Erik Seidel's unbelievable start to 2011 continued this weekend with a win in the NBC National Heads Up Championship.
After losing in the final to Annie Duke a year ago, Seidel took the top spot this time, beating a resurgent 2003 WSOP Main Event champ Chris Moneymaker to collect the $750,000 first-place prize.
“I have competed in the NHPC since 2005 and lost to Annie Duke in the finals at last year’s tournament, so my win today is truly special,” Seidel said following Sunday's win in Las Vegas.
“It is always exciting to compete against my fellow poker players who showcased great skill on the tables this year.”
Combined with two final table appearances at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, the $100K High Rollers at the Aussie Millions, wins in the Aussie Millions $250K Super High Roller and the $25k High Roller at the L.A. Poker Classic and a fifth-place finish in the $5k Heads Up in L.A., the Hall of Famer has earned an amazing $4.3 million so far in 2011, enough to give him $14.6 million in lifetime earnings and push past Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu to take the top spot on tournament poker's all-time leading money winner's list.
Seidel's path to the final at Caesars Palace included wins over Allen Cunningham, Jennifer Harman, Phil Gordon, Vanessa Selbst and Andrew Robl.
The final 16 players were paid with Moneymaker grabbing $300k for his runner-up finish.
The 64-player championship was taped for broadcast on NBC over six consecutive Sundays beginning April 17.