The World Series of Poker (WSOP) revealed the names of the ten finalists for the Poker Hall of Fame Wednesday. There is no guarantee that any of them will be inducted this year, though traditionally one or two players receive the honor each year.
The ten finalists are, in alphabetical order: Chris Bjorin, Humberto Brenes, David Chiu, Thor Hansen, Jennifer Harman, Mike Matusow, Tom McEvoy, Carlos Mortensen, Scotty Nguyen, and Huck Seed.
Nominations were submitted by the public over the last several months via WSOP.com. Virtually anybody could be nominated, though there were some criteria for consideration:
• 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.
Of course, most of those requirements are very subjective. The one exception is the age floor, which disqualifies perhaps the most obvious candidate, Phil Ivey, who is 37-years old. This rule was added in 2011, two years after Tom Dwan was a finalist at the age of 23.
The eventual inductees into the Poker Hall of Fame will ultimately be determined by a 37-member panel. The voters are the 19 living Hall of Fame members plus 18 members of the poker media. The official ballots will be sent to voters next week and are due back by October 11th. Once all the votes are tallied, the inductees will be announced. They will be inducted in ceremony on November 3rd, the day before the “November Nine” reconvenes to finish the WSOP Main Event.
All of the ten nominees are currently living, so it is very likely that whomever is inducted will attend the ceremony. Six of the candidates – Bjorin, Chiu, Hansen, Harman, McEvoy, and Nguyen – were nominated last year.
Founded in 1979, the Poker Hall of Fame has enshrined 44 poker luminaries. The vast majority are accomplished players, though a few, such as 2008 inductee Henry Orenstein (inventor of the hole card cam and poker television show producer), were honored because of their contributions to the game.