Although the phrase “young gun” doesn’t have quite the same connotation as it did years ago for Erick Lindgren, the poker player from Burney, California spent many years of his young adulthood being the “boy amongst men.” While embracing every bit of poker knowledge that he could, he progressed through the ranks alongside some of the best poker players the game has ever witnessed, Daniel Negreanu and Phil Ivey. They have not only helped his improvement tremendously, but together they’ve helped shape the game of poker into what it is today. Despite now, all being well into adulthood, this widely-known threesome remains in the top-tier of world-class players that dominate within multiple facets of poker’s ever-expanding game.
Born on August 11, 1976, Lindgren, 34, originally started his adolescence in the small town of Burney, California. Despite the town’s small population of just over 3,200 people, Lindgren made the best of his situation by always staying busy. His family being highly competitive, there was rarely a moment where he wasn’t involved in a competitive atmosphere. When you’re young, this typically translates into a lot of athletic events, along with the weekly family board game that frequently concluded with family arguments. Lindgren was no different, as his siblings only stretched these cliches to a greater degree.
As he grew up, the list of sports that he was involved with grew exponentially. Playing everything from football to baseball to basketball, while Erick was certainly good at nearly all of them, it unfortunately didn’t translate into much future success. Having to delegate his focus and aspirations towards other options, Lindgren decided to spend his energy on an untraditional vocation; poker.
Throughout Lindgren’s childhood, he had always been highly praised for his intellect and ability to naturally grasp comprehensive concepts. Joining Butte Junior College at 18, although his attention was usually focused towards his physical gifts, it wasn’t until he received a lucrative position as a blackjack dealer, that he was able to utilize both his new-found fortune and his inquisitive mind.
Lindgren learned all the knowledge he needed within the casino walls to play great poker. Despite regularly dealing a game that had little association with poker, observing players lose consistently motivated him to find a game that was indeed beatable. He turned to Texas Hold’em, a poker variation that suited Lindgren perfectly because of his relentless aggression and analytical ability. It was only a matter of time before he turned away from his studies and decided to be a full-time pro, as the money became far too consistent (and excessive) for him to choose anything otherwise.
In the early portion of Lindgren’s poker career, he spent a lot of his time making prop bets with fellow players at the table. Eventually receiving the nickname “E-Dog”, it was a combination of Lindgren’s loose play, bad beats and obsessive attempts to blindly deceive players into wagers that allowed him to make additional cash. Players such as Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu were a part of this brash, young group of up-and-coming poker aficionados, and even now, they still occasionally place wagers and reminisce about old nicknames such as “No Home Jerome” and “KidPoker” to spice up their poker sessions.
As Lindgren continued to play live, his apartment was also a haven for online poker play. While online poker was still relatively new, he managed to cash in on a player field that was hampered with poker novices. Often playing for several days straight, it was a combination of online play and consistent live results that allowed Lindgren’s game to soar. As his bankroll grew, and the desire to play larger stakes became imminent, Lindgren saw few other choices than to take his poker knowledge, and bank account to Las Vegas.
In 2002, Lindgren won his first major live tournament event at the Five Diamond Poker Classic. This win gave him just under $230,000 in cash, and it didn’t take very long for him to try his tournament luck once again. In just a year’s time, Lindgren had acquired over a million dollars in additional tournament earnings, after playing just a few tournaments. It was soon after these wins, that Lindgren truly realized that he had what it took to become a world-class professional.
In the subsequent years, Lindgren managed to have great success within the World Series of Poker circuit events, along with the bigger buy-in events for the World Poker Tour. He finished 5th in the L.A. Poker Classic, and in 2006, finished 2nd in the Borgata Winter Poker Open. In early 2007, Lindgren acquired the biggest payday of his illustrious career, a million dollar victory at the Aussie Millions $100,000 buy-in event.
Although Lindgren has had good fortune for the duration of his career, in 2008, he likely surprised himself with his results at the World Series of Poker. Eventually being named WSOP Player of the Year, Lindgren managed to cash four times, and win the Mixed Hold’em event that year for a total of $1,348,528 in prize money. It still remains as his first and only WSOP bracelet, an event that was seemingly only a glimpse of things to come in that magical year.
Since then, Lindgren continues to make prop bets with some of the most noteable players in the game, and even managed to get married to fellow poker player and former model Erica Schoenberg in late May of 2011.
Through his play, Lindgren earned a lucrative sponsorship deal with Full Tilt Poker, where he’s currently one of the members of “Team Full Tilt.”
Erick Lindgren still spends time playing various sports, despite his propensity to bet whenever he plays. In fact, during the 2007 golf season, Lindgren made a bet with many other poker players over whether or not he could shoot under 100 in four consecutive rounds at the Bear’s Best golf course located in Las Vegas, Nevada. He had to do this all before dark, and not only did Lindgren win the $350,000 wager, but he did so in style, carrying his own bags throughout the entire process and playing through temperatures that exceeded 105 degrees.
Erick has earned over $7,400,000 in career tournament earnings, with over $2 million of those earnings coming from his 25 cashes at the World Series of Poker.