It’s that time of year again, folks, when the Poker Hall of Fame wants your nominations for individuals deserving of a place among the most celebrated list of poker players.
Voting kicks off today and runs through to August 14, so you may well be waiting to see how the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas turns out, particularly with the $50,000 Poker Player’s Championship in full swing and the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship beginning on Thursday.
Then again, the WSOP’s Player of the Year table may well influence your vote. Or maybe you have a player in mind that you believe has been overlooked for many years. Also, how about some of the non-playing poker personalities that have played massively important roles in making the game we love the worldwide success it is now?
Now, I don’t want to influence you in any way, but my vote is actually going to a non-player in Jessie May, although he did play competitively for many years. The American commentator has probably done more to promote the game than any other individual in recent years. Certainly, in the UK, he is considered The Voice of Poker.
But, whoever you choose, you have 41 days to get your vote in before the nominations close, so don’t take too long making your mind up, please. You can register your vote at http://www.wsop.com/phof
Following on from the last two years, the nomination, selection and voting procedures will conclude with the entrance of a deserving inductee – or inductees – in November as a vital part of the WSOP main event’s final table.
The Poker Hall of Fame – which traditionally elects up to two members each year – was established way back in 1979 and, although virtual, its membership is most certainly made up of some of poker’s most prominent players as well as other significant contributors to the game.
Quite rightly, the Hall of Fame reads like a who’s who of poker and, while there are just 18 living members, the list is made up of 40 individuals that are undoubtedly deserving of being held in the highest regard by pros, amateurs and fans alike.
This year’s procedure will follow these guidelines:
- The public can make their nominations online at www.wsop.com/phof from July 5 to August 14. Every proposal allows for a nominee to be named and as many as 250 words is support of that nominee’s merit.
- On or around August 15, the completed list of nominations will be given to the newly-established Nominating Committee, who will then review all submissions to determine the ultimate list of suitable candidates for induction. The committee will also decide if any other individuals should be added to that list – including non-players that have played a significant role in the game, as well as any obvious omissions, and so on – before settling on the final list.
- Caesars Entertainment – which acquired the Hall of Fame and the WSOP in 2004 – will then reveal the Nominating Committee’s list some time around the September 15. The names on that list will be sent to official voters – comprising Poker Hall of Fame members and privileged members of the media – to cast their votes to settle on the 2011 induction class.
- September 16 will see a finalists’ ballot given to current Hall of Fame members to rank nominees in order of preference. Hall of Fame members can also add their own candidates to be added to the 2012 list for consideration. Additionally, certain members of the media will receive a ballot to rank finalists. Votes will be registered in private, with each voter permitted but not compelled to keep their vote confidential. The Poker Hall of Fame governing council will then review selections once all ballots are returned to assist in finalising any tie-breaks or to correct any errors.
- The two nominations receiving the highest number of votes – as long as they garner the majority of votes – will then be inducted during the ceremony at the WSOP’s main event final table in November.
The key criteria for entrance into the Poker Hall of Fame are:
- A player must have faced up to recognised top competition;
- Players must be a minimum of 40 years old at the time of their nomination (to be known as the ‘Chip Reese’ rule, having been adopted this year – 20 years after Reese’s induction when aged 40);
- Players must have played for high stakes;
- Players must have played to a consistently high standard, and have gained the respect of their peers;
- Players must have stood the test of time;
- Non-players must have contributed to the success and overall growth of poker, with permanent positive results.
The 40 Poker Hall of Fame members are:
1979: Nick ‘The Greek’ Dandolos, James Butler ‘Wild Bill Hickok’, Edmond Hoyle, Felton ‘Corky’ McCorquodale, Johnny Moss, Red Winn, Sid Wyman;
1980: T ‘Blondie’ Forbes;
1981: Bill Boyd;
1982: Tom Abdo;
1983: Joe Bernstein;
1984: Murph Harrold;
1985: Red Hodges;
1986: Henry Green;
1987: Walter Clyde ‘Puggy’ Pearson;
1988: Doyle Brunson, Jack ‘Treetop’ Strauss;
1989: Fed ‘Sarge’ Ferris;
1990: Benny Binion;
1991: David ‘Chip’ Reese;
1992: Thomas Austin ‘Amarillo Slim’ Preston;
1993: Jack Keller;
1996: Julius Oral ‘Little Man’ Popwell
1997: Roger Moore
2001: Stu ‘The Kid’ Ungar
2002: Lyle Berman, Johnny Chan
2003: Bobby Baldwin
2004: Berry Johnson
2005: Crandall Addington, Jack Binion
2006: Billy Baxter, TJ Cloutier
2007: Barbara Enright, Phil Hellmuth;
2008: Henry Orenstein, Duane ‘Dewey’ Tomko;
2009: Mike Sexton;
2010: Dan Harrington, Erik Seidel.