Now that the nomination process has been closed, the WSOP has announced the 10 finalists for the 2020 Poker Hall of Fame, which is set to be announced before the start of the Heads-Up Poker Championship on December 30th from the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
It’s an exclusive club of poker royalty that are in the Poker Hall of Fame. Just 58 people have received the honor since it was created 1979. Two more are likely being inducted this year. Who are the members of the poker world that have a chance to get in this year?
The list of nominee finalists
On the list includes seven known for their playing ability, a pair of long-time poker hosts, a online poker visionary and the most famous tournament director in the world. Without further adieu:
- Patrik Antonius
- Lon McEachern and Norman Chad, longtime World Series of Poker hosts
- Eli Eleza
- Antonio Esfandiari
- Chris Ferguson
- Ted Forrest
- Mike Matusow
- Matt Savage
- Isai Scheinberg, former owner of PokerStars
- Huckleberry Seed
Most fans of poker will be familiar with the list of nominees, which includes three brand nominees: Patrik Antonius and PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg as well as the Norman Chad and Lon McEachern duo. Antonius is making the list for the first time since he just met one of the major requirements: being at least 40 years of age.
The nomination of Chad and McEachern represent the first time a “duo” has been among the nominees. Lon McEachern and Norman Chad are, of course, primarily known for their iconic roles on World Series of Poker broadcasts on ESPN over the last two decades.
Six of the finalists were on the short list last year (Elezra, Esfandiari, Ferguson, Forrest, Matusow and Seed) while Matt Savage has been a finalist before but fell off the list of finalists last year.
What are the requirements to be considered for the Poker Hall of Fame?
In addition to being at least 40 years old, players or people in the poker world must meet the following criteria to be considered:
- Player must have played against top competition
- The player must have played for high stakes
- The player must have played consistently well while gaining the respect of peers
- The player must have stood the test of time
- Non players must have contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker with “indelible positive and lasting results.”
What happens now?
Now that the 10 finalists have been named, the 31 living Poker Hall of Fame members will vote on who is the most deserving. Each voting member will receive a total of 10 points, which they can allocate to any combination of finalists that they wish.
Once those votes are tallied, an announcement will be made just before the start of the Heads-Up Poker Championship on December 30th, which will play host to the U.S. and International winners of the 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event. The winner of the event will win the bracelet as well as an extra $1 million in added prizes.
In recent years, it has been tradition to induct two members to the Hall of Fame, but there is no maximum required.
The event is slated to be broadcast on ESPN, so mark your calendars!
Reaction from Poker Hall of Famers
There hasn’t been much reaction from the finalists yet, but some of Poker Twitter has jump into the debate of their favorite picks, including some well known Poker Hall of Famers:
— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) December 18, 2020
It’s been a long time coming for Isai Schienberg to be on the nomination list and he got all 10 of my votes this year.
A builder category without Isai is no builder category at all.
His innovations changed poker forever. https://t.co/VQgE7BYNYv
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) December 18, 2020
changed my life! and many others. Always respected him and enjoyed time spent
— Chris Moneymaker (@CMONEYMAKER) December 18, 2020
Reasons Huck is my top HOF pick:
1-1st player to break Chip & Doyle’s 30 year hegemony in cash games
2-Had a great tournament record including winning WSOP main
3-Honorable, well liked
4-Was inspiration for main character in the movie Lucky You
5- Dylan wrote Huck’s Song
— Erik Seidel (@Erik_Seidel) December 18, 2020