Thursday, July 18, 2024

Scott Seiver Ready to Show What It Looks Like When He Buckles Down – World Poker Tour

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WPT Champions Club member Scott Seiver won his fifth career World Series of Poker gold bracelet on Tuesday in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship. In his 18th consecutive summer in Las Vegas, Seiver’s ready to show what he’s capable of when he’s fully committed to the tournament grind.

Scott Seiver won his fifth career WSOP bracelet on Tuesday in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship. He’s recorded at least one WSOP cash in each of the last 18 summers. (Photo courtesy: WSOP)

The game has changed in a lot of ways since the first time Scott Seiver cashed at the World Series of Poker in 2007. Back then, he was a 22-year-old Ivy League graduate quickly rising up through the highest stakes online poker cash games in the world. Within a year, those online successes translated to the real world as well as Seiver banked his first career WSOP bracelet and a $755,891 windfall in 2008.

The better part of two decades later, Seiver has done almost everything there is to do in poker. At 38, he’s recorded multiple seven-figure cashes, including a WPT World Championship victory worth $1.6 million in 2011. He’s had success in high roller events around the world, and a regular presence in the biggest live cash games in the world. And as of Tuesday night, Seiver’s now a five-time WSOP bracelet winner after surviving a true marathon of a $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship.

Seiver’s a year away from turning 40 and becoming eligible for Poker Hall of Fame candidacy under the current rules. But aging has not yet slowed Seiver’s enthusiasm or ability to play through extraordinarily long sessions, and after years of splitting his summers between cash games and WSOP bracelet chasing, Seiver’s committed himself to tournaments for 2024.

“I truly think I was made for it,” Seiver said. “And I’ve always had a little bit of regret that I’ve never really gone all out and shown that that’s what I can do. But from a career of playing many 24 hour, even 48 hour and some even longer cash sessions before, this is something I knew I’m like very good at. I wanted to show what it would be like if I just really buckled down.”

Getting close to Poker Hall of Fame eligibility has made Seiver especially conscious of the WSOP bracelet chase and what that ultimately could mean on his poker résumé. He’s put up gaudy numbers in tournament play, with over $26 million in career earnings, he’s mixed it up in the cash games and over 17-plus years of live action, Seiver has certainly stood the test of time.

But in a hyper-competitive environment in which only one or two players get inducted each year, and more players become eligible as they hit 40, certain WSOP milestones just speak louder to a certain contingent of voters. Seiver has had no issue in consistently evolving as a player throughout his career.

Scott Seiver, pictured here after winning the WPT World Championship in Season IX, has now eclipsed $26 million in lifetime career tournament earnings.

As he chases down more gold in 2024, and he thinks back to where it all began for him at the WSOP, Seiver is especially conscious of the differences between present day and when he recorded his first gold bracelet victory.

“I think it just takes a whole different set of skills and stamina than it did back then,” said Seiver. “I don’t know the exact number, but there are over 90 bracelet events this summer. Back then, even if you’re planning a full schedule you had maybe 20, 25 events. I remember back then no one had ever had double-digit cashes, ever. I remember the first year someone did how big a deal it was.

“Now we have Shaun Deeb getting 22 cashes in a year last year,” Seiver continued. “Times are different, and you need to really be able to give it your maximum energy and your maximum focus 24/7, day in, day out. But I think that really plays to my strengths.”

Seiver has cashed at least once every single year at the WSOP since 2007 – 18 consecutive years of posting results. If this is what a full commitment to tournaments looks like – two cashes and a bracelet through 10 events, with plenty of opportunities to come – Seiver is certainly a threat to claim multiple victories this summer and challenge for Player of the Year.

Even as he considers legacy and the Hall of Fame, Seiver has also consistently shown throughout his career that he has a wicked sharp wit and an ability to flip from genuine thoughtfulness to witty banter in an instant. When asked if he has a certain number of WSOP bracelets in mind by the time his career is said and done, Seiver was all too happy to seize the moment.

“I think people say those things and it’s like the correct answer, and it’s nice and it’s humble,” Seiver said. “But of course, I have goals and I have numbers, like I think I’d be happy if I hit, say, 200 bracelets. I feel like if I can like rattle off five or six per year for the next decade, I’ll then be on a good path to really get a few hundred.”

While this year represents a genuine commitment to tournament action over cash games for Seiver, he doesn’t want to declare he’ll be playing a Phil Hellmuth or Daniel Negreanu circa 2023-level schedule for the foreseeable future. Seiver is happy to be on this tournament grind for now, and the results have been positive thus far.

But as the game of poker evolves, and Seiver continues to do the same, he feels as though he’ll simply choose to be present in the moment and let the future fall as it may.

“Honestly, I don’t know,” Seiver said. “I’m very fickle, to put it mildly. The reason I got into poker, and so much of what I love about poker, is my freedom of choice. Feeling that I’m my own boss, and I make my own decision. I try not to think too long term or pigeonhole myself into that. It’s fun to set a goal and then try to achieve it, which is more difficult in cash games and tournaments to be goal oriented. And right now I’m having a blast.”

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