Huckleberry “Huck” Seed is best known for his winning of the 1996 World-Series of Poker Main Event, collecting the $1,000,000 first prize and a gold bracelet. He has taken home four WSOP bracelets as well as his total live tournament winnings exceed $5,900,000 as of 2011. But in recent years, he’s all but dropped off the rankings lists. Has Huck Seed gone broke?
Born in Santa Clara, California, Huck Seed spent his youth growing up in Corvallis, Montana. He later returned to California to attend the California Institute of Technology, enrolling as a student in electrical engineering. In 1989, he took a leave of absence from college to start playing poker, and never returned.
Seek would place fourth at his very first visit to the World-Series of Poker in 1990. Over the next several years he would continue to win regularly in gambling halls in California and Nevada, taking home his first gold bracelet in Pot-Limit Omaha at the 1994 WSOP.
Huck Seed is also known for being one of the greatest proposition gamblers of all time, once betting Phil Hellmuth $50,000 that he could float in the ocean without actually touching the bottom for 24 straight hours. Seed floated for three hours before throwing in the towel and paying Hellmuth off.
Another time Seed bet Howard Lederer he could learn how to perform a standing back-flip in just two days time. With Seed standing six-feet, seven inches tall, the bet seemed to be in Lederer’s favor. But unbeknownst to Lederer, Seed had been taught how to do a flip by his former acrobat uncle. Two days after making the bet, Seed became $10,000 richer after executing a perfect standing back flip.
Seed won another of his wild wagers when he bet he wouldn’t break 100 on a desert golf course five times using just a five iron, putter and a sand wedge. After six rounds in sweltering 120 degree heat, he cleaned up on the bet.
Huck Seed made his name after winning the 1996 World-Series of Poker Main Event, his second bracelet, overcoming a 295-person field and taking home the $1,000,000 first prize. His next couple of trips to the WSOP wouldn’t be nearly as successful. He would make it to the final table in the 1999 event, but would be eliminated in 6th place by the event’s eventual champion – Noel Furlong. At the 2007 WSOP Main Event, Seed finished 73rd out of 6,358 players.
But Huck Seed would rise again. He won the 2009 NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship and the $500,000 top prize. He was also the only player ever to cash in at every NBC Heads-Up tournament. His record would stand until his 1st round loss to Erik Seidel at the 2010 championship. But that same year Seed would win big again, taking home the 2010 World-Series of Poker Tournament of Champions free roll for $500,000.
Although his early career dominance on the live tournament trail has faded in recent years, Seed has continued to make his presence known at the poker table, regularly cashing at World Series events and high-stake Vegas casino games, as well as at online poker games at his sponsor site, Full Tilt Poker. I reckon this can be attributed to his long-standing experience which ensures he maintains some secret cards and deals them when he has to.
Huck Seed’s Top 5 Tournament Cashes
— 1st place for $1,000,000 at the 27th World -eries of Poker Main Event 1996
— 1st place for $600,000 at the Poker After Dark VII
— 1st place for $500,000 at the N.B.C National Heads-Up Championship 2009
— 1st place for $500,000 at the Tournament of Champions, 41st WSOP 2010
— 1st place for $500,000 at the FullTiltprofitingatpoker.com Doubles Poker Championship 2010
So is Huck Seed actually broke?
Huck Seed has certainly kept a quieter profile than some other top poker champions in recent years, and his live tournament winnings have dropped off significantly. The last big cash prize over $100,000 he won was in 2013 at the 44th World-Series of Poker, where he came in 11th place and took home $147,882. But it’s hard to say that the master of prop bets has gone broke quite yet.
Seed was back at making wild prop bets at the 2015 World-Series of Poker, setting up a new challenge betting people that he won’t shave or cut his hair until he wins another bracelet. If his success at winning his colorful prop bets is any indication, his poker opponents had best beware. We may see Huck Seed take home another bracelet in the near future.