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Erik Seidel Becomes Fifth Player To 10 WSOP Bracelets

64-Year-Old Hall Of Famer Earns Huge Score In Paradise

by Erik Fast |  Published: Jan 10, 2024


Erik Seidel Wins No. 10Age is just a number. And so is 10!

64-year-old Erik Seidel became just the fifth player in tournament poker history to capture 10 gold bracelets.

The Poker Hall of Famer took down the World Series of Poker Paradise $50,000 high roller event in the Bahamas to enter a four-way tie for second on the all-time bracelet leaderboard with fellow legends of the game Johnny Chan, Phil Ivey, and the late Doyle Brunson. Only 17-time WSOP champion Phil Hellmuth has more titles.

“It really is nice to get to double digits,” Seidel told PokerNews live reporters after the win. “Any time you win a bracelet is just an incredibly special thing. To get to 10… I don’t know, it’s a beautiful feeling. It’s just so nice when things go well like this.”

The New York City native and longtime Las Vegas resident defeated a field of 137 entries in the high-stakes affair held at the Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas resort, earning $1,704,400 for the win. This was the fourth-largest score yet for the longtime poker pro, whose runner-up finish to Johnny Chan in the 1988 WSOP main event was immortalized in the cult classic movie Rounders.

Seidel now has more than $46.7 million in lifetime tournament earnings, good for ninth place on the all-time money list. More than $9.3 million of those scores have come in bracelet events. He also has a World Poker Tour main event title, along with numerous high roller victories.

The first of Seidel’s 10 bracelets was won back in 1992 in the $2,500 limit hold’em event at the 23rd annual WSOP. He won the $2,500 Omaha eight-or-better event the following year and the $5,000 limit hold’em event the year after that. He recorded his fourth and final bracelet win of the 90s by taking down the $5,000 no-limit deuce-to-seven lowball event, long considered one of the toughest tournaments on the schedule.

Seidel won another four bracelets in the 2000s, starting by taking down the $3,000 no-limit hold’em event in 2001. Just a few weeks prior to Chris Moneymaker winning the main event, Seidel came out on top in the $1,500 pot-limit Omaha event for his sixth career bracelet. Two years later, he emerged victorious in a $2,000 no-limit hold’em event with what was then a career-high payday of $611,795. His eighth bracelet came with a repeat in the $5,000 no-limit deuce-to-seven lowball event, this time at the 2007 series.

While he had plenty of success on the live felt during the 2010s, particularly on the high roller circuit, Seidel was unable to add to his bracelet total during the decade. More than 14 years after his last victory, Seidel finally came away with bracelet no. 9 by winning a $10,000 high roller no-limit event during the 2021 WSOP Online festival.

This latest win was arguably his toughest. The field of 137 entries produced a prize pool of $6,850,000, more than tripling the guarantee, paying out the top 21 finishers. The money bubble burst late on day 1, leaving just 17 contenders heading into day 2. Seth Gottlieb held the chip lead at the start of the day, with Seidel hot on his heels, foreshadowing their eventual heads-up match.

Plenty of superstars fell on the way to the final table, including two-time bracelet winner Daniel Dvoress (17th), bracelet winner Santhosh Suvarna (14th), two-time bracelet winner Chris Brewer (13th), bracelet winner Ivan Luca (12th), two-time bracelet winner Nick Petrangelo (11th), and Michael Watson (10th), who is a WPT champion and two-time EPT main event winner.

Seidel had overtaken the lead by the time the field combined onto one table. Bracelet winner Timothy Adams (9th – $162,800) was the next to depart, with his A-7 unable to come from behind against the A-Q of Koichi Chiba.

Gottlieb moved in front during eight-handed play, then extended his lead when his K-Q won a race against the pocket sixes of four-time bracelet winner Adrian Mateos (8th – $205,000).

Seidel closed the gap a bit when his ASpade Suit 5Spade Suit beat out the KSpade Suit QDiamond Suit of WPT champion Jonathan Jaffe (7th – $261,400). Seidel flopped the nut flush to leave Jaffe in need of running cards for a straight flush, which never came.

