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Erik Seidel’s poker reputation is that of a legend. The Poker Hall of Famer, who is comfortably inside the All-Time Money List’s Top 10, raked in yet another seven-figure top prize this week as he beat some of the best in the world to win his 10th WSOP bracelet on Paradise Island at the Atlantis Resort in The Bahamas.
“Spades are good for you today, Erik.”
With an incredible field of 137 entries, each paying $50,000 to play the Super High Roller Event, the seventh event of the World Series of Poker Paradise festival saw some of thw world’s brightest poker talents meet at the felt. The $6.85 million prizepool saw 21 players reach the money, with professionals such as Sam Greenwood (19th for $85,200), Chris Brewer (13th for $106,500) and Timothy Adams (9th for $162,800) all making a profit but falling short of the eight-handed final table.
On the final day, Erik Seidel led the field, but his lead was a fairly slim one, with 60 big blinds in front of him and the blinds shallow for the buy-in. With Alex Foxen close behind, others had far fewer chips and it was another poker legend who busted first. All-in with pocket sixes, Spanish player Adrian Mateos needed to hold in order to survive, with Seth Gottlieb holding the two overcards of a king and a queen. On the board of K-T-4-5-4, Mateos lost his stack and Gottlieb grabbed a sacred scalp, removing Mateos’ and his tournament end game strength from the event worth even more than his chips.
Erik Seidel didn’t become the chip leader at the final table – or win nine WSOP bracelets – by passing up the opportunity to score elimination s of his own and he put his chip leading stack to good use to bust Jonathan Jaffe in seventh for $261,400. Jaffe moved all-in with king-queen this time but fell to Seidel’s ace-five as he flopped the nut flush.
“Spades are good for you today, Erik.” said Gottlieb as Jaffe hit the rail and left the field down to six.
Six players were left, and among them was Alex Foxen. The former Global Poker Index number one had begun the day as Seidel’s closest challenger but found himself all-in and at-risk with just eight-four. They failed to get there against Seidel’s ten-six and Foxen’s run ended prematurely by his own high standards as the American slid out of contention in sixth place for $337,300.
Japanese players Koichi Chiba was the next to be eliminated, pushing 11 big blinds over the line with king-queen, the hand of the day. They weren’t even flipping against British-based Turkish player Orpen Kisacikoglu, whose pocket kings won through after a board that only ever offered Chiba a gutshot let down his feint hopes and send him to the rail with $440,500.
Jason Koon was perhaps the most feared player still in the field, so when he busted in fourth place for $582,100, the remaining three players were delighted. Koon shoved with a suited queen-ten, but Kisacikoglu called with pocket eights and a board of A-T-8-8-6 gave the Turkish player quads on the turn to end any hope of glory for Jason Koon. The West Virginian player did top up his lifetime earnings to over $53 million in the process, however!
“Any time you win a bracelet is an incredibly special thing.” ~ Erik Seidel, 10-time WSOP bracelet winner.
Gottlieb looked like Seidel’s main rival and three-handed, he proved that to be the case. Kisacikoglu lost with king-nine to Seidel’s king-ten and busted third for $778,300 and that pot gave Seidel a lead going into the final battle as his 26 million chips played Gottlieb’s 15m.
Seidel improved that lead to 4:1 but lost an all-in with the title on the line as his queen-ten lost to Gottlieb’s ace-jack. That meant the final hand saw things a little more even, but Gottlieb was still at risk when he slowed played a flopped two pair with king-six. On a board that eventually came K-Q-6-5-8, Seidel had made it to the river with nine-seven and gone runner-runner for a straight. All the chips went in and the modest New York native who now lives in Vegas was delighted with his win.
“It really is nice to get to double digits,” he told PokerNews reporters afterwards. “Any time you win a bracelet is an incredibly special thing. To get to ten is a beautiful feeling.”
When asked what it was that has made the man who has won major titles in five decades so enduring, Seidel was modest in his reply.
“Part of it is that I love the game,” he smiled. “I love to wake up and play; hopefully I can keep that enthusiasm.”
Now level with Johnny Chan, Phil Ivey and Doyle Brunson on ten WSOP bracelets and only behind Phil Hellmuth on 17 bracelets in the WSOP all-time bracelet list, here’s how Seidel celebrated victory in an interview with PokerNews after the event.
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