2018 Poker Hall of Fame Finalists Announced
The ten finalists for the 2018 Poker Hall of Fame induction class have been announced following an public nomination process. Though theoretically the top ten most-nominated people would have made the list, the Poker Hall of Fame Governing Council did review things and it is commonly know that slight alterations to the list are often made, whether it is to replace someone who wasn’t eligible or include someone who was ignored by the public. We don’t know if and how the list was modified, so let’s just pretend it is what it was, shall we?
Here are the ten Poker Hall of Fame finalists, presented alphabetically:
- Chris Bjorin
- David Chiu
- Mori Eskandani
- Bruno Fitoussi
- John Hennigan
- Mike Matusow
- Chris Moneymaker
- David Oppenheim
- Matt Savage
- Huckleberry Seed
As mentioned, not everyone qualifies for the Poker Hall of Fame. The perquisites are as follows:
- 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
While I certainly qualify based on the last criterion (RIGHT?), I would not qualify as a player in any way, shape, or form.
Of the people above, Chiu, Eskandani, Matusow, Savage, and Seed were finalists last year. Those who were finalists last year but not included this year were Ted Forrest, Thor Hansen, and Max Pescatori. Rounding out last year’s list were Phil Ivey and David “Devilfish” Ulliott, who were both inducted, so they naturally are not finalists in 2018.
Hennigan and Oppenheim are the two men who are making their debuts as Poker Hall of Fame finalists.
The Hall of Fame fates of the ten men above are now in the hands of the voters. The 28 living Poker Hall of Famers and a panel of 18 poker media members will all be casting ballots, which are due Sunday, July 8th. Though the exact voting process has never really been made public by the Hall, voters have divulged the procedure in previous years.
If things remain the same, each balloter has ten votes that they can distribute however they would like. If they feel very strongly about one finalist, they can give all ten of their votes to that person. If they like two people, they can split them five and five. You get the idea. I don’t actually know the vote count threshold needed for induction; typically one or two people are elected each year.
I know this won’t happen, but I really hope the Poker Hall of Fame publishes the vote totals. It doesn’t seem like there is an absolute lock for the Hall this year like there usually is in other years, so I would be extremely interested to see how the vote breaks down. We will find out the winners soon enough, as there will be a ceremony held in conjunction with the WSOP Main Event final table.
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