Exclusive Interview with Full Tilt Poker Professional Erik Seidel

Erik Seidel
Erik Seidel in the 2005 WSOP, Jun 18, Event 17, $2,500 Limit Hold'em tournament.

Erik Seidel has had a great 2005 WSOP, winning one event and placing high in several others. He is currently a representative of online poker room Full Tilt Poker. Prior to becoming a poker pro, Eric was a world-class backgammon player; for eight years, he traveled the world to attend the most important matches on that circuit. Eric's first experience with poker came during high school, but he didn't take it up seriously until 1985, when he began playing at Manhattan's famous Mayfair Club.

Which of the 27 players that are left in the Main Event are you hoping will win it?

The Full Tilt guys Phil Ivey and Mike Matusow.

What do you have to say about the 2005 WSOP?

I think it has been very good for the future of poker. They really did a great job with handling the crowds and running things smoothly. Also, the structure was great and it enabled the better players to really come through, meaning many of the most skilled players got a piece of the pie.

Almost exclusively, but I do play some cash games at Full Tilt Poker. I like tournaments because of the personal challenge, competing with the best in the world. Final tables are especially exciting, as they are all unique and you have to be able to play many styles and types of opponents.

Do you play most of the big tournaments?

Yes I do, almost all of the WPT tournaments and the WSOP, except the cruises and the Paris one.

Playing in the new poker world with huge starting fields and many players coming straight off the Internet, what problems and opportunities arise because of this?

This is actually something I have spoken about extensively with John Juanda and we think that it hasn't affected our chances too much because the fields are weaker than they used to be. This was proven this year because so many of the veterans really came through.

For guys like yourself, what are your strengths compared to these younger Internet players?

I think we are better at reading people and understand the structure of these tournaments better. Many of the Internet players are not used to the slower structure. In poker, the best players always adjust.

Which type of tournaments do you prefer playing?

All the No-Limit and Pot-Limit tournaments. This year I thought the $10,000 Omaha was the best one because it had so much play in it.

My ability to adapt.

What about weakness?

Sometimes I wish I had more patience and thought a hand through better before I acted. John Juanda is a role model when it comes to this.

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