On Monday, the Poker Hall of Fame revealed their list of 10 finalists that will be considered for induction in 2018.
After a public nomination process and vetting by the Poker Hall of Fame Governing Council the list of finalist have been deemed to fulfill the qualifications for induction. This year, the list of nominations include (in alphabetical order):
John Hennigan *
David Oppenheim *
* First-time nominees
The voting process is now turned over to the current 28-member Hall of Fame members as well as an 18-person “blue ribbon” panel of media members. These 46 voters will determine who will ultimately be inducted.
The current criteria for consideration remain the same as in years past:
- – A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
- – Be at a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination
- – Played for high stakes
- – Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers
- – Stood the test of time
- – For Non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results
Official ballots will be sent to those who are eligible to vote with a deadline of July 8 for their votes to be received by the WSOP Governing Council. Then, once all the votes have been counted, the official inductees will be announced to the public.
On July 13, in Las Vegas as a part of the WSOP Main Event Final Table festivities, the two honored recipients will officially become part of the Hall of Fame during the ESPN broadcast.
Career Highlights of Finalists
Chris Bjorin – One of Sweden’s most celebrated poker players, Bjorin is a two-time bracelet winner with over $5.7 million in career earnings.
David Chiu – Hailing from China, Chiu had accumulated five WSOP gold bracelets and a World Poker Tour title. His over $8 million in lifetime earnings currently has him sitting just inside the top 100 on the All-Time Money list.
Mori Eskandani – A one-time high-stakes player in the 1980’s, Eskandani is now known as the head of Poker PROductions, the production company responsible for seminal poker shows including High Stakes Poker, Poker After Dark and, currently, producing the WSOP on ESPN.
Bruno Fitoussi – Fitoussi is credited for the introduction of Texas Hold’em in his native country of France. With over $2.8 million in lifetime earnings, Fitoussi has a runner-up finish in the 2007 $50K Poker Players Championship on his resume as well as being recognized as a key individual in getting poker televised in France.
John Hennigan – The 2014 WSOP Poker Players Championship winner, Hennigan has a total of five bracelets and over $8 million in career earnings. Hennigan is known for being exceptional at all of the variants of poker.
Mike Matusow – A consistent presence in early iterations of televised poker, Matusow is a four-time bracelet winner with over $9.4 million in career earnings. Matusow won the NBC Heads-Up Championship and has made the final table of the WSOP Main Event twice.
Chris Moneymaker – The man whose victory was the spark that ignited the poker boom in 2003, Chris Moneymaker is a WSOP Main Event Champion. “The Moneymaker effect” is the common phrase used when discussing the massive mainstream popularity that poker enjoyed in the early 2000’s as well as the inspiration for a generation of poker players. Moneymaker has been a long-time ambassador for PokerStars and for poker in general. He has accumulated over $3.7 million in lifetime earnings.
David Oppenheim – A Los Angeles cash game pro, Oppenheim is considered a pro’s pro with the respect that can only come when one has mastered most of the games in poker. He currently has $1.8 million in lifetime tournament earnings.
Matt Savage – One of the inaugural, founders of the Tournament Directors Association (TDA), Savage is the Executive Tour Director for the World Poker Tour. One of the most vocal and consistent voices for standardization of poker rules, Savage has a player-friends style that has for years continues to move the game forward.
Huckleberry Seed – Seed is a four-time bracelet winner with over $7.6 million in career tournament earnings. The 1996 WSOP Main Event Champion also has a victory in the NBC Heads-Up Championship as well as the 2010 WSOP Tournament of Champions. Seed was a regular presence on televised poker during the poker boom.