Erik Seidel: From Instant WSOP Hit to King of the Six-Figure Score

Erik Seidel
42 six-figure scores for Seidel

Erik Seidel was an instant hit at the World Series of Poker.

In the 1988 Main Event, his first major poker tournament, Seidel finished second to Johnny Chan.

Adding to his future legacy the tournament’s final hand was later immortalized in the movie Rounders.

Seidel’s early success continued with his next three WSOP cashes including another runner-up and two titles.

Now 15 years later Seidel's total WSOP bracelet count sits at 8, putting him sixth overall on the all-time list.

Already a WSOP legend Seidel's recent success, however, has shifted to exclusive high-roller tournaments around the world.

High Rollers "Really Aren't That Different"

Erik Seidel
Like any other tournament, mostly.

Since his last WSOP victory in 2007 Seidel has cashed in 11 tournaments with a $25k buy-in or higher for $8 million in payouts.

When asked about his success in the bigger tournaments, Seidel doesn’t see much different than regular tournaments besides his opponents' general skill level.

“I think after playing them you get a sense of the structure and you do get a feel for the players a little bit,” Seidel said.

“They really aren’t that different from other tournaments. You just generally are up against a higher quality of player.”

With his history of high-roller success it’s no surprise that Seidel is set to play in this summer’s $1,000,000 buy-in Big One for One Drop.

He entered the inaugural event in 2012 but was unable to make it through the first day after losing a coin flip against eventual winner Antonio Esfandiari.

Young Guys Create More Volatility

The confirmed list of players in this year's tournament includes a large number of top young players and a smaller group of deep-pocketed businessmen.

Dan “Jungleman12” Cates, Vanessa Selbst, Doug Polk, Dan Colman and 2012 WSOP Main Event champ Greg Merson are just a few playing in their first Big One along with several still-to-be-named businessmen.

Erik Seidel
“The young guys definitely put the heat on you

Seidel’s attention is more on the accomplished pros than those businessmen looking for a high-stakes gamble. They're the tougher competition, even if the businessmen can be unpredictable.

“They’re all tough; it’s just a different adjustment for everybody,” Seidel said. "The young guys definitely put the heat on you, they certainly create more volatility.

"They’re very tough to play against.”

Only five players own more WSOP titles than Seidel and few can match his results in the most expensive tournaments.

With 42 results of six-figures and higher over his career, Seidel is clearly a favorite every time he takes a seat.

Follow along live right here on PokerListings starting June 29 as Seidel takes another shot at the Big One title and a ninth bracelet.

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