Poker Hall of Fame Nominations Open – Phil Ivey Not Yet Eligible

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Phil Ivey is going to wait one more year for Poker Hall of Fame eligibility. (WPT photo)

The World Series of Poker – the custodians of the Poker Hall of Fame – have opened the public nomination process for the Class of 2016 and fans hoping to nominate one of the most dominant players of all time are going to have to wait one more year.

Phil Ivey, who many assumed was eligible for the first time this year, does not meet the minimum age requirement for nomination. Sources close to Ivey confirmed that he turned 39 this year – not 40 as his Wikipedia page had previously indicated.

One player who is eligible for the first time is Chris Moneymaker. As the person largely responsible for sparking the “poker boom” following his 2003 WSOP Main Event win, Moneymaker’s impact on poker is well known, but public debate in the last year has centered around whether or not Moneymaker meets enough of the criteria for inclusion.

The criteria for the Poker Hall of Fame contains six main points:

  • Player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
  • Played for high stakes
  • Be a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination
  • 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

Moneymaker, who won $2.5 million for his WSOP victory, has $3.6 million in lifetime earnings, including six wins and 54 cashes.

Many observers previously assumed that Ivey would be a first-ballot inductee in 2016, leaving only one other spot open in 2016, making it more difficult for Moneymaker to get in. Ivey not being eligible to 2017 could shift things in Moneymaker’s favor.

Fans can to go to WSOP.com/phof and nominate anybody they feel meets the criteria and should be considered for inclusion in 2016. This part of the process is open until August 31. All submissions are then tallied and reviewed to make sure they meet eligibility requirements.

The final ten names – based on popularity and eligibility – are then made public and submitted to the 39-member voting panel for consideration. The two names with the most votes will be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame during ceremonies as part of the November Nine festivities.

In 2015 the ten finalists were Chris Bjorin, David Chiu, Bruno Fitoussi, Jennifer Harman, John Juanda, Carlos Mortensen, Max Pescatori, Terry Rogers, Matt Savage and David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott. Harman and Juanda were ultimately the two players inducted as the class of 2015.

All previous nominees not elected to the Hall of Fame are again eligible for nomination.