Todd Brunson and Carlos Mortensen will become the fifty-first and fifty-second members of the WSOP Hall of Fame when inducted in a ceremony on October 26.
Yesterday afternoon, a statement was released by the WSOP Poker Hall of Fame Governing Council announcing that Todd Brunson and Carlos Mortensen are to become the latest members of one of the world´s most exclusive clubs.
Having been nominated for the accolade by the general public – and then voted for by existing Hall of Famers and a media panel – Todd Brunson joins his father Doyle as a member of the Poker Hall of Fame, while Carlos Mortensen is the first European player to break into the Vegas-centric club.
Deserving or Not? Opinion is Divided
Whereas Brunson has a reputation for being a monster in mixed poker cash games and Mortensen has an impressive ROI for his tournament achievements, reaction to the news has been pretty mixed. Looking at the criteria for entry into the WSOP Hall of Fame, questions are being asked about whether both players have indeed “stood the test of time”.
Brunson´s supporters claim that his legendary heads-up games against billionaire Andy Beal and his performances on Poker Night in America justify his inclusion in the WSOP Poker Hall of Fame. However, his detractors claim that he is not up to scratch in cash games of NL Hold´em and only got into the Poker Hall of Fame because of his father – a claim possibly confirmed in this tweet:
No, I did not nominate Todd for HOF. Yes, I gave him all of my votes. Most folks don’t know just how good Todd is at all games, not just NLH https://t.co/FajnkfkUEe
— Doyle Brunson (@TexDolly) October 13, 2016
Undoubtedly Carlos Mortensen is universally respected for his achievements prior to the poker boom. In 2004, Mortensen became the first player to win a WSOP Main Event (2001) and a WPT Championship. He picked up his second WSOP bracelet in 2003 and final tabled three WSOP events in 2006. His best live cash (for around 35% of his total winnings) came the following year when he won the Five Star World Poker Classic.
However, since 2007, his major achievements have been few and far between when compared to other players nominated for the WSOP Poker Hall of Fame. Indeed, since 2011, he has only had two six-figure cashed according to his Hendon Mob database, and his only tournament victory during this time came in a $250 buy-in event in February 2015. Compared to other nominees such as Eli Elezra and Max Pescatori, Mortensen´s recent form is nothing to write home about at all.
Ulliott Overlooked Again. Moneymaker Blanked
Incredibly, neither of the players most credited with contributing to the overall growth of the game made it into the WSOP Poker Hall of Fame. By his presence alone, Dave “Devilfish” Ulliott made televised poker far more entertaining than it would have otherwise been, and Chris Moneymaker deserves his place in the WSOP Poker Hall of Fame not only for his role in the poker boom of the last decade, but also for the support he continues to give to advocates of regulated online poker in the United States.
If Dave Ulliott and Chris Moneymaker had been chosen to join the elite members of the WSOP Poker Hall of Fame, this year´s induction ceremony at Binion´s Gambling Hall on October 26 would be one to remember. Unfortunately, the induction of Todd Brunson and Carlos Mortensen will probably be forgotten soon after the ceremony has concluded. Sadly this appears to be a reflection on the current “buddy-buddy” relationships within the WSOP Hall of Fame and its Governing Council.
— Kevin Mathers (@Kevmath) October 13, 2016