One of the things I really like about the Poker Hall of Fame voting process is that the fans get to nominate their favorite poker players and personalities, and the inductees are then selected from the top 10 vote-getters by the current members of the Poker Hall of Fame and selected poker media personalities. The reason this system works so well is that we have a checks and balances between popularity and cronyism in place, which is evidenced by the group of finalists for the Poker Hall of Fame Class of 2010:
- Chris Ferguson – The 2000 Main Event Champion and 5-time bracelet winner is a definite HOFer, especially when you consider his early work with Internet poker, but I don’t think it’s going to happen this year.
- Barry Greenstein – Greenstein has an excellent chance of making the HOF in 2010 thanks to his poker skills as well as his charitable work, excellent reputation, and successful book Ace on the River.
- Jennifer Harman – Harman is in the same boat as Ferguson in that she is still fairly young, and aside from her poker accomplishments hasn’t done much to promote the game of poker. Sorry, but not this year Jennifer.
- Dan Harrington – Harrington has an impressive resume including Main Event champion as well as back-to-back Main Event final tables in 2003 and 2004. However, he will most likely always be remembered for his Harrington on Hold’ Em series, which should land him in the HOF in the next few years.
- Phil Ivey – The only thing keeping Ivey out of the Poker Hall of Fame is his age, but with his accomplishments I think the committee has to overlook this and induct the man who is arguably poker’s greatest player of all-time.
- Linda Johnson – Johnson is perhaps one of the most beloved poker players/personalities in the poker world, and even though many poker fans are asking, “Who is Linda Johnson?” I think she is a shoe-in to the Poker HOF.
- Tom McEvoy – McEvoy helped usher in the poker ‘Primer’ after his WSOP Main Event victory back in 1983, and even though his books are now a bit outdated, McEvoy continues to be a great representative of poker. My guess is that with the tough voting restrictions lifted he will be inducted in the next few years.
- Daniel Negreanu – 6 months ago I would have put Daniel on my short-list, but the recent controversy surrounding him and Annie Duke may hurt him. Still, there is nobody in poker who works harder at promoting the game than Negreanu.
- Scotty Nguyen – If not for his antics during the $50k HORSE tournament a few years back, Scotty would be a lock for induction. Unfortunately, the taint from that performance has really stuck to him, and considering the tournament was named in honor of the beloved Chip Reese this will also hurt him in the eyes of the voters: Hopefully for Scotty the memory will eventually fade with a couple years of good behavior.
- Erik Seidel – In my mind this is Seidel’s year. Unlike previous year’s –where you have a no-brainier inductee, and then MAYBE another player– The man known as being the brides-maid will benefit from the relaxed voting requirements after the committee votes in Linda Johnson, and takes a good hard look at Seidel’s resume, including 8 Gold Bracelets.
- Who Will Win the WSOP Tournament of Champions? - July 2, 2010
- Fifteen Minutes of Fame – Five Flash in the Pan Poker Players - July 7, 2010
- The Five Oldest Poker Players Who Still Win - July 31, 2010
Written by Steve Ruddock on September 2nd, 2010