Will Mike “the Mouth” Matusow win a spot in the Poker Hall of Fame? In his favor is sheer brand recognizability. He’s one of the best-known players in the game.
Against this stand the vagaries of the voting criteria.There’s plenty of wiggle room here and how the voters interpret the following will make all the difference to his chances:
- A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition;
- Be a minimum of 40-years-old at the time of nomination;
- Played for high stakes;
- Played consistently well;
- Gained the respect of peers; and
- Stood the test of time.
Matusow used to play at the highest levels consistently, though he has come down in the world somewhat. His current regular game is a $4-$8 Omaha hi/lo game (a game in which he is a widely acknowledged expert). He remains a sharp player and one whose game is respected within its wheelhouse.
He’s a fearless advocate of his beliefs, though this may also be one of the things that weighs against him in the polls.
His unusual views have given the “respect of his peers” criterion a sharp tap on its shell, it is cracked if not entirely shattered. Matusow supports the far-right Trump-wing of U.S. politics and has intermittently advocated for theories of election fraud and COVID conspiracies. Mind you, in the poker world, these traits are still cooling their feet in the shallows of the mainstream.
One key thing in Matusow’s favor is that he is personally known to — and in some cases well-liked by — a chunk of the 32 living Poker Hall of Famers. These are the people whose votes will elevate someone to the PHOF.
Each member of the PHOF gets ten votes to distribute in various amounts between the ten candidates. The candidate with the most votes then wins. A few friends who don’t split their votes may well put the Mouth in the Hall.
We’ll have to wait until the announcement later today to find out.
Featured image source: Haley Hintze.