Erik Seidel’s Life: Biggest profits and losses, Private life and Net worth

– General Information –

Born on November 6, 1959 in New York City, Erik Seidel has won eight WSOP bracelets and a World Poker Tour title. However, in spite of his successful poker career, he remains a quiet and down-to-earth guy, enjoying spending his free time with his wife, Ruah, and two daughters, Elian and Jamesin.

Nicknamed “Sly” and “Seiborg” by his fans, Seidel plays a cagey tournament game, often even hiding his hole cards from the television cameras. He claims this aspect of his game has nothing to do with strategy, but that he’s simply embarrassed by the number of good cards he’s dealt.

The best bio of Seidel, however, is the music video “Seiborg” made by one of his fans:


– Key Career Dates –


  • 1988: 2nd place during a WSOP Event against Johnny Chan, 1st victory in a Poker Tournament, the 4th Annual Diamond Jim Brady.
  • 1992: 1st WSOP Bracelet ($2,500 Limit Hold’em)
  • 1993: 2nd WSOP Bracelet ($2,500 Omaha 8 or Better)
  • 1994: 3rd WSOP Bracelet ($5,000 Limit Hold’em)
  • 1998: 4th WSOP Bracelet ($5,000 Deuce to Seven Draw)
  • 2001: 5th WSOP Bracelet ($3,000 No Limit Hold’em)
  • 2003: 6th WSOP Bracelet ($1,500 Pot Limit Omaha)
  • 2005: 7th WSOP Bracelet ($2,000 No Limit Hold’em)
  • 2007: 8th WSOP Bracelet ($5,000 World Championship No-Limit)
  • 2008: 1st WPT Title (WPT Foxwoods Poker Classic)
  • 2010: Inducted into Poker Hall of Fame
  • 2011: Biggest winning : US$2,472,555 at the A$250,000 Super High Roller No Limit Hold’em.


– Erik Seidel’s Career –

 → Beginnings ←

Seidel’s love of games and gift for competition were ignited as a child. So much so that when he was 12 years old, he even appeared on the TV game show “To Tell the Truth” (no longer airing). As a college student in the 70s, Seidel started playing backgammon, and as soon as he realized his potential, he dropped out of school and began to play professionally.

Indeed, for about eight years in his early- to mid-20s Seidel was a successful professional backgammon player. When he wasn’t traveling the country to attend tournaments, he could often be found at New York’s famous card room, the Mayfair Club. While traveling to Las Vegas for backgammon tournaments, he developed an interest in poker.

However, as the gaming life begin to wear him down, he decided to transition to a more traditional 9-5 job with a regular schedule and steady paycheck. So, he became a stockbroker in 1985. This short-lived move ended in 1987, when the stock market crash caused many stock brokers to lose their jobs, Seidel included. As the economy crashed and those steady 9-5 jobs became hard to find, Seidel went back to playing at the Mayfair, but this time he turned to poker instead of backgammon, and, as it turns out, he was quite the natural.

Indeed, he was so good at the Mayfair cash games that a few of the regulars took notice. They invited him to join them at the 1988 WSOP in Las Vegas. Even though they had to cover most of his buy-in for the the $10k Main Event, it turned out to be well worth it when Seidel finished as the runner-up to Johnny Chan, the back-to-back defending champion. Following that WSOP, Seidel returned to New York, went back to work on Wall Street, and continued playing at local tournament tables.


→ World Series of Poker ←

Few players have achieved greater WSOP success than Seidel. Doyle Brunson, Johnny Moss, Phil Hellmuth Jr., and Chan are the only players who currently hold more bracelets than him.

Thus far, he has eight WSOP bracelets and 35 final tables in his WSOP career. Additionally, he’s currently second in WSOP cashes with 94 in-the-money finishes. For 3 years running (1992-1994), he claimed WSOP bracelets in side events.

