WSOP Taking Nominations for 2020 Poker Hall of Fame Class

3 min read

At long last, the 2020 Poker Hall of Fame class will soon be inducted. But first, there’s a bit of business to take care of — namely selecting the two most deserving candidates, which you can help decide.

poker hall of fame
Is Antonio Esfandiari worthy of Poker Hall of Fame consideration? (Image: CNBC)

In most years, the HOF selections are announced during the summer World Series of Poker. This year, however, that wasn’t possible given there was no live WSOP in Las Vegas. So, the committee held off the selection process until the upcoming WSOP Main Event, scheduled for later this month.

Each year since 2005 (one per year in most years prior), two individuals have been selected for the Poker Hall of Fame. This year, however, only one person will be inducted. Induction into the prestigious club is certainly subjective, but the inductees are required to meet certain criteria:

  • A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
  • Played for high stakes
  • Be a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination
  • Played consistently well, gaining the respect of their peers
  • Stood the test of time
  • For non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results.

That means great players such as Doug Polk, Stephen Chidwick, and Justin Bonomo aren’t eligible — they haven’t yet reached age 40.

Who is Up for 2020 Poker Hall of Fame Nomination?

Last year was an interesting one for the Poker Hall of Fame. The inductees — Chris Moneymaker and David Oppenheim — were a bit surprising. Moneymaker was a controversial selection given that he mostly fits into the “builder” category for what he’s done for the game. And Oppenheim isn’t a household name, as his notoriety comes from high-stakes cash games.

This year, once again, there isn’t a clear cut choice. You won’t find induction locks such as Phil Ivey (inducted in 2017) or Phil Hellmuth (2007 selection). Last year’s group of near-misses include Mike Matusow, Huck Seed, Antonio Esfandiari, Ted Forrest, and Eli Elezra. There are also some more controversial options such as PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg and former Full Tilt Poker executive and six-time WSOP bracelet winner Chris Ferguson.

Shaun Deeb sure thinks Scheinberg has been snubbed for years.

The 2020 Poker Hall of Fame inductee will be chosen on Dec. 30 during the finale of the WSOP Main Event. Poker fans can nominate a finalist on the website.

On Wednesday, Dec. 16, Caesars Entertainment will announce its list of finalists. The next step is for a 32-member panel to vote for a winner based on that list.

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