The nomination period for the Poker Hall of Fame has begun. On Tuesday, the World Series of Poker made the nomination form available to the public on its website.
While you can nominate anyone you would like, there is a set a criteria that must be met in order for that nominee to actually be eligible. As has been the case for years, here are the requirements to make the first cut for the Poker Hall of Fame:
• 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
The age requirement is really the only absolutely objective, cut and dry criterion. The rest are to one degree or another subjective. Playing against top competition and for high stakes shouldn’t be too controversial – if you nominate your buddy who crushes your home games, he’s going to get weeded out (if he somehow got tons of votes).
Standing the test of time and gaining the respect of one’s peers are a little hazier. What if someone has been a fantastic player for 30 years, but isn’t well-liked? Ty Cobb is in the Baseball Hall of Fame, after all.
Or what if someone is an awesome player and a cool person, but they have only really been playing on the biggest stage for a decade? That’s all part of the fun of the nomination process, though – we can all decide what’s important to us and nominate accordingly.
Frankly, I think you should all vote for me. I’ve been a wonderful non-player for a long time now and have made all your lives that much brighter.
Once the nomination period closes, the Poker Hall of Fame Governing Council will review the top ten vote getters to be sure they are eligible. At that point, the finalist list will go to the living members of the Poker Hall of Fame, who will have the final vote on who gets in. Only one person will comprise the Class of 2023, so many deserving candidates will end up disappointed.
Last year’s Poker Hall of Fame inductee was the late Layne Flack. The other nine finalists were (in alphabetical order): Josh Arieh, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Kathy Liebert, Mike Matusow, Lon McEachern & Norman Chad, Michael Mizrachi, Brian Rast, Matt Savage, and Isai Scheinberg.