“A complete joke” – Doug Polk blasts the Poker Hall of Fame voting process

Geoff Fisk
Published by:
Posted on 01/07/2021

Polk’s tweet sparks a debate on the authenticity of the Poker Hall of Fame voting process

The rules of induction for the Poker Hall of Fame already stand as a point of contention in the poker community. The World Series of Poker changed the process for the 2020 Hall of Fame class, cutting down the number of inducted players from two to just one for 2020.

Huck Seed, the 1996 WSOP Main Event champion and an iconic figure from poker’s golden era, got in as this year’s lone Hall of Fame inductee. Seed received 76 votes out of a possible 300, with all cast votes coming from living members of the Hall of Fame.

The vote counts reported for some of the others on the list of ten finalists drew the ire of one of the game’s probable future Hall of Famers. Doug Polk took to Twitter Wednesday to voice disapproval toward the vote tally list for the ten finalists.

“The Poker Hall of Fame Voting here was a complete joke,” Polk tweeted. “Mtt director in 2nd? Isai Scheinberg started the 1st or 2nd most important company in poker history and got third?”

“Elezra ran up debts he didn’t pay to how many players and got 4th? Antonius in 7th? What world is this?”

Polk says the vote tally doesn’t make sense

Polk contends that Scheinberg, the founder of PokerStars, deserves to be higher on the list. PokerStars currently stands as the world’s largest online poker site, holding that status for more than a decade.

World Poker Tour Executive Tournament Director Matt Savage came in second in the 2020 Hall of Fame voting, with Polk appearing to question Savage’s high placement on the list.

Eli Elezra, another ubiquitous presence from the poker boom era, is alleged by some to owe multiple debts to other players. Those allegations come mostly from threads in the TwoPlusTwo forums.

Patrik Antonius, yet another of the poker boom era’s most recognizable figures, played a big part in some of the most memorable high-stakes games of the past two decades, both live and online.

“The only thing about this list that makes any sense is (putting) Lon and Norm together as 1 person,” Polk wrote in a later tweet.

That comment referred to commentary duo Lon McEachern and Norman Chad, mainstays on ESPN coverage of the WSOP for the past 18 years.

The listed criteria for Hall of Fame consideration includes the following:

  • 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.

The living members of the Hall of Fame vote each year to induct either one or two new members. The 32 eligible voters chose Seed as the lone 2020 inductee, with this year’s rules modified to only induct one new member.

Featured image source: Twitter