Erick Lindgren has won almost $10 million in live tournaments. He has two bracelets from the World Series of Poker and he has won two WPT titles as well. His career tournament winnings total $9,855,766 and he has been named Player of the Year by both the WSOP (2008) and the WPT (2004). But Lindgren, a.k.a. “E-dog,” has also struggled publicly with debt and gambling addiction. He declared bankruptcy and checked himself into rehab in 2013, but the latest news of Lindgren is more positive.
A Superstar of the Poker Boom
Lindgren was one of the biggest names in poker during the early- and mid-2000s. Because of his impressive tournament results and lack of a WSOP championship, he was considered one of the best players never to have won a bracelet until he did it in the $5,000 Mixed Hold’em event in 2008. Prior to that victory, Lindgren had claimed championship titles at the Bellagio Five Diamond Classic, the WPT Ultimatebet.com Classic, the WPT Partypoker.com Million, the PPT L.A. Poker Classic, the Aussie Millions, and the $120k buy-in Full Tilt Showdown. He also had a second place finish, worth $357,435, in the $5,000 6-max NLHE at the 2006 WSOP.
He finally won his first bracelet at the 2008 WSOP, and he was named the World Series of Poker Player of the Year that year too. It seemed things could not have been going better for E-dog. In addition to his considerable poker winnings, he was reportedly making between $250,000 and $350,000 each month from his interests in Full Tilt Poker. Needless to say, he should have accumulated a large sum of money during this period.
Black Friday Hits Lindgren Hard
April 15, 2011 marked the end of online poker in the United States. Millions of American poker players were affected by the online poker shutdown, but no one was more affected than Erick Lindgren, whose gambling addiction had by that point gotten a little out of control.
Lindgren reportedly owed dozens of debts, most of them related to sports-betting, to dozens of creditors in Las Vegas and across the country. He was not making enough money playing poker to support his gambling habit, and he was relying on payments and loans from Full Tilt Poker to stay afloat. In a story of the almost farcical mismanagement of Full Tilt, Lindgren reportedly owed the company $4,000,000 because Chris Ferguson accidentally wired him that amount instead of the $2,000,000 that the parties had agreed upon. It is unknown whether Lindgren has paid any of the money back.
His debts caught up with him when the U.S. Department of Justice shut down Full Tilt Poker. He had been gambling big on fantasy football and making other sports-related bets and he was way behind. He had been relying on funds from Full Tilt to cover his gambling losses, so he struggled to keep his creditors satisfied after Black Friday. A post on an internet message board about a $10,000 fantasy football debt led to revelations that Lindgren was broke. He has since said in interviews that his debts reached as much as $10 million.
Banktruptcy, Rehab, Comeback?
Despite earning millions of dollars on the tournament circuit and collecting tremendous sums of money from endorsement deals including Full Tilt Poker, Erick Lindgren filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief in 2013. According to court documents, his liabilities exceeded his assets by $3 million; he was officially broke.
Around the same time, the poker pro checked into Morningside Recovery, a southern California rehab facility, to get treatment for a gambling addiction. A gambling addiction may seem like a difficult thing for a professional poker player to deal with (and it likely is), but Lindgren’s problems are not with poker. His problems are with other types of gambling, especially sports betting.
Lindgren has been doing well since rehab. He finished second in the 2013 WPT $25,000 World Championship for $650,275 and he won his second WSOP bracelet, along with $606,317 in the 2013 $5,000 6-max NLHE against a final table that included established pros Lee Markholt and Jonathan Little. So it looks like Erick Lindgren was broke, but now he’s on his way back. His top five tournament cashes:
– 1st place for $1,000,000 in the 2004 WPT Partypoker.com Million III $7,000 LHE
– 1st place for $795,279 in the 2007 Aussie Million $100k High Roller
– 3rd place for $781,440 in the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. at the 2008 WSOP
– 2nd place for $700,500 in the Five Star World Poker Classic $100k Super High Roller
– 2nd place for $650,275 in the 2013 WPT $25,000 World Championship
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