Year Tournament Prize (US$)
1992 $2,500 Limit Hold’em $168,000
1993 $2,500 Omaha 8 or Better $94,000
1994 $5,000 Limit Hold’em $210,000
1998 $5,000 Deuce to Seven Draw $132,700
2001 $3,000 No Limit Hold’em $411,300
2003 $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha $146,100
2005 $2,000 No Limit Hold’em $611,795
2007 $5,000 World Championship No-LimitDeuce to Seven Draw Lowball w/rebuys $538,835

→ WPT ←

Seidel has been in the money 20 times at the WPT. He has made 5 final WPT tables and won 1 WPT Title.

Most recently, he came in 2nd at the WPT Tournament of Champions in 2017.

→ Other Tournaments ←

Most notable cashes of the last 10 years, not including WPT and WSOP:


  • In January, 2nd place at the A$ 10,000 + 500 No Limit Hold’em – Main Event
    2008 Aussie Millions Poker Championship for $879,028
  • In April, 1st place at the $9,700 + 300 No Limit Hold’em – WPT Event
    Foxwoods Poker Classic 2008 for $992,890




  • In January, 1st place at the A$ 10,000 + 500 Pot Limit Omaha
    2010 Aussie Millions Poker Championship for $110,755


  • In January, 1st place at the A$ 250,000 Super High Roller No Limit Hold’em
    2011 for $2,472,555 and 3rd place at the A$ 100,000 + 500 No Limit Hold’em -Aussie Millions Poker Championship for $618,139
  • In February, 1st place at the $ 25,100 High Roller Event 2011 L.A. Poker Classic for $144,570
  • In March, 1st place at the $25,000 No Limit Hold’em NBC National Heads-Up Championship 2011 for $750,000
  • In April, 2nd place at the $9,600 + 400 No Limit Hold’em – Main Event Hollywood Poker Open for $155,103
  • In May, 1st place at the $100,000 Super High Roller Event – No Limit Hold’em Ninth Annual Five Star World Poker Classic for $1,092,780
  • In August, 2nd place at the $ 20,000 No Limit Hold’em Six Handed – League Main Event 2011-12 Epic Poker League for $604,330.

In 2011, his tremendous performance brought in US$6.53M:




  •  In February, 3rd place at the A$ 25,000 No Limit Hold’em – $25,000 Challenge 2013 Aussie Millions Poker Championship for $131,962
  •  In August, 2nd place at the €48,000 + 2,000 No Limit Hold’em – Super High Roller EPT for $745,224
  •  In December, 2nd place at the $100,000 No Limit Hold’em – High Roller WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic for $650,100


  • In February, 3rd place at the A$ 100,000 No Limit Hold’em – $100,000 Challenge 2014 Aussie Millions Poker Championship for $963,691


  • In February, 1st place at the $25,000 No Limit Hold’em High Roller Aria High Roller 4 for $159,230
  • In April, 1st place at the €98,000 + 2,000 No Limit Hold’em – Super High Roller at the EPT, for $2,222,222
  • In May, 2nd place at the $24,000 + 1,000 No Limit Hold’em, Aria High Roller 9, Las Vegas, for $354,000
  • In October, 3rd place at the $24,000 + 1,000 No Limit Hold’em – High Roller, Aria High Roller 15, for $57,600


  • In February, 3rd place at the $25,000 No Limit Hold’em – High Roller A
    Aria High Roller for $296,800
  • In May, 2nd place at the €10,000 + 200 No Limit Hold’em – Turbo 6Max #79
    EPT – 12 – FPS – 6 – Grand Final, Monte Carlo for $ 158,479. Also 3rd place at the $ 300,000 No Limit Hold’em Super High Roller Bowl with 888poker, Las Vegas for $2,400,000
  • In July, 2nd at the Aria High Roller, Las Vegas for $264,000
  • In October, 2nd and 3rd place in two events at the Aria High Roller, Las Vegas, for $293,125 and $127,680


  • In February, 2nd place at the Triton Super High Roller Series, for $302,380
  • In April, 3rd place at the €50,000 No Limit Hold’em PokerStars Championship, for $461,570
  • In September, 2nd place at the $50,000 No Limit Hold’em – Event #3 2017 Poker Masters, Las Vegas for $576,000



→ Online Poker ←

Seidel doesn’t play much online poker. He had a brief stint on FullTilt, from January 2007 to April 2009, but during that time he lost a total of $350,762.