Bracelet winner and WPT champion Alex Foxen was the next to fall. He lost all but a couple of big blinds in a preflop flip against fellow bracelet winner Orpen Kisacikoglu, but was ultimately sent to the rail by Seidel after a battle of the blinds. Neither player had much to speak of preflop, but Seidel made jacks and tens to win the pot and eliminate Foxen in sixth place ($337,300).

Chiba’s run came to an end when his K-Q ran into the pocket kings of a surging Kisacikoglu. The Japanese newcomer to the live high-stakes scene earned $440,500 for his efforts.

Bracelet winner and ten-time Triton Poker title earner Jason Koon was the next player to square off against Kisacikoglu in a preflop all-in. He three-bet shoved from the small blind with QClub Suit 10Club Suit over Kisacikoglu’s cutoff open. Kisacikoglu called with pocket eights and made quads by the turn to leave Koon drawing dead.

Koon earned $582,100 as the fourth-place finisher. His $52.8 million in recorded cashes is good for fourth place on poker’s all-time earnings leaderboard.

Seidel began to pull away during three-handed play. Gottlieb was the short stack for a bit but managed a double-up through Kisacikoglu to swap spots in the chip counts. Kisacikoglu eventually got all-in with KHeart Suit 9Heart Suit trailing the KSpade Suit 10Spade Suit of Seidel.

Neither player connected with an ace-high runout and Kisacikoglu was eliminated in third place ($778,300). The Turkish player now has nearly $17.1 million in lifetime earnings after this latest deep run.

With that, Seidel took roughly a 5:3 chip lead into heads-up play against Gottlieb. He was pulling away in the early going, and was one card away from closing out the win after his Q-10 suited had outflopped Gottlieb’s A-J. A rivered wheel for Gottlieb in that hand saw him close the gap considerably, but Seidel was still ahead when the final hand of the tournament was dealt.

Seidel limped in from the button with 9Spade Suit 7Diamond Suit and Gottlieb checked with KHeart Suit 6Diamond Suit. The flop came down KHeart Suit QHeart Suit 6Heart Suit to give Gottlieb kings up and he checked. Seidel checked behind with his air and picked up a gutshot straight draw on the 5Diamond Suit turn. Gottlieb bet and Seidel called.

The 8Club Suit completed Seidel’s straight and Gottlieb bet. Seidel raised and Gottlieb moved all-in with his two pair. Seidel quickly called to earn the pot and the title.

Gottlieb was awarded $1,052,800 as the runner-up, the largest tournament score yet for the startup founder from New Jersey.

In addition to the money and the coveted hardware, Seidel was also awarded plenty of rankings points for his most recent win at the series. The 924 Card Player Player of the Year points he nabbed for his 11th final-table finish of the year were enough to move him into 76th place in the 2023 POY standings presented by Global Poker. He also secured 750 PokerGO Tour points as the champion, sufficient to place him 11th on that high-stakes-focused leaderboard.

Place Player Payout (POY)
1 Erik Seidel $1,704,400 (924)
2 Seth Gottlieb $1,052,800 (770)
3 Orpen Kisacikoglu $778,300 (616)
4 Jason Koon $582,100 (462)
5 Koichi Chiba $440,500 (385)
6 Alex Foxen $337,300 (308)
7 Jonathan Jaffe $261,400 (231)
8 Adrian Mateos $205,000 (154)
9 Timothy Adams $162,800 (77)

Erik Seidel’s 10 WSOP Bracelets

Year Event Payout
1992 $2,500 Limit Hold’em $168,000
1993 $2,500 Omaha Eight-Or-Better $94,000
1994 $5,000 Limit Hold’em $210,000
1998 $5,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball $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 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball $538,835
2021 $10,000 GGPoker Online High Roller $977,842
2023 $50,000 Paradise Super High Roller $1,704,400

*Photos by WSOP / PokerNews and PokerGO