Poker Hall of Fame Online Nominations Open
Prior to the conclusion of the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event with the November Nine, the Poker Hall of Fame will host a celebration to induct its new members. Before the festivities can begin, though, there is the non-trivial task of actually nominating and electing the Hall of Famers. The process begins with the online nomination process, which the WSOP (which owns the Poker Hall of Fame) has opened up to the public.
Interested fans can go to the WSOP’s website and navigate to the Poker Hall of Fame page to begin. All that is required is the balloter’s name and e-mail, along with the nominee’s name and a brief explanation as to why that person deserves to be honored. Once the polls close, the Poker Hall of Fame Governing Council will tabulate and vet the results and then present the top ten nomination-earners as the Hall of Fame finalists.
It is a simple process, though it has been criticized (by yours truly, amongst many others) for being too opaque. We don’t know who is on the Governing Council, what they do in reviewing the nominations, or even what the exact nomination count is. In years past, names have appeared on the list of finalists that seemed impossible for the general public to have nominated. There was just no way these one or two names were well-known enough to be amongst the top ten nominees.
As it is, though, that’s the how the nomination process works. The Hall of Fame has prescribed a number of criteria for eligibility:
- A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
- Played for high stakes
- Be a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination
- 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.
As you can see, most of these are open to interpretation, but we have yet to see a name sneak through that didn’t fit. The big name that will certainly be on the list of finalists this year is Phil Ivey, who recently celebrated his 40th birthday. Just like Daniel Negreanu easily sailed into the Poker Hall of Fame a couple years ago, so should Ivey.
Last year, the ten finalists were Chris Bjorin, David Chiu, Bruno Fitoussi, Jennifer Harman, John Juanda, Carlos Mortensen, Max Pescatori, Terry Rogers, Matt Savage, and David “Devilfish” Ulliott.
John Juanda and Jennifer Harman were eventually voted into the Hall.
The public does not have a vote when it comes to the ultimate selection of the induction class. The living member of the Poker Hall of Fame all get to vote (there are 25 of them, if my count is correct) plus a panel of poker media members (there were 16 last year). Again, there is little transparency to be had as to the final voting process. We don’t often know who is on the media panel, we don’t know the overall voting results, and we don’t know what the voting requirements are to actually be elected. Sometimes we get lucky and one of the media members writes about it, but none of this information is published by the Poker Hall of Fame.
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