Erick Lindgren is one of the most famous poker players in the world, but has he gone broke? He dedicated his life to playing poker and reached significant heights on the felt.
His brilliant career as a tournament pro took off in 2003 when he won his first WPT title. In 2004 Lindgren got the WPT “Player of the Year” award. He went on to grab 6-figure prizes and titles. His total live career earnings exceed 10 million dollars. Erick cashed in WSOP 40 times and earned two gold bracelets. He is now 29th on the USA’s all-time money list. So how did Erick Lindgren go broke?
Poker Player at Heart
Erick A. Lindgren was born in 1976 in Burney, California. Poker became his favorite hobby when he was still in college, where he was striving for a career as a basketball player. But the more Erick learned about poker, the more he realized that this is the game he wants to focus on. Sports and school got secondary roles. He went to work in a casino where he got some valuable experience that he put to the test playing online. Lindgren soon earned enough money to afford live playing and moved to Las-Vegas to pursue the career he always wanted.
Besides playing poker, Lindgren liked sports betting. Thanks to a close relationship with a famous NBA betting expert and poker player Haralabos Voulgaris, Lindgren got access to the top bookmakers all over the world. However, Erick either didn’t do enough research or got plain unlucky. After winning a couple of bets, he started losing large sums of money. How did he manage to stay afloat? The reason was a formidable salary paid to him by FullTilt where he worked as a brand ambassador. He was earning about $3 million a year.
The goldmine collapsed in April 2011. Black Friday came and FullTilt was put out of business. Without the salary Erick quickly plummeted into a debt pit and 2012 was forced to file for bankruptcy. He owed $2.5 million to FullTilt (which later was acquired by PokerStars but the debt didn’t go anywhere) and $3.8 million to the IRS. As part of the bankruptcy process Erick had to go to rehab clinic for gambling addicts.
After getting out of rehab Lindgren claimed that he doesn’t have money to play live and was looking for backers. He didn’t quit poker and continue to play in major tournaments. However, this didn’t help him repay his debt. In January 2015, Lindgren filed for bankruptcy again, stating that he has less than $50 000 in assets and over $8 million in debts. This definitely looked like a smart move yet again and yet for the obvious reasons.
Lindgren’s Top 5 Cashes
1. $1,000,000 – 1st place in 2004 – PartyPoker.com Million III Limit Hold’em, Cruise( $7,000 Limit Hold’em Championship)
2. $795,279 – 1st place in 2007 Aussie Millions Poker Championship (A$100,000 + 500 $100,000 Hold’em Event)
3. $781,440 – 4th place in 39th WSOP 2008, Las Vegas ($50,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship)
4. $700,500 – 2nd place in Ninth Annual Five Star World Poker Classic ($100,000 Super High Roller)
5. $650,275 – 2nd place in WPT World Championship ($25,000 + 500 No Limit Hold’em)
Over the course of his career Erick got a few more six figure scores. However, with time his achievements started to decline. He never reached quiet the same heights as he did in the early 2000’s. The hardest years for Lindgren were 2011 and 2012. In 2013 he seemed to be back in the saddle. However, it didn’t turn into a full-blown upstreak and the decline continued.
So is Erick Lindgren really broke?
After the first bankruptcy, Erick started going strong, winning a WPT tournament for about $700,000 and getting a gold bracelet at WSOP 2013. Since then he cashed over 15 times in large live poker tournaments. However, the total earnings didn’t exceed $3 million. Since Lindgren is being backed, it’s unclear how much money actually ends up in his pocket. Meanwhile, the $2.5 million debt to PokerStars is still looming over his head and the second bankruptcy case is in review.
Obviously, Erick Lindgren is not planning to quit live poker. However, in 2016 he managed to cash only twice for a total of about $66,000. He finished 8th in the $5000 no-limit hold’em event at Deep Stack Extravaganza III and 133rd in $1500 Goliath Phamous Poker Series Main Event.
So it may seem as if Erick is not doing too well in the poker arena these days. It’s unclear whether or not he has other sources of income. But his fans are hoping he is not getting into sports betting again.