Matt Savage is on the shortlist for the Poker Hall of Fame again. This year he seems among the plausible favorites. Savage’s role as tournament director for some of the WPT’s most prestigious stops — and as a bit-part in the movie flop, Lucky You — would be enough to qualify him even if he’d done nothing else with his time.
But he has done a great deal more than that. He has also run televised poker tourneys for the Ultimate Poker Challenge, the Poker Dome Challenge, and King of Vegas.
Most importantly, he is also a tireless activist for the growth of poker. Possibly his most lasting impact on the game is as co-founder of the Tournament Director’s Association. As such, he is one of the key figures responsible for the standardized international rules for tournament poker.
He still runs the tournaments at L.A.’s Commerce Casino, the Bay 101, and Thunder Valley Casino.
In order for him to win, Savage will have to gather more votes than his competitors. There are ten votes for each of the 32 living members of the PHOF. Members can cast those votes in any quantity for any number of nominees.
The Poker Hall of Fame has just the one criterion for non-players; to be nominated the individual must have “contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results.”
Savage feels like a good candidate for a favorite this year along with Isai Schienberg. These two have had an impact on the entire culture and landscape of the game of poker. Their roles in running the infrastructure of the poker world has given them the power to change things in ways that is unavailable to the man in the arena.
They’re still going to have to court the voters though, something that the media-savvy Matt Savage might have a better handle on than some of the competition.