WSOP opens Poker Hall of Fame nominations process

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Haley Hintze Author Photo
Haley Hintze
Posted on: September 30, 2021 09:35 PDT

The World Series of Poker, in conjunction with the first day of WSOP 2021 festivities, has opened the public nomination process for the Poker Hall of Fame. The PHOF selects one prominent poker personality each year for enshrinement.

Poker fans of all stripes can nominate their favorite poker-world heroes, whether it’s a player or another poker personality. The WSOP has created an online landing page at Rules and restrictions are listed there, and fans may submit nominations only once.

This first step in the annual PHOF enshrinement process produces a preliminary list of finalists, which is then vetted by the PHOF’s Governing Council. Eventually a list of ten finalists is submitted to a voting panel consisting of all living PHOF enshrinees.

Huck Seed was the sole 2020 enshrinee in a modified process that now sees just one deserving poker professional honored annually. Seed’s enshrinement ceremony actually took place in the first days of 2021, in conjunction with the delayed conclusion to the WSOP’s live version of the 2020 Main Event.

Matt Savage heads returning finalists

All other 2020 finalists figure to be high among those nominated for this year’s honor. Prominent tournament director Matt Savage was last year’s runner-up in votes, followed closely by PokerStars co-founder Isai Scheinberg. Other returning finalists include Eli Elezra, Antonio Esfandiari, WSOP announcing team Lon McEachern and Norman Chad, Ted Forrest, Mike Matusow , Patrik Antonius, and Chris Ferguson.

The eventual winner is likely to be honored in a formal ceremony occurring during the WSOP Main Event final table and the concurrent “Bounty” tourney, in which several previous main event champs are scheduled to play. The festivities will be held in late November.

Fans seeking to nominate their poker favorites should be mindful of the guidelines that determine eligible PHOF candidates. Those guidelines include:

  • A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
  • Played for high stakes
  • Be a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination
  • 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.

Caesars and the WSOP have administered the Poker Hall of Fame since Caesars (then known as Harrah’s) acquired the WSOP and its related assets in 2004. The public-nomination process has itself been in place for more than a decade and is designed to increase fan awareness and participation in honoring poker’s all-time greats.

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