Competitive poker attracts players from all over the world. It’s hard to resist the enormous payouts of most poker tournaments and the global recognition you get for winning one. New players are always appearing on the scene and the best of the best are never forgotten. Poker pros are usually known for their iconic playstyles, charismatic personalities, and awe-inspiring results. Today, we’ll cover one player known for all three: Huck Seed. 

Player Overview

Huckleberry “Huck” Seed is an American professional poker player most well known for his World Series of Poker (WSOP) career. 

He’s won four WSOP bracelets, made the final table in the WSOP Main Event twice, and won the 1996 WSOP edition of the Main Event. Seed has also won the WSOP Tournament of Champions, a high-stakes invitational tournament that does not award a bracelet. 

He has also made the final tables of the 2008 and 2009 H.O.R.S.E events. Now known as the “Poker Players Championship.” This event is widely considered one of the most prestigious and challenging WSOP events, even tougher than the Main Event. That reputation is earned for two reasons; first is the massive $50,000 buy-in, which discourages casual players from participating, and second is the poker variant. H.O.R.S.E is a mashup of five poker games, meaning it’s significantly more complicated than traditional Holdem. The acronym stands for Hold’em, Omaha, Razz, Seven Card Stud, and Eights or Better, a modification of Seven Card Stud. It demands a lot of game knowledge and experience, commonly praised by players like Daniel Negreanu as the most skilled form of poker. 

Outside of the WSOP, Seed won the National Heads-up Poker Championship in 2009. His total tournament winnings exceed $7.6 million. For all his achievements, he was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2020.

Early Life

Huckleberry Seed was born in Montana on January 15, 1969. From an early age, his athletic family caused him to seek out a sport. With his massive 6’7” frame, he was inevitably drawn to basketball. Seed became a member of the Corvallis All-State Basketball team in 1987. 

Seed’s proficiency in math led him to pursue a degree in electrical engineering at the California Institute of Technology. He became their basketball star, even featured in the 2006 Quantum Hoops documentary.

In 1989, Seed took a leave of absence from school to play poker. While he initially planned to go back, he never did. He made poker his full-time career, abandoning school entirely. 

WSOP Career

Seed’s WSOP debut came in 1990, seeing him take 4th in the Limit Hold’em and  Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo events. From there, he began steadily cashing in tournaments like the Hall Of Fame Poker Classic and the Queens Poker Classic, for which he earned $118,750 for a second-place finish.

His first bracelet came in the 1994 WSOP in a $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha event for $167,000. After taking down that tournament, Seed came close to another bracelet in the No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw event, taking second. 

In 1996, Seed took down the most prestigious event in all of poker, the WSOP Main Event. The win gave him $1,000,000 and made him into a celebrity. His picture was hung alongside other poker legends on Binion’s Wall of Champions. 

“Ever watch the Super Bowl, it’s like that,” Seed said about his win. “Look at the guys who win. They go crazy, they’re so happy. I think of poker as a sport. Sometimes it’s hard work, and sometimes it’s not so much fun.”

“But when you win something like this, everything is worth it. It’s the same as winning the biggest event in any other sport. You can’t accomplish much more than that.”

More Exploits

Seed made the main event’s final table again in 1999, finishing sixth for $167,700. Then in 2000 and 2003, he claimed two more bracelets in Razz events, earning over $140,000 combined.

These two bracelets give Seed the impressive achievement of winning WSOP bracelets in three different forms of poker. This shows his mastery of different poker variants, which is likely why he did so well in H.O.R.S.E. 

Seed also participated in the famous poker TV show, Poker After Dark. He made it to the finals, tying with Phil Ivey in third place for $125,000. 

In 2009, Seed won the NBC National Heads-Up Championship for $500,000, beating out household names like Daniel Negreanu and Sammy Farha along the way.

Prop Bets

One other thing that Huck Seed is known for is his prop bets. While normally reserved or upbeat at the table, off the table is where Seed and his bets shine. He’s not the type to back down from a bet and is particularly fond of prop bets. These are challenges between players, and Seed has his fair share of wins and losses. 

One infamous bet is Seed’s challenge with Phil Hellmuth, who bet Seed couldn’t survive 18 hours standing in the ocean. Seed eagerly took the challenge, but only ended up lasting three.

Another such bet was that he couldn’t break 100 on a desert golf course multiple times in one day using just a five iron, sand wedge and putter. Even though he had to play when the day was 120 degrees, he won the bet after six rounds. 

One of the most legendary bets was Seed’s bet with Howard Lederer on whether Seed could do a standing backflip. Seed’s massive 6’7” height would have it appear that Lederer would win this one. But when the time came, Seed knocked it out of the park. He claimed his $10,000 after performing a perfect backflip.