→ Sponsorship Deals ←

While Seidel’s primary poker interest has always been tournaments, he was an early embracer of the poker internet revolution, joining Howard Lederer as an integral member of FullTilt’s initial design team. As a critical member of the site’s conception, he also appeared in a series of TV ads for the site. However, he became disgusted with the site’s management and has not been involved with online poker since. FullTilt appears to still owe him about $5M.


→ Business ←

New York Times bestselling author and New Yorker contributor Maria Konnikova is releasing a new book about poker, which is billed as the account of her “year long immersion in the high stakes world of professional poker, apprenticed to one of game’s greatest and most reclusive champions”. She is referring to Seidel, who began playing poker under the guidance of Seidel’s mentorship.

→ Scandals ←

Erik Seidel, John Juanda, and Zachary Clark were scammed by Seyed Reza Ali Fazeli, a poker player charged with orchestrating a roughly 18-month-long sports ticket scheme to fund high roller poker buy-ins at the Aria Casino in 2016.

According to the complaint filed in Clark County District Court, Fazeli and his company, Summit Entertainment Group, got $1.3M from Seidel, Juanda, and Clark in order to purchase tickets to the 2017 Super Bowl and resell them at a substantial profit using the online ticketing site They were supposed to share the profits 50-50, but that never happened. The lawsuit refers to his business as a Ponzi scheme.


– Erik Seidel’s Private Life –

 → Love Life ←

A dedicated family man, Seidel is known for spending most of his free time with his wife, Ruah, and there two daughters, Jamesin and Elian. WSOP Champion Jennifer Harman has even commented on Seidel’s relationship with his family, saying that he talks about his kids a lot and it’s clear just how important they are two him.

Their family life changed significantly when they decided to move from New York to Las Vegas in 1995 to see if Seidel could make it as a full-time poker player. That was a risk that clearly paid off.

Erik and his Family | Pokerography: The Story of Erik Seidel |…

“Erik talks a lot about his kids.” On a day celebrating love, watch the life story of a poker pro who is all about family—his wife and two daughters. Pokerography: The Story of Erik Seidel is playing at 6 p.m. ET only on Poker Central.

Posted by Poker Central on Sunday, 14 February 2016

→ Net Worth ←

According to HendonMob, his Total Live Earnings are $34,507,096.

According to , Erik Seidel is worth $41,900,000.

When he took over the #1 spot on the all-time money list in 2017, he responded by saying, “I am enjoying the pursuit of it. I don’t think in the grand scheme of things that it matters a lot but I am a competitive person and I like the chase.”

Year Winnings Year Winnings
2017 $2,264,003 2002 $556,024
2016 $5,058,492 2001 $468,249
2015 $5,093,703 2000 $46,959
2014 $1,536,877 1999 $292,168
2013 $2,117,841 1998 $258,360
2012 $271,774 1997 $197,950
2011 $6,530,153 1996 $75,786
2010 $536,615 1995 $163,347
2009 $469,682 1994 $364,226
2008 $2,200,333 1993 $163,685
2007 $1,126,371 1992 $270,396
2006 $125,356 1991 $114,465
2005 $887,879 1990 $23,010
2004 $762,872 1989 $11,600
2003 $815,679 1988 $424,000

→ Hobbies & Personal Life ←

Seidel’s hobbies include tennis and taking in a good art show or independent film. He is a self-reported music fanatic and also enjoys solving math problems.

He also travels a lot and shares photos from his trips on his Instagram account. Some places he’s shared photos from include Beijing, London, NYC, Barcelona, Galapagos, Monaco, Melbourne, Berlin, and Stockholm.

Unlike Instagram, he’s much more political on Twitter.

Before Trump was elected, he shared the following tweet, which was heavily commentated on:

And it doesn’t seem like much has changed in the 2 intervening years:


– Erik Seidel on Social Media –

  Twitter: 81,000 followers

  Instagram: 1,400 subscribers


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