Eric Seidel is one of the quietest poker players, but he is also one of the most successful. Having earned more than $39 million in live tournaments as of March 2022, he is ranked fourth in the world ranking of players. Bryn Kenny, Daniel Negreanu and Justin Bonomo are few ahead of him. And he is a member of the Poker Hall of Fame.
Seidel has a long history of online poker success. During the poker boom, he was a member of Team Full Tilt, one of the largest online poker sites in the world.
Eric Seidel Biography
Born in New York in 1959, Eric Seidel was a born player who never shied away from a mental challenge. This drive explains why he played tournament backgammon from a young age and then studied poker at the famed Mayfair Club in New York with Dan Harrington and Howard Lederer.
His appetite for risk led him to Wall Street where he worked as a trader. But when the stock market crashed in 1987, he put his poker passion to good use. His first record tournament prize came in 1988. Seidel scored a lot of points in the WSOP Main Event where he finished second behind Johnny Chan.
His finish cost $280k and was even immortalized in the movie Rounders.
In subsequent years, Seidel, his wife and two children moved from New York to Las Vegas, where they live to this day.
Professional poker career
Seidel’s second place finish at the 1988 WSOP was just the beginning of his long and successful career as a poker pro.
WSOP and other tournaments
The player won his first World Series of Poker bracelet in 1992 in a limit hold’em tournament. He went on to win eight more WSOP bracelets, ranging from Pot Limit Omaha and Omaha 8 to Lowball and Deuce to Seven Hold’em.
He has also won a World Poker Tour title at the 2008 WPT Foxwoods Poker Classic, the 2011 NBC National Heads-Up Championship, the Aussie Millions, the LA Poker Classic and the European Poker Tour. Seidel has also made final tables from the PCA (PokerStars Caribbean Adventure) in the Bahamas to the EPTs in Barcelona and Monte Carlo.
He was also the best player in the Epic Poker League.
9 WSOP bracelets and 120 WSOP cashes
By March 2022, Seidel had amassed nine WSOP bracelets, trailing only Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan. He also has close to 120 WSOP cashes, placing him fifth on this historic list, with nearly 50 of those cashes considered “top 10”.
Eric Seidel is adept at many forms of poker, but hold’em tournaments remain his strongest game.
In his treasure trove of poker skills, persistence may be the most rewarding, second only to his passion for the game itself. Seidel has also learned to adapt over the years. As young poker players have changed the tools they use, such as HUDs and solvers, and tournaments have shifted to re-entries and deep stacks, Seidel has adapted, still relying on his skills in game theory, strategy and flair.
Seidel’s overall approach to poker is to develop enough awareness of cards, math and other players to make the right choice every time he sits at the table.
A poker pro pays close attention to his opponents and actions, and takes on every hand. His adaptability allows him to change his style and strategy to suit his opponents’ styles and strategies. Some say he is a selectively aggressive player. He often plays tight in the early stages of tournaments and relaxes a little after some analysis.