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Erik Seidel: Professional Poker Player Profile

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Erik Seidel is known as one of the best No Limit players in the circuit. A skilled high-stakes poker player, he is always welcomed at the tables not only for his talent for winning, but also his talent for initiating intelligent conversation. Many people who meet Erik Seidel for the first time are pleasantly surprised by his intellectual air and calm demeanor. Seidel considers patience as one of his strengths, and "malleability" as another.

The first time Erik Seidel played in the WSOP Championship Event, in 1988, he finished second. He then made it back to the final table of the Championship Event in 1999, where he finished fourth. His first bracelet came in the Limit Hold'em event of 1992. From there, he moved on to gather bracelets from five more events: Limit Hold'em in 1994, Omaha High-Low in 1993, No Limit Deuce-to-Seven Lowball in 1998, Pot Limit Omaha in 1993 and No Limit Hold'em in 2001. He won his seventh bracelet in the 2005 $2,000 No-Limit Hold 'em tournament. He also made it to four final tables that year.

Most of Seidel's successes have been in Bellagio or Las Vegas. He is the only player on the Top 10 All-time money lists for those two locales. He was also a member of the famous Mayfair Club, along with other greats such as Howard Lederer and Dan Harrington. Currently, he is playing high-stakes poker in Las Vegas, as well as tournaments with larger buy-ins. He also plays poker exclusively at

Seidel is a native of New York City. He started out in the backgammon circuit, where he played for eight years. Then he moved on to trading stocks. He traded in Wall Street and played poker on the side for many years. Now, he jokes, he lives in Vegas and it's the other way around. When not playing poker he is listening to music or playing tennis. A little-known fact about Seidel is that he had a brief stint as a child actor. He appeared in "To Tell the Truth" once at age 12.

His stellar achievements aside, Erik Seidel is widely remembered as the man who lost to Johnny Chan in a phenomenal win at the 1988 WSOP. Seidel was trapped into attacking when he only had a pair of queens, and Chan held the nut straight. The victory helped Chan bounce back from over $1.2 million in losses, and emerge the year's champion with over $700,000 to his credit. The match was immortalized in the movie "Rounders," starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton. Chan played himself in the movie as the world's champion poker player.

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