Friday February 12, 2016 at 12:20 am
FUN

Erik Seidel's introduction to poker? Stu Ungar. Yes, that Stu Ungar. It was the legendary wild man Ungar who introduced a young, shy and innocent Erik Seidel to the high-paced world of professional poker in Las Vegas. At the time, Seidel was a professional backgammon player, but there was zero money on the backgammon circuit. Ungar let Seidel tag along with him at the Stardust Casino and Ungar gave Seidel a glimpse into the lucrative poker world. And... the rest is history.

Erik Seidel Young
One of the earliest pics of Erik Seidel in Vegas (Pic by Nolan Dalla)

The newest episode of Poker Central's Pokerography focuses on the life of Erik Seidel. If your cable provider offers the new 24-hour all-poker channel, Poker Central, then you can watch Pokerography. Today's modern players were intorduced to poker through the internet, or video games such as Starcraft, some other card game like Magic.

 

However, Erik Seidel's entrance to poker came via backgammon. Yeah, backgammon. That game with the dice and the colored discs.

Way before Erik Seidel became one of the most successful poker players in the world and was immortalized by Rounders, Seidel held a job on Wall Street and in his spare time, he was a mild-mannered professional backgammon player.

On the pro backgammon circuit, Seidel came across poker pros Chip Reese and Stu Ungar, who were also avid backgammon players. Ungar and Seidel both grew up in New York City, so they had an instant connection. Ungar took the young Seidel under his wing and taught him how poker cash games worked.

Stu Ungar
Vintage Stu Ungar

The first time Seidel was really exposed to poker was when Ungar let Seidel tag along with him to play a night of poker. Ungar and Seidel hit up the old Stardust Casino on the Strip.

Seidel pulled up a chair and sweat Ungar for a session. Seidel had no clue what was going on but he was intrigued and captivated by Ungar's dominance at the tables. When Seidel was ready to take the leap himself, he turned a $2 investment into $50! Talk about an auspicious beginning.

Before his first session at the old Dunes casino in Las Vegas, Seidel picked up a book by David Sklansky for $2. Seidel thumbed through it and was ready to play.

 

By the end of the night, Seidel was up $50. He was hooked, and the rest is history.

 

Watch a sneak preview of Poker Central's Pokerography: The Story of Erik Seidel here…

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