Erik Seidel outlasted a field of 624 entrants to win the GGPoker WSOP Online Super MILLION$ High Roller. In addition to the $977,842 first prize, this adds another WSOP gold bracelet to the eight Seidel has won in live events.
Always notable for his modesty, Seidel tweeted the following to his well-wishers:
“Thanks everyone for the kind words. I’m totally thrilled! Really caught me by surprise because I’m so out of my element online.”
Playing from Canada, Seidel had earlier illustrated his discomfort with the online realm. In the midst of battling for nearly a million dollars, he had time to tweet: “Only 2 misclicks so far.”
Despite the unfamiliar environment, this was a classic Seidel performance at a final table. Starting the day in seventh place, Seidel claimed the chip lead after a couple of eliminations. However, entering heads-up play against Francisco Benitez, Seidel found himself out-chipped by more than 4:1. It didn’t take him long to get on even terms, however, aided by an all-in preflop with QQ against Benitez’ JJ, and by flopping a set.
Seidel wrapped up the match in dramatic fashion, getting it in bad preflop with A8 against AK, but taking the title when the board run-out gave him a flush.
Apparently there are those who cannot celebrate a ninth bracelet going to one of poker’s legends. “Johnnysolid” for one was unimpressed:
“All these “online” bracelets are taking away the legitimacy and prestige of having a WSOP bracelet,” he tweeted.
While this is a common refrain, we feel that if anyone understands the legitimacy and prestige of a WSOP bracelet, it is probably a nine-time winner like Erik Seidel.
It’s also worth noting in this context that, when Seidel won his first WSOP bracelet in 1992 in the $2,500 limit hold’em event, there were only 168 entrants. Objectively, topping a field nearly four times as large on unfamiliar online turf is an accomplishment just as worthy of WSOP jewelry as Seidel’s initial victory.
Seidel joins poker legend Johnny Moss as a nine-time winner of the coveted WSOP gold bracelet.
When Moss won his first bracelet, he did so by virtue of a vote held by his peers. Indeed, for the first couple of decades of the WSOP, fields rarely exceeded the 624 players that Seidel bested today. And while there are legitimate concerns about WSOP jewelry being awarded to players confined by the state boundaries of Pennsylvania, an international event contested by the best players in the world is surely deserving of a World Series of Poker title?