Since 1979, the best poker players get the chance to compete for a spot in the Poker Hall of Fame every year. In the past, the nomination process was fairly easy, and multiple players could get inducted simultaneously.
However, in recent years, becoming a part of this prestigious club became harder – especially since the WSOP came up with new criteria nominees have to comply with. If someone wants to get a Hall of Fame nomination, he has to impact the industry in one way or another. If not, the players must be the best as they play poker online or offline.
In the past few weeks, the most influential players and industry personnel have been nominated to get inducted. And finally, the list of nominees is here!
Which top players might get the coveted title by the end of the year? And what makes them stand out amongst thousands of players around the world? It is time to find out the answers to these questions!
2020 Poker Hall of Fame Nominees
Let's take a look at the players and poker influencers who might join the timeless Hall of Fame - and learn why they deserve to be included in this list.
- Patrik Antonius – The 40-year-old Finnish pro had a lucrative poker career, winning about $12m in live events over the years. He is also well known for participating and dominating online poker in the late 2000s. In addition to that, Antonius was a part of Marcel Luske's Circle of Outlaws, and it is clear that he's learned all he knows from the best of the best.
- Lon McEachern and Norman Chad – For the first time ever, two people are being nominated as a group. The two are well-known for their epic and memorable commentaries on ESPN's broadcasts of WSOP events. Their work definitely influenced and changed the face of poker and how the public perceives it.
- Eli Elezra – A lot of players believe that the 60-years-old player is the most likely to get inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. His live earnings sum up to about $3m, which is not much. However, Elezra is well known for playing against some of the toughest pros out there – and winning. In his poker career, Mr. Vegas won 4 WSOP bracelets and one World Poker Tour title, and he wasn't afraid to get his name out there.
- Antonio Esfandiari – Over the years, Esfandiari built a name for himself, as he had a rather successful poker career. Also known as "The Magician", he won three WSOP bracelets and multiple World Poker Tour events. In more than 20 years of playing the exciting game, he earned more than $27m, making him one of the most successful poker players alive. In the past few months, Esfandiari has been involved in an unpleasant theft case, and the current nomination couldn't come at a better time. Maybe this will be able to lift his spirits!
- Ted Forrest – The poker pro, who won more than $6m in his career, is one of the most talented players that ever played. He won 6 WSOP bracelets and one World Poker Tour title, taking part in every type of poker game you can think of: tournaments, cash games, low and high stakes, and so on. Later on, he even published his own book. He might not have been all that active since 2018, but many players still believe he deserves a shot at the coveted spot in the Hall of Fame.
- Mike Matusow – While the American player wasn't as successful as other players on this list, he still managed to generate more than $9m in poker wins. But while his career won't impress tough judges, he can certainly be considered as an influencer in poker. Apart from being a part of the "poker boom", Matusow had some epic matches that we will remember for years to come.
- Matt Savage – While not a major poker player, Savage made it into the Hall of Fame shortlist by changing the face of the poker industry for good. He is the executive tour director of the World Poker Tour, and over the years, he made it his mission to create standardized rules for poker tournaments worldwide. Savage's work happens mostly backstage, but maybe this year, he will be the one to appear in the spotlight.
- Isai Scheinberg – As the founder of one of the most successful and popular poker sites out there, many believe that Scheinberg deserves this win. He has done a lot for the industry over the years, but his legal issues might stop him from getting into the Hall of Fame this year.
- Huck Seed – With 4 WSOP bracelets under his belt and more than 50 money finishes, Seed should have been nominated years ago. Throughout his career, he earned almost $8m in live events. But he is best known for his spectacular performance in the 1996 WSOP Main Event.
On December 30, the offline and online poker community will decide which of the mentioned poker players\influencers will get his name forever remembered in the Hall of Fame. Who do you think deserves the title the most?