Final Candidates for Selection into the Poker Hall of Fame

by Lou on September 13, 2009

The list of nine finalists eligible for induction into the Poker Hall of Fame was released a few days ago and a panel of 30—15 members of the Hall of Fame and 15 media members will cast their votes by October 2 to determine the two finalists who will be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame November 7 at the Rio.

The nine final candidates are:

Barry Greenstein
Dan Harrington
Phil Ivey
Tom McEvoy
Men Nguyen
Scotty Nguyen
Daniel Negreanu
Erik Seidel
Mike Sexton

Each voter gets two votes, and the smart money is on Mike Sexton’s induction. Others with a shot seem to be Greenstein, Harrington, McEvoy, and Seidel. Negreanu and Ivey might be a bit young at this point in their careers, and Men Nguyen and Scotty Nguyen carry a lot of negative baggage with them.

Allegations of cheating and chip-dumping have followed Men Nguyen for years, and Scotty Nguyen’s alcohol-fueled table behavior is likely to turn off a significant number of voters.
A lot of the selection process turns on judgment calls, and there’s just no simple metric or formula for determining precisely what makes for a Hall of Fame career. And while there are guidelines, they’re subjective enough to allow voters significant leeway in making their selections. Here are the guidelines:

Since it began in 1979, the Hall of Fame has honored 37 gamblers, one for each year, with the exception of 1993 and the year 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2008. All but two, Hoyle and Hickok, were twentieth-century players.

Selection criteria for the Hall of Fame are:

1. A gambler must have played poker against acknowledged top competition,

2. Played for high stakes,

3. Played consistently well and gained the respect of their peers,

4. Stood the test of time,

5. And for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results.

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