As is customary, the Poker Hall of Fame class for 2020 will be announced during the WSOP Main Event. But this year the announcement will take place five months late due to COVID-19. And, different than in year’s past, only one individual will be inducted.
Since 2005, two players or industry personnel have been inducted each summer. Last year, cash game legend David Oppenheim joined 2003 WSOP Main Event champion Chris Moneymaker in the Poker Hall of Fame class of 2019. There were many who felt Moneymaker wasn’t a deserving candidate. After all, his win in 2003 was the only real highlight of his playing career. But he was inducted more for what he’s done for the game, as he is widely considered the person most responsible for the growth of poker earlier this century.
Like last year, the candidates for the class of 2020 don’t stand out like they have in previous years. There are no slam dunk inductees this year, much like in 2017 when Phil Ivey became eligible at age 40. Eligibility is based on a number of factors, including:
- 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.
Many of the requirements for induction are highly subjective. For example, “played consistently well,” is a matter of opinion.
Fans can help choose the 2020 Poker Hall of Fame inductee
Only one individual will be selected for the 2020 Poker Hall of Fame class. And since there aren’t any slam dunk choices, you can rest assured whoever is selected will be a controversial choice. Many on poker Twitter will criticize the nominee, that much is certain.
If you want to be a part of the selection process, you can do so by heading over to the WSOP.com site to cast your vote for a nominee. All you have to do is fill out your name and email address along with the name of the player or industry person who you feel best deserves to be chosen and a reason why.
You can only vote one time, so make it count. The choices this year are wide open and there aren’t any clear-cut favorites. But there are some deserving names, including Antonio Esfandiari, David Chiu, Ted Forrest, and even some commentators such as Norman Chad and Lon McEachern, both of whom have served as the ESPN announcers for the WSOP since 2003.
On December 16, Caesars Entertainment will announce the finalists for the 2020 Poker Hall of Fame class based on the fan votes. From there, a 32-member panel will vote on the winner. The inductee will then be announced December 30 in Las Vegas during the final day of the 2020 WSOP Main Event.
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