Should PokerStars Founder Isai Scheinberg Be Voted into WSOP Poker Hall of Fame? Many Players Say Yes

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Isai Scheinberg PHOF WSOP
Isai Scheinberg for the win: Terrance Chan and other industry insiders call for Scheinberg’s induction into the WSOP Poker Hall of Fame. (Image: Danny Maxwell/PokerStars Blog)

For some, Isai Scheinberg, the controversial founder of megasite PokerStars, has been slighted repeatedly, while for others, his exclusion from this prestigious club is legitimate. We are speaking, of course, about the Poker Hall of Fame (PHOF).

Voting for this year’s PHOF, sponsored by, is well underway, and while nominations for many of the game’s finest players are flying in from all directions, there’s growing momentum for this notorious industry figure to be included at last.

Despite being one of the more elusive members of the poker world, Scheinberg the Senior was the man behind the largest online operation in existence, and according to some, that’s reason enough for him to be included in this year’s Hall of Fame.

Chan Backing Scheinberg

Following a tweet from the WSOP’s official Twitter account calling for people to cast their votes, PokerStars’ stalwart Lee Jones decided to chime in and put Scheinberg’s name forward. This suggestion was followed up by a forum post from pro player, MMA fighter and industry insider Terrance Chan.

Challenging anyone to name someone who has had more influence on the poker world than the ex-PokerStars boss, Chan believes that if WSOP  will ignore this suggestion at its own peril.

“In my opinion, if the man who has done more to grow poker than any other individual in the world in the past 20 years (at least) is not in the Poker HOF, it is illegitimate,” wrote Chan.

Although he acknowledges that he has certain allegiances to PokerStars, having enjoyed a fair amount of success on the platform over the years, he does say that the influence of the company has helped spawn hundreds of careers.

From poker players and tournament staff, to journalists and TV presenters, PokerStars has enabled thousands of people around the world to work in the poker industry over the last few years and the man ultimately responsible for this was Scheinberg, is Chan’s reasoning.

Don’t Forget the Devilfish

However, regardless of his influence, Chan believes that the WSOP won’t induct Scheinberg, because Caesars won’t want to bring any attention to PokerStars. Of course, this may or may not be the case, but a number of poker fans are now petitioning for the Israeli businessman to become the next Hall of Fame member.

In addition to calls for Scheinberg to be inducted this year, players across Europe are pushing for Dave Ulliott, aka the Devilfish, to join the likes of Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, and Johnny Chan.

Known as one of the most entertaining players to ever grace the felt, Ulliott passed away earlier this year after a battle with cancer, and players feel it would be a fitting tribute to his legacy if he was given a spot in the class of 2015.

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