Poker Hall of Fame candidate profile: ESPN commentator Norman Chad

Jon Sofen
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Posted on: December 4, 2020 1:27 pm EST

Is long-time ESPN WSOP announcer Norman Chad a worthy candidate for the 2020 Poker Hall of Fame? We won’t answer that question for you, but we will give you some information about the potential candidate.

The 2020 Poker Hall of Fame inductee will be announced December 30 during the WSOP Main Event final table. Unlike in years past, only one player or poker industry person will be inducted. Fans can nominate someone for the class of 2020 on the WSOP.com website.

The fan vote won’t determine who will be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. Instead, it will determine a list of finalists. From there, 32 living current members of the Poker HOF will then vote on the most worthy candidate. If you’re interested in nominating a candidate, you should take into consideration the following criteria:

  • 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.

Does Norman Chad meet the requirements for the Poker Hall of Fame?

Norman Chad joined Lon McEachern as the voice of the World Series of Poker on ESPN in 2003. He comes from a background in sports journalism and bad stand-up comedy that lasted shorter than most of his marriages. The WSOP announcer also has some experience writing scripts for television sitcoms.

Chad is a poker player, but certainly wouldn’t ever make it into the Poker Hall of Fame for his prowess on the felt. He has just six cashes in over 40 events at the WSOP for a total of $90,145. The University of Maryland graduate now resides in Los Angeles where he regularly plays mid-stakes limit stud games.

Strangely enough, Chad isn’t much of a no-limit Texas hold’em fan. But he’s called the action on ESPN since 2003, mostly NLH games. As a broadcaster, Norman Chad is one of the most recognizable and respected announcers in the game, especially to casual poker fans who don’t care for technical poker analysis.

Chad’s role in the ESPN broadcast booth is to provide commentary in an entertaining way to the casual audience. He will always be known for helping grow the game of poker to a mainstream audience during the poker boom era. And also for using his c-list celebrity status to help raise money for charitable causes. Chad has been a regular at many charity poker tournaments over the years.

He’s unlikely to make it into the Poker Hall of Fame this year. But he does meet the criteria as a non-player for his role in helping grow the game of poker.

Featured image source: Twitter