to the top level of other elite players and Seidel has earned a name for himself as one of the few members of the old poker guard that continues to have great results among the younger online players.

Erik Seidel's poker career was something of a surprise. Always interested in games, his first favorite was backgammon and he played the tournament trail of that game for eight years. However, backgammon is much like pool or chess in that a good player can quickly lose his chance to make real money as his skill becomes widely known. Such was the case with Seidel and his next venture was to try his hand at the stock market. His intelligence prevailed in this endeavor as well and he was able to make a living from his insightful trades. During this time, he would find the game that perfectly matched his talents and aspirations - poker.

Blending the intelligence needed for stock market investing with the personal interaction of playing backgammon or other games, poker was exactly what the bright young man needed to focus on. Still residing in New York City, Seidel made the infamous Mayfair Club his office, regularly competing among some of the best players in the world, including Mickey Appleman, Jason Lester, and Paul Magriel. Cutting his teeth on some of the most talented opponents, he learned to play the game well and eventually decided to take his skills to Las Vegas to see if they could translate to the 1988 WSOP Main Event championship.

Unfortunately for Seidel, his run ended to another professional player, Johnny Chan. However, most people identify Seidel as the most famous second place finisher in the history of the tournament. Immortalised in the poker movie, Rounders, Seidel was duped by Chan into pushing all of his chips in the middle when Chan held the nut straight. While this may be the reason that most poker fans know of Seidel, he amended the lack of a WSOP bracelet with wins in the three consecutive years of 1992, 1993, and 1994. Unlike many modern players that only focus on No Limit Hold 'Em, Erik Seidel has proven that he is a competitor at any form of poker, having won bracelets in five different variations of the game. This amount is included in his total of over $16.6 million in tournament winnings and at least as much in high stakes cash games around the world that have pitted him against the very best players.

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