LAS VEGAS (October 19, 2010) – New York and Boston feature some of the greatest rivalries in sport, but the man with the odd green-colored Boston Red Sox hat and the former New York Wall Street trader will have to put their allegiances aside for at least one night because Dan Harrington and Erik Seidelwill be joining the Poker Hall of Fame as the official Class of 2010.
Harrington, the 1995 WSOP Main Event champion, and Seidel, an eight-time WSOP gold bracelet winner, are two of the game’s greatest players. Together they will be enshrined into poker’s most exclusive club.
“I’m very honored to be elected to the Poker Hall of Fame this year and it's an extra bonus for me to be going in with Dan Harrington,” said Seidel. “We have played together and have been great friends for my entire poker career. Both of us refined our games at the Mayfair Club in New York. I have such a high regard for the many members of the Poker Hall of Fame that I have played with over the years and it's a real privilege to be able to join them.”
The Poker Hall of Fame Governing Council would sincerely like to congratulate the other 2010 nominees who were deserving finalists and whom remain eligible for future induction: Chris Ferguson, Barry Greenstein, Jennifer Harman-Traniello, Phil Ivey, Linda Johnson, Tom McEvoy, Daniel Negreanu and Scotty Nguyen.
Harrington has amassed more than $6 million in tournament winnings during his career, including winning the 1995 WSOP Main Event as well as a World Poker Tour title. Perhaps most remarkably, Harrington has had tremendous success despite being only a part-time poker player. He holds a record that many say will never be broken. He has reached the final table of the WSOP Main Event a record four times, including back-to-back years in 2003 and 2004, and almost went back-to-back in 1995 and 1996. He won the world championship in 1995 and finished 17th in 1996. He most recently cashed in the 2009 WSOP Main Event. Along with his 1995 Main Event win, Harrington captured a WSOP gold bracelet in a $2,500 No Limit Texas Hold’em event during that same WSOP.
Since first cashing in the 1986 WSOP, Harrington has posted a stellar and consistent 25-year poker career. He is also a noted poker author, attorney, businessman, real estate entrepreneur and stock market trader.
Meanwhile, Erik Seidel’s resume is just as impressive. He is an eight-time WSOP gold bracelet winner who has won more than $10 million in tournament poker during a career spanning four decades. His first major tournament was the 1988 World Series of Poker Main Event, where he finished as the runner-up. The final hand has since been immortalized in the movie Rounders. Erik won his first WSOP gold bracelet in 1992 and his most recent one in 2007. One of the greatest all-around tournament poker players ever, Seidel has won bracelets in five different disciplines of poker.
One of the true gentlemen of the game, Seidel got his start on the tournament backgammon circuit, and moved on to Wall Street from there, where he was a stockbroker. But after the stock market crash in 1987, Seidel found himself out of work. So, he turned to poker full-time. The rest is history.
Harrington and Seidel will be inducted officially on Monday, November 8 at the Rio All-Suites® Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas during the finale of the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event championship.
The special induction ceremony and celebration will take place at 8:00 PM in the Penn & Teller Theater and will immediately precede the Heads-Up finale.
It is indeed ironic that these two gentlemen will be inducted during the same year. Both living icons got their start in tournament backgammon and played together as regulars at the famed Mayfair Club in New York, originally a backgammon and bridge club that became more famous for the poker players it produced.
Harrington, 65, is originally from Cambridge, Massachusetts and now resides in Santa Monica, California. “Action” Dan as he is known, is a distant relative of golfer Padraig Harrington and football quarterback Joey Harrington. In addition, Dan used to play poker with Microsoft founder Bill Gates, when Gates was a student at Harvard.
Seidel, born and raised in New York, now calls Las Vegas home. A tournament regular, Erik is often spotted around the globe playing in the biggest poker tournaments available. An avid music buff and one of the funniest people on Twitter (@Erik_Seidel), Seidel also is a recreational tennis player and once appeared on the game show, To Tell the Truth, when he was just 12-years-old.
The Poker Hall of Fame, established in 1979, was acquired by Harrah’s Entertainment along with the World Series of Poker in 2004. Though the Hall of Fame is virtual in nature, its membership includes poker's most influential players and other important contributors to the game. There are now 18 living members.
The main criteria for the Poker Hall of Fame is as follows:
- A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
- Played for high stakes
- Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers
- Stood the test of time
- Or, for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results.
The entire list of 40 Poker Hall of Fame members includes (alphabetical with year of induction in parenthesis):
o Tom Abdo (1982)
o Crandell Addington (2005)
o Bobby Baldwin (2003)
o Billy Baxter (2006)
o Lyle Berman (2002)
o Joe Bernstein (1983)
o Benny Binion (1990)
o Jack Binion (2005)
o Bill Boyd (1981)
o Doyle Brunson (1988)
o Johnny Chan (2002)
o T.J. Cloutier (2006)
o Nick Dandolos (1979)
o Barbara Enright (2007)
o Fred “Sarge” Ferris (1989)
o T “Blondie” Forbes (1980)
o Henry Green (1986)
o Dan Harrington (2010)
o Murph Harrold (1984)
o Phil Hellmuth (2007)
o James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok (1979)
o Red Hodges (1985)
o Edmond Hoyle (1979)
o Berry Johnston (2004)
o Jack Keller (1993)
o Felton McCorquodale (1979)
o Roger Moore (1997)
o Johnny Moss (1979)
o Henry Orenstein (2008)
o Walter Clyde “Puggy” Pearson (1987)
o Julius Oral Popwell (1996)
o Thomas Austin “Amarillo Slim” Preston (1992)
o David “Chip” Reese (1991)
o Erik Seidel (2010)
o Mike Sexton (2009)
o Jack “Treetop” Straus (1988)
o Duane “Dewey” Tomko (2008)
o Stu “The Kid” Ungar (2001)
o Red Winn (1979)
ABOUT THE POKER HALL OF FAME
The Poker Hall of Fame, established in 1979, was acquired by Harrah’s Entertainment along with the World Series of Poker in 2004. Though the Hall of Fame is virtual in nature, its membership includes poker's most influential players and other important contributors to the game. There are now 18 living members, and 38 members have been bestowed the honor of Poker Hall of Famer. The Poker Hall of Fame traditionally elects one or two members annually. The enshrinement ceremony is now held in concert with the final table of the Main Event of the WSOP, held each November in Las Vegas.