Norman Chad opined on problems with the Poker Hall of Fame in a Tuesday op-ed on CardsChat. He then sat down with me at the Rio to discuss what he thinks can be done to fix the “broken” system, and he had some interesting suggestions. You can hear the interview right here in the next edition of the CardsChat Poker Podcast.
Chad is more than just a poker announcer. He’s also a noted sports writer who appeared in major publications such as the Washington Post, which makes him a credible source when discussing issues such as a pro sports or poker hall of fame.
So, What’s the Problem?
As you may have read in his op-ed, or from the above CardsChat Poker Podcast, Norman Chad is a bit upset with the Poker Hall of Fame voting process. The long-time ESPN commentator wants changes to be made so that the many deserving players and contributors who are on the outside looking in finally get inducted.
Chad wrote in his op-ed that there is a backlog of deserving candidates who may never get in. That includes the likes of EPT founder John Duthie, tournament director Matt Savage, and others. He told me in our interview that some players and contributors are stuck on the outside because when a mega star such as Phil Ivey turns 40, an individual’s first year of eligibility, others get the shaft.
The Poker Hall of Fame inducts exactly two members each year. Last year’s selections were John Hennigan and Mori Eskandani, both worthy candidates. But there are many other important figures such as Chris Moneymaker who may never get in, and it’s unfortunate.
My Final Take
The WSOP will announce the Poker Hall of Fame class of 2019 at a ceremony on July 8. My prediction is that Antonio Esfandiari and David Oppenheim will be the two players selected.
But I feel that, and I wrote about this in a recent column here at CardsChat, it’s a travesty that Chris Moneymaker isn’t already in the Poker Hall of Fame.
Sure, he doesn’t have enough wins under his belt to go in as a player. But he’s more than worthy as a builder given he’s one of the most important figures in poker history.
Norman Chad is correct in saying the Poker Hall of Fame is broken, Unfortunately, however, I’m not sure there’s a true solution to fix the problem given how difficult it is to determine how great a player has been over their career.
Poker isn’t like professional sports where we can verify stats to determine the performance of a player. In poker, all we have to go by is Hendon Mob results for live tournaments which doesn’t show overall profits. And how can anyone know much money a player has won or lost in cash games?
Despite those issues, it’s still an honor to be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.