Just 10 days remain to wait until we will know who the 2020 Poker Hall of Fame entry or entries are. With just one inductee this year, the final ten nominations have been revealed by the World Series’ official website, but there’s a curveball in there with the dual nomination of Lon McEachern and Norman Chad – the legendary commentary team behind the World Series of Poker.
The Poker Hall of Fame has been in place since the late 1970’s kicking off in 1979 with a flurry of inaugurations. Since then, it’s been either one or two inductees making the cut each year, with some of the best listed below:
- Johnny Moss (1979)
- Doyle Brunson (1988)
- Stu Ungar (2001)
- Johnny Chan (2002)
- Phil Hellmuth (2007)
- Mike Sexton (2009)
- Erik Seidel (2010)
- Scotty Nguyen (2013)
- Daniel Negreanu (2014)
- David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott (2017)
- Phil Ivey (2017)
- Chris Moneymaker (2019)
Who’ll join the current 58 members have been bestowed the honor of becoming a Poker ‘Hall of Famer’?
Here are all the nominated parties in the running for the 2020 Poker Hall of Fame award.
- Patrik Antonius
- Chris Ferguson
- Isai Scheinberg
- Lon McEachern and Norman Chad
- Eli Elezra
- Huckleberry Seed
- Antonio Esfandiari
- Chris Ferguson
- Ted Forrest
- Mike Matusow
- Matt Savage
There are ten nominations, which will now be voted on by former inductees, the Hall of Famers who are still alive and who will now give 10 points to the nominees of their choice. This is completely flexible, so a player could give all ten points to one player, or indeed a single point to each of the nominees (we’d make that half a vote for Lon and Norm each!).
Poker idol Erik Seidel has decided after much thought and consideration (as well as consultation with other players and friends) to split his vote between two nominees.
Reasons Huck is my top HOF pick:
1-1st player to break Chip & Doyle’s 30 year hegemony in cash games
2-Had a great tournament record including winning WSOP main
3-Honorable, well liked
4-Was inspiration for main character in the movie Lucky You
5- Dylan wrote Huck’s Song
— Erik Seidel (@Erik_Seidel) December 18, 2020
We love Seidel’s thought process and sincerely hope that others on the list of decision-makers are putting so much considered cognitive work into matters. Huckleberry Seed would be a brilliant pick, not least for the anecdotes that follow him around, but his achievements stand up to the best, particularly in terms of sheer legend. He has an enigmatic quality that few apart from Phil Ivey can lay a glove on, and it would be amazing if he turned up on December 30th to accept the award (and far-fetched – Seed hardly ever gives interviews and less and less in recent years).
After a fortnight of public nominations, it’s incredible that Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson retains his nomination.
It’s not only the FTP controversy that we’d suggest should at least his chances delayed until a real resolution to his exact part in the scandal, but he has hardly lived with the high rollers in recent years. Since the Full Tilt scandal took place in 2011, has he really spent nine years at the top of his game?
We’re delighted to say that Norman Chad and LonMcEachern are nominated – as a pair – for the award. Both have brought countless joy to millions of poker fans over the years, and while we all owe poker players a huge debt because the poker media survive on those who play the game with their own money, What Chad and McEachern have done in terms of spreading the game and making it a huge draw in the mainstream media has arguably helped poker player earn more money at the game too. They would certainly be popular winners and it would almost guarantee us some end of 2020 Ooka-Looka-ing. That feels appropriate this year.
On the recent PokerNews discussion and vote of the nominations, the current favourite with readers after almost 500 votes, Patrik Antonius has 23% of the popular vote. McEachern and Chad are coming in second in that race at present with 18% with Isai Scheinberg third on 16%, while there are some who have a surprising lack of votes, such as Huck Seed (8%), Mike Matusow (4%) and Eli Elezra (4%) all of whom you might imagine would have more fans out there.
Here’s how that vote stands at the time of going to press.
When we wrote about the initial nomination process, we then followed up with a discussion of which nominees from 2019 should make the cut one year on.
It could well be a completely different winner, but we won’t find out until December 30th, when the WSOP Main Event Hybrid winner will then join the Poker Hall of Fame winner in being inaugurated at the Rio in Las Vegas.
With tough criteria specifying that players need to have played poker against acknowledged top competition, be a minimum of 40 years old and played for high stakes, as well as gaining the respect of their peers, we’d argue that a couple of nominations could be ruled out on those points of crucial criteria. As for McEachern and Chad, no-one could successfully argue that they haven’t “contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results”.
The game simply wouldn’t be the same without them.