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  1. [caption width="640"] Ten players worth considering as the Poker Hall of Fame public nomination process opens[/caption] The public nomination process for the Poker Hall of Fame to determine the top ten candidates for official voting for the Class of 2016 opened earlier this month. The nomination period allows poker fans around the world to submit the names of players they think should be considered for inclusion in the Poker Hall of Fame. The Criteria: 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 Or, for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results. And while everybody has an opinion on who should or shouldn’t get in, PocketFives has created a guide for you of 10 names you should consider nominating. Keep in mind, many thought Phil Ivey would be a shoo-in this year, but turns out he's not quite eligible yet. With that in mind, we’ve broken the names into three groups: Obvious Choices, Dark Horses and Long Shots. Obvious ChoicesChris Moneymaker Rule of thumb – if an era is named after someone, then that person is probably a Hall of Famer. Chris Moneymaker was the right guy, at the right place, bluffing at the right time when he won the WSOP Main Event in 2003. ESPN audiences drank up a 20-something accountant from Tennessee facing down Sammy Farha for $2.5 million dollars. Moneymaker not only won, but somehow graciously handled the media firestorm of attention that no one could be prepared for. He was the face of the poker boom that followed and soon every line cook in the country was hosting a home game. Moneymaker wasn’t a flash in the pan, since his historic win he’s earned $1.1 million in tournaments and solidified himself as one of the top ambassadors of the game, greeting every critic with a smile. But his influence goes beyond a player and undoubtedly “contributed to the overall growth and success of the game.” Carlos Mortensen Carlos Mortensen first rose to poker fame after winning the 2001 WSOP Main Event but he is also the all-time leading money winner in World Poker Tour history thanks largely to his three WPT titles. His lifetime earnings are just north of $11.8 million. Mortensen has two bracelets in 35 WSOP cashes with another 20 cashes and seven WPT final tables. Should he get into the Hall of Fame, he would undoubtedly be the most WPT-centric player in the Hall of Fame to date, Mike Sexton withstanding (almost all tournament success in WSOP events). But with his banner hung in the Amazon Room the stewards of the HOF can breathe easy. Bruno Fitoussi One can’t discuss French poker without mentioning Bruno Fitoussi’s name. He was one-part Mike Sexton, one-part Mori Eskandani and one-part Chris Moneymaker when poker boomed on TV in France. He was one of the operators of The Aviation Club – one of Europe’s premier poker rooms – and the lack of European inductees is one of the PHOF’s most warranted criticisms. As a player he’s won $2.8 million around the world while logging 20 WSOP cashes. He finished runner-up in the 2007 $50,000 HORSE Championship for $1.2 million and finished 15th in the 2003 Main Event. Ted Forrest The six-time bracelet winner’s name keeps coming up in this conversation. He’s one of five players to win three bracelets in a year, nine of his 34 WSOP cashes were in events with a $5,000 buy-in or greater. Forrest doesn’t have the flash that screams Hall of Famer but he’s got a track record in all the games, was a part of “The Corporation”, the group of top level pros that took on billionaire banker Andy Beal, and as far as standing the test of time is concerned – he’s got 21 years between his first and most recent bracelet. David Chiu David Chiu just passed the $8 million in career earnings mark and he has five WSOP bracelets, 25 final tables and 73 cashes in the WSOP alone and finds himself in rarified air among the five-bracelet club, he’s one of three or four players that could arguably keep adding to his total. His game hasn’t aged like many in his age bracket – he’s cashed in six $10,000 or greater events since 2014, including the 2015 $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha event. Dark HorsesChris Bjorin Chris Bjorin’s grandfatherly smile and non-threatening demeanour masks that he’s won $5 million, two bracelets and a European Poker Tour title and it took Martin Jacobson winning $10 million in the 2014 WSOP Main Event to top him on Sweden’s all-time money list. Huck Seed If there was a Hall of Fame of Not Giving a Sh*t, Huck Seed would be there. There’s certain politicking and campaigning many nominees endure to gain entry, but that’s something this former Main Event Champ and four-time bracelet winner just won’t do. Todd Brunson Todd Brunson isn’t discussed much in after-hours PHOF talk but has won $4.2 million and has 50 WSOP cashes. He has spent most of his career focused on high stakes cash games. The largest strike against him is that he has just one bracelet and while nowhere in the requirements does it say “multi-bracelet winner”, it’s implied. Mike Matusow Mike Matusow’s life shows highs and lows of the life of a professional gambler better than any Hollywood flick ever could. He’s a true blue-collar player that’s won and lost at least $8.6 million, has four bracelets, spent time in jail and battled life-threatening medical problems all while being a big star in the TV boom era. The Long ShotIsai Scheinberg International poker politics are a curious thing, and while the entity that owns the PHOF prefers their own version of worldwide poker history, most everyone else recognizes Isai Scheinberg as the single most influential businessman in poker the world will probably ever see. Scheinberg was the former CEO of PokerStars and directed the company during its profitable and expansive rise to the top of the online poker world. The private ownership allowed Scheinberg and his management team room to innovate and become the overwhelming leaders in the industry. Photos courtesy of World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour.
