Ten nominees were chosen for the 2014 Poker Hall of Fame — the World Series of Poker sent out the news last month. The vote went to the 21 living Hall of Fame members and a 20-member media panel — two finalists have been chosen.
The man who needs no introduction, Daniel Negreanu, and well-known tournament director Jack McClelland are the two inductees that have been chosen to become the 47th and 48th inductees in this year's Class of 2014.
“Congratulations to the newest members of the Poker Hall of Fame,” said Poker Hall of Fame governing council member Ty Stewart. “While a contrast in styles, there is a common thread between these two deserving nominees. Both live all in on poker and have devoted their full hearts to the game.”
The impressive list of finalists included Bruno Fitoussi, Ted Forrest, Jennifer Harman, Humberto Brenes, Mike Matusow, Chris Bjorin, Huck Seed, and Bob Hooks.
Negreanu was considered a favorite for induction in his first year of eligibility. The 40-year-old Canadian pro has a poker resume that is what dreams are made of. He is at the top of poker’s all-time money list with nearly $30 million in lifetime earnings. Along with that he has claimed six WSOP gold bracelets, two World Poker Tour titles, and is the only two-time WSOP Player of the Year. He’s also a member of Team PokerStars Pro and a fantastic ambassador for the game.
"It's an honor to be inducted alongside so many great players that have come before me,” said Negreanu. “An even bigger honor to be recognized at age 40, the same age as the legend Chip Reese. Thank you to the living members of the Poker Hall of Fame and those on the Blue Ribbon Media Panel that voted for me."
McClelland is known throughout the poker world for his role as a tournament director although he's played poker for years. McClelland was a semi-professional bowler and began dealing poker where he made $18 a day. He gradually worked his way to becoming the WSOP tournament director in the 1980s and then moved to Bellagio's poker room from 2002 to 2013. McClelland retired last year but his poker career put him in a working relationship with three Poker Hall of Famers: Eric Drache, Jack Binion and Bobby Baldwin.
“Being inducted into the Class of 2014 Poker Hall of Fame is a very exciting prospect and I am sure it will be a very humbling experience,” said McClelland. “I thank everyone involved in this process and to the WSOP, WPT and all of the great people I have met and the wonderful people I have worked with throughout the years. Thank you for bestowing this honor upon me. I am very grateful.”
The induction takes place officially on Sunday, November 9th at 7:30 PM at Binion’s Gambling Hall. McClelland served as tournament director and Negreanu won his first bracelet at Binion's Gambling Hall. The Poker Hall of Fame Gala is the prelude to the November Nine festivities which begin a day later at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino when the 2014 WSOP Main Event final table gets underway.
Photo by Jayne Furman.