Erik Seidel Finally Wins The National Heads-Up Poker Championship

Last year longtime pro Erik Seidel was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame, but fans that thought Seidel’s best years were behind him have another think coming. The last few months – since Seidel officially became a living legend – have been some of the best of his career, as evidenced by him winning the largest payout of his career just two weeks ago. Now Seidel can add National Heads-Up Poker Champion to his already long and impressive resume.

Seidel has snapped up a spot in many of our 2011 tournament wrap-ups. He started his year by appearing at two final tables at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. The combined value of those finishes was nearly a quarter of a million. Only one week later Seidel was on the other side of the world winning big at the Aussie Millions. Not only did he once again appear at two final tables, Seidel actually managed to eke out a monster win at the tournament’s record-setting $250,000 Super High Roller event.

All said and done, Seidel’s few days down under earned him more than $3 million and bumped him up a spot on the live tournament earnings list, putting him in second and knocking Phil Ivey down to third for the first time in years. Those first four cashes at two of the world’s largest tournaments would have been enough to make any poker pro’s entire year, and yet Seidel was back at it again in February at the L.A. Poker Classic. There he once again not only made it to the finals of two more events (including the Commerce Heads-Up Championship) but one another high roller event worth $144,570.

Those wins at the L.A. Poker Classic were just a warm-up for what Seidel had planned for last weekend, though. He arrived in Las Vegas only a day after his win in Los Angeles but if he was jet-lagged his playing certainly didn’t show it. Seidel started in one of the tournament’s toughest brackets – the Diamonds. There would be no blow-off celebrity opponents for him, either. His very first match-up was against five-time WSOP bracelet winner Allen Cunningham. Then he was up against one of the best female pros in history – Jennifer Harman. He got a little breather against Phil Gordon in Round 3 only to face Vanessa Selbst – who has also been having a phenomenal run these last few months – in the quarterfinals.

Having powered his way through his bracket, Seidel would next face off against Andrew Robl to decide who would represent the red side. Obviously Seidel won again, and Chris Moneymaker’s victory over Jonathan Duhamel meant that the final came down to Moneymaker vs Seidel. After participating for five years, Seidel fell just short of the National Heads-Up Poker Championship title last year (when Annie Duke bested him in the last moments of the tournament), but this time around it was clear that Seidel wouldn’t settle for less than the win. Kudos to him for truly being the best of the best.

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