It is a new and innovative year for the Poker Hall of Fame, as the process of choosing nominees for induction has been changed rather significantly to include the wishes of the poker public. And after more than a month of nominations being accepted, there were ten members of the poker community who garnered the most votes and made it to the next step of the process.
When the voting began on May 26, anyone had the opportunity to submit names for consideration, and those with the most votes by July 2 were given spots on the top ten list. Those names were, in alphabetical order and not by number of votes received:
Tom Dwan Barry Greenstein Dan Harrington Phil Ivey Tom McEvoy Men Nguyen Scotty Nguyen Daniel Negreanu Erik Seidel Mike Sexton
In the next step of the process of determining the actual inductees, the actual criteria for the Poker Hall of Fame must be considered. Said criteria includes that nominees have played poker against recognized top competitors, played for high stakes, built a reputation as a solid player with the respect of their peers, and “stood the test of time.” Those who are not considered players must be found to have contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker with “indelible positive and lasting results.”
Some of the above list does not meet those standards. For example, Tom Dwan has only been involved in poker for a few years and has not had the time to gain the respect or reputation to earn a place in the Poker Hall of Fame. However, that is something to be determined when the hall’s governing council takes a closer look at the criteria, and those 15 people choose the final list of candidates. That governing council, along with the 15 living Poker Hall of Fame members, will then cast votes on the final list and determine the inductees.
All in all, the public’s input in the process was substantial, and a total of 41 names were submitted for the nomination process. Some of the names written in but without enough support to make the final round of nominees included Patrik Antonius, Humberto Brenes, Mike Caro, Norman Chad, Allen Cunningham, Eric Drache, Annie Duke, Ivan Demidov, John Duthie, Sam Farha, Chris Ferguson, Ted Forrest, Andy Glazer, Bertrand Grospellier, Gus Hansen, Jennifer Harman Jay Heimowitz, Rob Hollink, Jesper Hougaard, Phil Laak, Howard Lederer, Marcel Luske, Mike Matusow, Chris Moneymaker, Luca Pagano, Greg Raymer, Matt Savage, and David Sklansky.
Upon the final selection of the inductees in September, the names will be released soon after, and those players will be honored at the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event final table in November.