Erik Seidel – the four million dollar man [Monday editorial]
Monday, 7 March 2011
I’m going to level with you, Bluff Europe readers. It’s Monday morning now (or afternoon if you’re reading this late; if it’s Tuesday by this point you’re behind) and I did have this piece written out and ready to go last night – after all, Erik Seidel had won $3.6m in 2011 and was deep in the NBC Heads-Up Crapshoot (TM) so it seemed fitting to write about him.
Of course, I have to change it now because he won said Crapshoot to add another $750,000 to his earnings for this year. Since he was at the final of the NBC Heads-Up and came runner-up to Annie Duke last year it seems fitting to compile a list of Seidel’s tournament poker achievements since the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championships 2010. It’s a biggun...
After winning $250,000 for coming second to Annie Duke in the NBC heads-up last year, Seidel went to the World Series of Poker as per usual. There, he made three final tables for a total of over $180,000 and competed in some televised events such as the Poker Million IX and the Doubles Championship. That was his 2010 – about $500,000 in cashes (did we not mention the $10,000 AUD PLO he won earlier that year?) but he decided to top that this year.
According to the Hendon Mob database, which I with my fairly encyclopaedic knowledge of the live circuit can verify as correct, Seidel has won $4.3m this year. At the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure he finished 4th in the $25,000 High Roller event ($295,960) and 3rd in the $5,000 6-max tournament ($46,560). Jetting off to Melbourne, he managed to finish third in the $100,000 AUD High Roller tournament ($625,000 AUD) before taking down the $250,000 Super High Roller event for $2.5m AUD and despatching fellow run-gooder Sam Trickett. Oh, then he won the LAPC High Roller ($144,570) and the NBC National Heads-Up Championship.
It’s only the tenth week of the year. If Seidel keeps this up then he’s going to make $25,000,000 in 2011 and bankrupt the poker economy. Of course, that segues nicely into the haters’ argument that “yeah he is good but this is just running hot; he’s basically placed well in some small Sit n Goes.” Well, we can’t deny that the biggest wins (the Super High Rollers and NBC Heads-Up) are in the former case very small fields and in the latter case hardly an indication of skill whatsoever. Seidel himself would say that he has been fortunate to have this run while playing $25,000, $100,000 and $250,000 buy-in tournaments rather than a $100 rebuy on Full Tilt.
However, Seidel is hardly a fish on a heater. More of a cash game player than a tournament grinder anyway, the man formerly known as “the guy who lost in Rounders to Johnny freakin’ Chan” has been on the circuit since before I was born (the year before, actually) and in those 22 years has binked a six-figure year all but four times. Since 2000 alone he has cashed for $11,000,000. In over two decades that is six and often seven figures annually consistently – and this is in the 80s and 90s when a six-figure tournament score actually meant something.
So is Erik Seidel the best tournament player in the world right now? Probably not; probably the best tournament player in the world is some guy in a basement 24-tabling online. Is he the hottest right now? Yeah, he’s hottest. For sure.
Matt Perry’s coverage of “people who run insanely well in big buy-in tournaments” continues on Friday’s editorial with a review of Sam Trickett’s career.