John Juanda, Jennifer Harman Elected to Poker Hall of Fame
The Poker Hall of Fame announced its 2015 class this week, as John Juanda and Jennifer Harman will become the 49th and 50th members to receive the honor. They will be officially inducted in a ceremony on Friday, November 6th at Binion’s Gambling Hall in downtown Las Vegas.
The selection process began this summer with a public nomination period during which anyone could submit names for consideration via WSOP.com. After a vetting process by the Poker Hall of Fame Governing Council (hopefully to simply weed out joke nominations and make sure only those who are eligible are nominated), the top ten vote getters were published. That list of ten then went to a panel of 39 voters, which was composed of the 23 living Poker Hall of Fame members and 16 members of the poker media. Once their votes were tabulated (the Poker Hall of Fame has not released information about what, exactly, that voting process looks like), Juanda and Harman emerged as this year’s honorees.
Though initial nominations were open to the public, not just anyone has their name submitted. The Poker Hall of Fame has established criteria for eligibility, as follows:
- A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
- Be a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination
- Played for high stakes
- Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers
- Stood the test of time
- Or, for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results.
Juanda, 44, is one of the most successful live tournament players of all time. With over $17 million lifetime earnings, he is tenth on the all-time money list. He has won five WSOP bracelets, loads of final tables, and a slew of World Poker Tour Main Event final tables, though he has yet to claim a WPT title. He also just won the European Poker Tour Barcelona Main Event in August.
Harman has also seen great success in live tournaments – she was the first woman to win multiple open WSOP events and has twelve WSOP final tables to her credit. She is also well known as being one of the best players in some of the highest stakes cash games in Las Vegas. Her prowess in both cash and tournaments, as well as her visibility as a core member of Team Full Tilt boosted the interest women had for poker during the poker boom last decade.
The elections of Juanda and Harman mean that eight finalists did not make the final cut. That list of players includes (in alphabetical order): Chris Bjorin, David Chiu, Bruno Fitoussi, Carlos Mortensen, Max Pescatori, Terry Rogers, Matt Savage, and David “Devilfish” Ulliott, who received a groundswell of support after his death this year.
Expect many of those players to be back on the list of finalists next year. One player certain to join them and one who many expect to be a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame is Phil Ivey, who becomes eligible when he turns 40-years old in February.
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