Name – Erik Seidel
Birthday – Not Known
Location – Las Vegas, NV
Online Screen Names – empty chair (Ultimate Bet), erik seidel (Full Tilt)
Endorses – Full Tilt Poker
Website – erikseidel.com
Born in New York City, Seidel did not consider poker as a career in his younger days. After heading to college and graduating, he dreamt of becoming a professional backgammon player. Still in New York, he went to the one place that he believed could make his dreams come true – the Mayfair Club. This was the home of several of the world’s best backgammon players as well as several individuals who he would make friends with and who would ultimately lead Seidel to poker. They included Howard Lederer and Dan Harrington.
Seidel first played poker competitively in a casino on a trip to Las Vegas. For low stakes, the game certainly caught his attention and he was soon joining in with the Friday night poker game at the Mayfair. However, having never had a stable job since leaving college, Seidel was starting to feel the strain of paying the bills and decided to take a job as a Wall Street trader in 1985.
Fate soon dictated that Seidel return to poker. After losing his job in 1987 after the Wall Street Crash, Seidel began attending the Mayfair again with a vengeance. This time, he decided to try and make his name outside of the club and entered the World Series of Poker in 1988. He tried to get a spot in the main event via winning a satellite tournament, but lost all nine of those that he entered. However, he did not let this set him back and refused to return home without plying in the main event, so he bought his way in!
It was a decision that Seidel would never regret. He famously came second to Johnny Chan in the main event, of which the final hand was famously featured in the film Rounders.
Seidel did not turn become a professional until 1995, despite the success. Instead, he returned to New York and traded on the AMEX, keeping poker for regular trips to Las Vegas. At this point, he took part in both cash games and tournaments and continued to make a name for himself.
When Seidel moved to Las Vegas in 1995, he set about consolidating his reputation as one of the best and most consistent poker players in the world. With nine WSOP bracelets under his belt, he most definitely achieved his goal. He won consecutive bracelets in 1992, 1993 and 1994, as well as adding to his haul in 1994, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007. His bracelets have come in a variety of games, including Omaha 8 or Better and Hold ‘Em, thus making him the most complete player around, as well as one of the most respected!