Wednesday, December 7, 2016
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Broken: The Erick Lindgren Story

Erick Lindgren was one of the stars of poker’s tournament circuit during the boom last decade. His story is an excellent reminder for all speculators and gamblers to never allows yourself to lose control. Taking losses often and keeping them small, as frustrating as it can be, is far better than allowing yourself to go down the dark path of gambling. 


via Bluff Magazine

For a man once labeled “Everybody’s All-American” the few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are usually jam-packed with trips to the mall to buy presents for the family, multiple trips up and down a ladder while putting Christmas lights on the house and then back to the mall so Junior can have his picture taken with Santa.

That’s not at all how Erick Lindgren, who once appeared on the cover of BLUFF with that All-American title, spent those weeks though. Lindgren, at 36 years old, was in a rehab facility in Newport Beach, California, trying to work through his addiction to gambling.

Erick Lindgren“I’ve had a gambling problem for a long time and I’ve finally got the opportunity to address it,” said Lindgren during his two-week stay at Morningside Recovery. Lindgren’s agent, Brian Balsbaugh, was approached by a mutual friend who offered to foot the bill of Lindgren’s stay at the facility in hopes of helping him out.

“They told me that there was a place like Morningside that was doing this and that if I wanted to get things right and do things the right way, I could check myself in and after some long thought and checking my ego at the door, I came here,” Lindgren said.

Lindgren’s path to rehab is largely about losing control of his action away from the poker table. The 2011 football season, and massive losses from betting it, was a life changer for Lindgren, who is married to Erica Schoenberg and has a 1-year-old son, Jake, with her. It was a number of close friends, and Schoenberg, that convinced him he needed professional help.

“I’d had a really tough year, I lost way too much money in football last year and couldn’t pay some fantasy football bets at the end of the year,” Lindgren said. “I owed people a bunch of money, and it’s something that I’ve been working on for a long time, but I definitely slipped up, made some really bad mistakes and I needed to address that.”


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  1. Zero Dark Kitty

    Wowzie! What a story, must be one of many from the gambling world.

    I don’t understand why he or counselors at Morningside Recovery think it’s a good idea for him to return to gambling for a living.

    • echizzle

      I hate it when people refer to Poker as gambling. It’s a game of skill.

      Never thought I’d see the day when E Dawg went broke. With proper money management you can do ok football betting. Sad.

      • Zero Dark Kitty

        >“I’ve had a gambling problem for a long time and I’ve finally got the opportunity to address it,” said Lindgren during his two-week stay at Morningside Recovery.

        He said it not me.
        I’ve always seen poker as requiring skills; that I don’t have.

  2. flicker

    Thanks for the story on Erick Chess. Everyone has theire own little secrets that can come out a bite you in the ass. Erick is not alone and will be measured not by his mistakes but his ability to survive.

  3. JakeGint

    I remember seeing a special on him during one of the WSOP’s, and about how much he would bet on a hole of golf.

    I guess that’s “skill” too, but geez… 100k a hole??


    • chessNwine

      exactly..only a skill with risk management

    • alf44

      … $100K a hole and the poor schlub has prolly never broken a hundred !!!


      Many of these (so called) poker pros/stars are nothing more than degenerate gambling addicts … more than you know !

      To somehow compare these guys/gals … to traders … IMO … is a bit of a stretch, as many (if not most) can’t even financially “bankroll” their own poker playing endeavors … depending instead on outside “backers” and sponsorship for their grubstake !!!

      I know there are exceptions !!!

      The “Poker Road” is littered with “Eric Lindgrens” !

      I just hope we aren’t reading about his suicide or overdose in a few months/years !