Erick Lindgren, Poker Biography
by Jennifer Newell
As one of the most well-known players in poker, Erick Lindgren has been in the game for many years. And with a recent WSOP victory to claim his second gold bracelet, he proved that he'll be around for a while longer.
Lindgren was born in 1976 in Burney, California, and he grew up as a competitive young man, playing sports like basketball, football, and baseball. When a professional sports career didn't pan out, he entered college at Butte Junior College, and soon after, he began spending time at the nearby Colusa Casino. He eventually took a job as a blackjack dealer, but he also learned Texas Hold'em.
As he improved his poker skills, taking part in casino games proved fruitful, and he soon quit school to earn a living as a prop poker player at a casino in San Pablo. It was at that time that he also began playing online poker and making money through that avenue as well. With the nickname "E-Dog," Lindgren became a regular in live and online games, and tournaments eventually became his specialty. His success eventually took him to Las Vegas in 2002, where he furthered his poker career.
Lindgren's first tournament win came during his time in Northern California, when he won a $100 buy-in No Limit Hold'em tournament in the Wild Wild West series for $7,300. And after moving to Vegas and moving up in stakes, he won a $3K NLHE event at the Bellagio Five Diamond Poker Classic series for $228,192. He also began playing events like the World Poker Tour. After just missing the final table of the 2003 PartyPoker Million Cruise with a seventh place finish, he did make the final table of the WPT Grand Prix de Paris later that year, finishing fifth for €53,600. And just a few months later, he won the WPT UltimateBet Poker Classic for $500K. In March of 2004, he returned to the PartyPoker cruise and won that one for $1 million.
Meanwhile, Lindgren final tabled his first World Series of Poker event in 2003, taking sixth in a $3K Pot Limit Hold'em event for $21,280. Out of three cashes at the WSOP the following year, one was another final table - sixth place in the $5K Omaha Hi/Lo Split World Championship. His 2004 was made even more memorable with a Player of the Year award by the World Poker Tour.
For several years, the wins seemed to come naturally for Lindgren. He took a Professional Poker Tour title in 2005 for $225K, a Five-Star World Poker Classic preliminary event win at the Bellagio for more than $261K, a title at the Full Tilt Pro Poker Showdown for $600K, and the 2007 Aussie Millions $100K buy-in event for AUD $1 million. Other big scores included second place in the WSOP Circuit Championship event for more than $430K, fifth place in the WPT LA Poker Classic for more than $206K, third place at the WPT Borgata Winter Open in 2006 for more than $282K, and second place at the 2006 WSOP $5K NLHE Short-Handed event for more than $357K.
In 2008, Lindgren won his first WSOP title in a $5K Mixed Hold'em tournament for $374,505, and combined with another final table as well as third place in the $50K HORSE event for more than $781K gave him the WSOP Player of the Year award. By that time, he was a member of Team Full Tilt, representing the popular online poker site as a high-level pro player.
As Lindgren lost some of his status in the poker community after Black Friday and the demise of Full Tilt Poker, he also finally admitted to struggling with a sports betting problem that took him to a rehabilitation program for problem gamblers. Meanwhile, he had a new wife, Erica Schoenberg, and a child, Jake. The close-knit family kept him afloat, and he did return to the poker tables in 2013 with a renewed vigor and outlook.
Since then, Lindgren finished second at the WPT World Championship $25K buy-in Main Event, taking home more than $650K. And after four cashes at the 2013 WSOP, he won his second bracelet, claiming victory in the $5K NLHE 6-Handed tournament for $606,317.
Read Steve O'Dwyer's Profile for more information including tournament results and total winnings.
Jennifer Newell is a freelance writer, originally from St. Louis but now living in Los Angeles. She fell in love with poker while working at WPT and began writing about it in 2005.