Erik Seidel: Carrying a Big Stick

He may have been immortalized in the film Rounders for losing heads-up to Johnny Chan in the Main Event, but he's more than made up for that by taking down eight bracelets in the intervening years.

Tomorrow, when the final table of the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Split Eight-or-Better begins, he gets his second shot of this WSOP at taking home Bracelet No. 9.

I caught up with Seidel just after the final table of the PLO/8 event was set tonight.

You told me earlier tonight how soft the field has been in the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo. With your big double-up before the end of play tonight to get a lot of chips coming in tomorrow, I've got to consider you a favorite. How do you feel coming into the final table?

Well, I'm maybe a favorite over any individual, but I'm not a favorite over the field. You know, it's still a very volatile game and I'm going to have to get some breaks to win it for sure.

You decided not to play the H.O.R.S.E. event if you went deep in this one, right?

Right. I was planning to play in the H.O.R.S.E. if I got knocked out of this, so I consider this a $50,000 bonus that I got to stay in this one.

And the bracelet has got to be worth a lot more for you - it would be No. 9.

That would be great, yeah. It's nice to have a shot at it.

You've had three cashes so far in this WSOP. I remember when we talked in May that you told me you feel like your chances are better at the beginning of the Series, but you seem to have more success toward the end.

It's been sort of spread out this time. You know, this is the most rested I've ever felt at this point in the Series, and I'm really excited about that.

How much does your chef, Sassy Fioriglio, have to do with that? You told me the last time we talked that she was going to be cooking for you during the entire WSOP.

Sassy is huge. She's great. I've also been working out every day. It's great because I've always felt really burned out by this point, and I just don't feel that way at all now. So I'm happy about that. It's a big deal for me.

So if you throw in the $50,000 savings from not playing the H.O.R.S.E., your other three cashes so far, and maybe winning a ninth bracelet, this would be a pretty good Series all in all?

It'll be all right. [laughs] If I win this it'll be good, but if I don't I'll be disappointed for sure. It's just great, though - all you can ask for is to be in there and have a shot at it, which I do.

Thanks a lot, Erik, and good luck tomorrow.

Thank you.

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A well-rested Erik Seidel should be every player's worst nightmare, regardless of the volatility of the game. We'll see tomorrow whether he can triumph for the ninth time in his WSOP career.

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