Daniel Negreanu has never been one to keep his feelings about poker matters to himself. Now that Todd Brunson and Carlos Mortensen have been elected to the Poker Hall of Fame, he has something to say about the Hall’s election process. To be sure, Negreanu has no problem with the men who were elected – he calls them “both gentlemen friends and tough players.” What Negreanu would like to see changed are some of the eligibility requirements and the method by which the finalists are chosen.
In his blog on Full Contact Poker, Negreanu detailed the adjustments he suggests for the Poker Hall of Fame eligibility criteria. First, let’s review the criteria that are in place right now:
• A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
• 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.
Covering the last one first, Negreanu said that non-players, or “builders” as they are often called, should be considered separately from players:
I also find it difficult to vote for someone in the builder category when it takes up a spot that a player may have gotten. Since builders represent a small percentage of the nominees, my suggestion to address this is to induct a builder once every 4 years in addition to the two players that go in annually. That way people like Matt Savage, Steve Lipscomb, John Duthie, Bruno Fitoussi and others would compete against each other in this category and not be judged against players. It’s quite difficult to judge apples and oranges, so just the apples against the apples, and the oranges against the oranges.
He also wants to reword the criterion slightly to add more clarity.
Clarity is a common theme amongst Negreanu’s desired changes. When it comes to “top competition,” he wrote, “What defines top competition exactly? When the Hall of Fame was created, this could only happen if a player played the highest stakes cash games against the world’s best players. Since the 70’s poker has changed a great deal. You have online poker skills, tournament players, and a wide range of stakes that could be considered high stakes.”
Negreanu concluded that the “top competition” requirement should just be removed, as it is a given that if someone is good enough to be considered for the Hall of Fame, they will have played against the best players in the world.
Similarly, Negreanu wants to define “high stakes” as tournaments with buy-ins above $10,000, Fixed-Limit cash games of $400-$800 and above, and No-Limit cash games of $25-$50 and higher.
He aimed for similar clarity for the “played consistently well” and “stood the test of time” criteria, which are obviously quite subjective. In the end, Daniel Negreanu came up with a revised set of requirements for the Poker Hall of Fame:
1. Must Be a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination
2. Played for High Stakes.
-Tournaments with buy ins over $10,000
-Limit Cash games $400-$800 and above
-No Limit Cash games of $25-$50 and above
3. Their poker skills are well respected by their peers
4. They were exceptional in at least one of these areas:
5. Stood the test of time over a period of 15 years or more
As for the nomination and final voting process, Negreanu isn’t thrilled with the finalists being selected by a public nomination process because a fan vote basically boils down to a “popularity contest.” He would like it tweaked to allow four finalists selected by fans and six selected by the media and Hall of Fame voting panel.
Speaking of which, those 44 living Hall of Famers and media members currently get to submit ten votes split up amongst any finalists they would like. Negreanu feels that this “gives voting blocks far too much power” and would like it changed to allowing voters to select just two finalists, ranking them as a first choice and second choice.