Erik Seidel explains his Poker Hall of Fame selection

Jon Sofen
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Posted on: December 24, 2020 2:37 pm EST

Erik Seidel has a vote for the 2020 Poker Hall of Fame, and he explained his choice in a brief Twitter thread. You may be a bit surprised with his pick given his Full Tilt Poker connection.

The Poker Hall of Fame is set to induct its 2020 member — only one this year — on December 30 during the WSOP Main Event final table in Las Vegas. Fans have already chosen a finalists list that includes 10 deserving candidates, and only one will be selected.

That list is composed of Isai Scheinberg, Patrik Antonius, Antonio Esfandiari, Lon McEachern and Norman Chad (together), Huck Seed, Mike Matusow, Ted Forrest, Eli Elezra, Chris Ferguson, and Matt Savage.

Who is Erik Seidel voting for?

One of the above individuals will be voted in by the 32 living members of the Poker Hall of Fame. Erik Seidel, a 2010 inductee, is alive and ready to vote. And he announced on Twitter that he intends to split his vote among two finalists.

Seidel initially said his vote would go to Huck Seed, the four-time WSOP bracelet winner and 1996 world champion. He laid out a number of reasons for this selection, such as Huck being “honorable” and “well liked,” and Seed’s “great tournament record.”

The Poker Hall of Famer referred to Seed as the “OG Ivey,” meaning he was as dominant in the 1990s as Phil Ivey was in the 2000s. Seed, as Seidel pointed out on Twitter, burst onto the poker scene at a young age and “crushed souls on a daily basis.”

There are many people more qualified to speak on this subject than the great Erik Seidel. The former Full Tilt Poker pro is one of just five players with eight or more WSOP bracelets. He has over $37 million in live tournament winnings, good for fourth in history, and has crushed it on the felt for four decades. Seidel is one of poker’s all-time legends.

Changing his mind

A day after announcing his vote would go to Huck Seed, Seidel changed his mind a bit. Seed still has his vote, but now only half of it.

“After careful thought, & consulting people who’s opinions I value going to split my vote between Huck & Isai So many great choices who have all helped grow the game, but these 2 seem the most deserving to me,” Erik Seidel wrote.

Isai Scheinberg is the PokerStars founder who was convicted of bank wire fraud for his role in connection to the Black Friday scandal in 2011. But he is credited as helping grow online poker from the ground up. The Poker Hall of Fame candidate also worked diligently to ensure Full Tilt Poker’s American players received their account balances after PokerStars bought out the poker site in 2014.

Despite his run-in with the law, Scheinberg is a beloved member of the poker community. Daniel Negreanu and Chris Moneymaker, two long-time PokerStars ambassadors and current Poker Hall of Famers, have also said they plan to vote for Scheinberg.

That isn’t too surprising given their affiliations with PokerStars. But some may find it surprising that Seidel, a former Full Tilt Poker pro, is voting for the PokerStars founder instead of a second fellow FTP pro.

Seed was an FTP pro before the poker site went belly-up. Mike Matusow and Patrik Antonius also served as FTP pros back in the day. But they won’t be receiving Seidel’s vote.

Featured image source: Flickr