Erik Seidel is an anomaly – in the high stakes game where ego, bravado and recklessness can be the difference in seven-figure swings, Seidel brings none of it to the table. He’s revered as a legend of the old guard, a master among the high roller circuit and Seidel seems to be lost on the reverence his presence demands at the table.

Seidel’s introverted presence doesn’t lead to much table talk or interaction with media. “That’s me – I’m generally not a super excitable person,” he said.

Seidel is second on the all-time money list with $31,683,743; trailing Daniel Negreanu by $1.2 million – which is real driving factor for Seidel. “I’m enjoying chasing him down,” he said. “I’m coming after it and he’s not going to be standing still.”

Seidel’s earned $669,968 since January alone, which includes five events with a $25,000 buy-in or more. The high roller events are where Seidel has shined over the last couple years. “I try and play the tournaments that are big enough to interest me,” he said. “I like to go after the largest prizes, I like the High Roller (events).”

Seidel wrapped up his trip the World Poker Tour’s Seminole Hard Poker Showdown where he made three deep runs during the series. He finished in 13th place in the $3,500 WPT Showdown with 1,207 entries, then finished in 15th place in the $25,500 High Roller event – which ultimately convinced him to stay for the Tournament of Champions.

“I was planning on leaving and not playing it, but I’m glad I did stay,” said Seidel. “I’ll be playing them in the future. It’s a nice field, plus with the added money and the car and everything – it’s a pretty amazing thing.”

“We’re not used to that kind of treatment,” he added. “I’ll always be coming here because they treat the players really well. They do a good job running tournaments.”

He’s managed to stay ahead of the curve and succeed where his peers of the past haven’t evolved with the game. Seidel didn’t tip his hat what he does to stay on top. 
“I really don’t know what I’m doing different,” he said. “I never really feel like I know what I’m doing, so nothing has really changed.”

“I don’t know that I’m necessarily ahead of these guys, I’m just trying to hold my own against them,” Seidel added.

Seidel’s been beating the game for the better part of four decades and saw a lot of players come and go – which would present a challenge for almost anyone to stay humble. “I don’t really think that’s a problem (for me), the game keeps me grounded,” he said. “I’m surprised there are people with giant egos that run around and think they’re great players. To me it’s a very a humbling game, the cards will straighten you out.”