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  • Poker Hall of Fame Finalists Named by WSOP

    Thursday, September 26th, 2013 by Ryan

Each year when the Poker Hall of Fame Finalists list gets announced it merits quite a bit of attention and respect from the poker community. This stands true once again, and the most recent list of players who are finalists for the Poker Hall of Fame was released on Wednesday. It’s important to note that there are ten finalists on the list, but there is no guarantee that any of the ten who made it to this point are going to end up being inducted. If you look at the past few year’s in history relating to the Poker Hall of Fame though, typically one or two players are going to receive the highest honor in poker. This years class features a wide range of players, most of which you probably know very well from past years.

The finalists for this year include the likes of Chris Bjorin, Humberto Brenes, David Chiu, Thor Hansen, Jennifer Harman, Mike “The Mouth” Matusow, Tom McEvoy, Carlos Mortensen, Scotty Nguyen, and Huck Seed. All of these players have a ridiculous amount of accomplishments throughout their careers, and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see a few of these players find themselves in the Hall of Fame at the end of the day.

As far as how the nominations themselves are handled, the public actually submits them through WSOP.com, and you literally could nominate any player that you wanted. Now, there was criteria that had to be lived up to for any player to get considered for the Hall of Fame. This criteria featured a few different things, and started by stating that the player must have played against top competition in the poker world. They also have to be at least 40 years old at the time that they were nominated, and needed to be considered as a high stakes poker player. Another point that was needed was for the player to have played consistently well, and gained respect of their peers, which is probably the more obvious statement on the list. Standing the “test of time” as it is called is another big one, and if you are looking at voting in a non-poker player, then they must have been a part of helping the growth and success of poker as a whole, and have brought in positive results consistently.

As you can tell from that list, it really can include a wide range of players. The one thing that is locked in stone that helps separate things is the age thing. This means that we have a few players who definitely can’t make it that would likely be in, such as Phil Ivey for one. The rule for age was added back in 2011 after Tom Dwan was a finalist at only 23 years old in 2009. The group now moves forward to the final decision process.

The potential inductees are going to be decided by a 37 member panel, and the voters include the 19 current and living Hall of Fame members, plus another 18 members from the poker media. Ballots are sent out to the voters this next week, and they have to be sent back in with any potential winners by October 11th. At that point, all of the votes are going to be added up, and we’ll have our new Hall of Fame members, which will then be announced to the public. There is also a ceremony for these players on November 3rd, which is just one day before the November Nine of the World Series of Poker Main Event’s final table kick off the action.

It’s likely that whoever is chosen is going to be at the ceremony since all ten finalists are living. Interesting, out of the ten candidates, we saw six of the ten nominated last year as well. These six players include Bjorin, Chiu, Hansen, Harman, McEvoy, and Nguyen. It will be interesting to see what type of attention these players get as time moves forward, and I’m definitely expecting that one of these six could end up making it into the Hall of Fame this year.

The Poker Hall of Fame was created back in 1979, and currently has 44 people in it. They are made up of not only top poker players from throughout the world, but also a wide range of people who actually changed the game of poker and helped improve the game as well. A prime example of this is Henry Orenstein, who invented the hole card cam and is also a poker television producer. He was honored because of his major changes that were made on the game that helped impact and make the game better as a whole.

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