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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Superstars

Where Are They Now - Huckleberry (Huck) Seed

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Where are They Now is a series of an in depth look at all poker players - not just the pros - as they travel through one long game. Some of the players profiled are deceased but not forgotten.

Huckleberry Seed is quite the unique name for quite the unique poker champion. Through our “Where Are They Now?” series we have explored lots of players, some of who are quick to talk about themselves in any outlet possible and others who prefer to keep their private lives just that – private. Seed fits the second example. In fact, he is so quiet that most of his background remains a mystery. He rarely talks of his past, and come to think of it, he rarely talks at all. While players at the table seem to chat constantly, Seed has been known to go hours without making a sound, believing that the best way to play poker is to let the cards do the talking.

Seed was born in Corvallis, Montana on January 15th, 1969. At 6’7” it was natural for Seed to be drawn to basketball. While height doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be a good basketball player, it turned out Seed also had the athletic skill to back it up. Seed made the All-State basketball team in 1987, but there seems to be no indication that he wished to continue playing in college. Making All-State, even if it’s in a smaller classed state like Montana, is a big deal, and with that honor usually means an offer from some of the bigger universities to come to their school to play basketball. It seems instead that Seed looked for a school for education.

On top of being gifted athletically, Seed appeared to be gifted intellectually as well. Seed was accepted to Caltech to pursue a degree in electrical engineering, definitely not an “easy” degree. It’s unclear when Seed took up poker. After his second year of school he took a “leave of absence,” but because of success at poker he has never returned. He either took up poker at Caltech during his two years at the school, or during his “break,” but whichever it was; he was a very quick learner.

A lot of the past poker champions toiled in obscurity for years before getting their first big break. Seed had much better luck than his counterparts. In 1989 he started poker full-time; by 1990 he was already finding success, winning the $300 buy-in No Limit Event at the Super Stars of Poker in Tahoe for $30,240. If he had any thought of returning to school after this win, they were probably close to completely wiped out after he finished 4th in a pair of WSOP No Limit Events, winning an additional $32,000. In fact, in his first full year of player poker, in 1990, he won close to $110,000.

Seed continued to find success in tournament poker, particularly the WSOP, winning his first bracelet in 1994 in the $2,500 buy-in Pot Limit, Hold’em event, showing that he was more than proficient in just No Limit Hold’em. Between 1990 and 1995 he placed in 11 WSOP events, including six final tables. Keep in mind that this was coming from a player who didn’t decide to play full-time poker until 1989. By 1995 he had one of the better WSOP records in history, and he wasn’t even close to finished.

In 1996 Seed ponied up the $10,000 dollar buy-in to the “Main Event,” along with 294 others in hoping to win the one million dollar prize. Despite having success in the WSOP up until this point, he had never made the huge score, with his biggest cash being $167,000 for his bracelet win. With two tables remaining, the last two remaining past champions were eliminated, Dan Harrington (17th), and Berry Johnston (16th). The final table featured great players, including An “The Boss” Tran, Men “The Master Nquyen, and John Bonetti. However, Seed was able to outlast all of these great players, and eventually outlast Bruce Van Horn to take home the championship.

Despite all of these great accomplishments, including nearly five million dollars in tournament prizes, Seed fancied himself a cash player. Seed says he prefers cash because you get a chance to play with the same players for hours on end, and you don’t have to worry about working up a table image only to be moved to another table. Despite this problem of tournament poker, Seed has continued to find success, including winning two more WSOP bracelets, one in 2000 in the $1,500 Razz event, and the other in 2003 in the $5,000 Razz event.

With the exception of Ted Forrest, Seed may be the best known “prop bettor” in poker. Some of his most famous ones include:

Seed bet a fellow poker player he could break 100 four times in a single day on a local Las Vegas golf course. The catch was he could only use a five iron, sand wedge, and putter. Another catch was that the person who had proposed the bet got to pick the day of the event. Predictably he picked one of the hottest days of the year, with the temperature reaching upwards of 120 in the Las Vegas desert. It’s unclear how much Seed won for winning this bet, but it’s believed to be “six figures.”

A famous one he lost was when Phil Hellmuth bet that he couldn’t stand in the ocean neck high for 18 hours. The bet was for $50,000. Apparently Seed thought this was an easy bet, but was soon swimming back to the shore after just three hours. Seed would go on to win about half the money back playing 9-ball pool with Hellmuth that night, at $2,000 a game.

Seed was well on his way to winning a bet that said he couldn’t go an entire year without shaving. However, a death in the family caused him to lose this bet with just a few months to go, because he thought it was the appropriate thing to shave for the funeral. The bet was with a number of fellow poker players, it’s unclear who made him pay up his end of the failed bet. However, Seed apparently liked the bet so much he has sported a beard since then, often being compared to Abraham Lincoln.

Most recently Seed finished 7th in the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E tournament at this years 2008 WSOP, cashing in $284,160 dollars.

Seed’s tournament schedule as of late has slowed down considerably because of his desire to play cash games, but he is obviously still having success at some of the bigger yearly tournaments. Most of his time now is spent playing cash at local casinos and online at Full Tilt Poker, and participating in various prop bets.

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