The list of players eligible for induction into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2016 include two former WSOP Main Event champions, a highly respected tournament director, five players with strong ties to the success of poker in their home country and the son of a current Hall of Famer who has dominated cash games in Las Vegas for the better part of the last 15 years.
The World Series of Poker, which oversees the Poker Hall of Fame, announced the list of 10 nominees for the Class of 2016 on Friday and the biggest name on the list might just be 2003 WSOP Main Event winnerChris Moneymaker. The one-time “accountant from Tennessee” is largely credited with helping ignite the poker boom following his Cinderella story win in 2003 after qualifying online.
Moneymaker, who turned 40 earlier this year to become HOF eligible, is one of three new names on the list this year. Todd Brunson and Eli Elezra, who both play high stakes cash games in Las Vegas, were also nominated for the first time. Brunson, son of Doyle Brunson, has one WSOP bracelet to his credit while Elezra has three.
The rest of the nominees have all been nominated before but none more so than Swedish poker pro and two-time WSOP bracelet winner Chris Bjorin who has been nominated every year since 2012.
Carlos Mortensen, who won the WSOP Main Event in 2001 and WPT World Championship in 2007, is nominated for the third time after failing to be inducted in 2013 and 2015. David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott, who passed away in April 2015, and Max Pescatori were nominated for the first time in 2015 while Bruno Fitoussi has now been nominated in three straight years.
Costa Rica’s Humberto Brenes rounds out the nine players nominated for induction this year.
The only nominee who is not a player is WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage. Savage, who co-founded the Poker Tournament Director’s Association, is one of the most highly respected tournament directors in the world. He was first nominated in 2015 and is hoping to become the second tournament director inducted into the HOF joining 2014 inductee Jack McLelland.
The list of 10 nominees will be sent to 45 voters, comprised of 25 living Poker Hall of Fame members and 20 members of the media, for consideration. Voters will consider the following criteria when voting:
- A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
- Be 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.
Voters have until October 7 to submit their ballot and the two nominees receiving the most votes from the 45 voters will be inducted on Wednesday, October 26 at Binion’s in Downtown Las Vegas.