  2. [caption width="640"] Carlos Mortensen and Todd Brunson are the Poker Hall of Fame Class of 2016 (WPT photos)[/caption] The Poker Hall of Fame officially has two more members as Carlos Mortensen and Todd Brunson were announced as the Poker HOF Class of 2016 on Thursday morning. The two were chosen by the voting panel consisting of living members of the Poker Hall of Fame and select media members. WSOP officials, who oversee the PHOF, called the 2016 voting process the closest in years. Mortensen and Brunson will be officially inducted on October 26 at a ceremony at Binion's Gambling Hall in Downtown Las Vegas. Mortensen is the only player in history to have won the World Series of Poker Main Event and the World Poker Tour World Championship and is also the leading money winner in WPT history, having won $6,738,670. In 2001, Mortensen topped a 613-player field, and a final table that included Mike Matusow, Phil Hellmuth, and runner-up Dewey Tomko, to capture the WSOP Main Event for the first major win of his career. Two years later he captured his second WSOP bracelet in a $5,000 Limit Hold'em event. Mortensen is also one of only three players to have won three WPT titles. His first came in 2004 when he won the inaugural Doyle Brunson North American Poker Championship at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. In 2007 he won the WPT World Championship at Bellagio for $3,970,415 - the largest single score of his career. He then won the Hollywood Poker Open in 2010 for his third WPT title. "I have been playing poker professionally for more than 20 years,” said Mortensen. “This game has given me so many things that I have come to cherish. I've always wanted to be included among the great players who make up the Poker Hall of Fame. To be included with the legends makes me very happy. I want to thank my friends, the poker fans, and all the people who vote for me. I take this honor very seriously." Mortensen is the first European-born player to be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. While Mortensen has been the model of success for tournament players of his era, Brunson has found the most success at the highest stakes cash games available. The son of poker legend Doyle Brunson, Todd Brunson was a key figure in the heads-up limit hold'em matches against Texas billionaire banker Andy Beal in 2004 and 2006. In 2015 he reportedly won $5 million from Beal in 2015 inside Bobby's Room at Bellagio. Brunson has had some tournament success over the course of his career. He won his only WSOP bracelet in 2005, beating 358 other players to win a $2,500 buy-in Omaha Hi-Lo event. He's had two runner-up finishes and two third-place finishes in WSOP events over the course of his career. His lifetime tournament earnings of $4,291,671 put him 69th on the all-time list. "It's a true honor to be inducted by my peers into this prestigious institution,” said Brunson. “I literally grew up attending these ceremonies and have always respected and admired its members. To join their ranks is the honor of a lifetime. Todd and Doyle Brunson are the only father-son combination in the Poker Hall of Fame. The eight nominees that were not inducted this year, Chris Bjorin, Humberto Brenes, Eli Elezra, Bruno Fitoussi, Chris Moneymaker, Max Pescatori, Matt Savage and David Ulliott are eligible for nomination in 2017 and beyond.
  3. [caption width="640"] Chris Moneymaker is one of 10 nominees for the Poker Hall of Fame (PokerStars photo)[/caption] 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.
  4. 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): Chris Bjorin David Chiu Mori Eskandani Bruno Fitoussi John Hennigan * Mike Matusow Chris Moneymaker David Oppenheim * Matt Savage Huckleberry Seed * 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.  
  5. 2019 marks the 50th annual World Series of Poker. The most prestigious poker festival in history has played a pivotal role in creating many of the legends and superstars of the game. To commemorate the occasion, PocketFives editorial staff each ranked the top 50 players in WSOP history in an effort to define and rank the most important, influential, and greatest WSOP players of all time. Before jumping into who made #31-40, make sure you check out the names of the players who made #41-50. #40 - Jay Heimowitz BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 6 43 $1,526,281 22 New York’s Jay Heimowitz has captured six bracelets over the course of four decades, the first of which he won back in 1975 ($1,000 No Limit Hold'em). His sixth bracelet was won 26 years later in 2001, taking down the $1,000 Seniors’ Championship 26. At 81 years old, Heimowitz continues to make the trek to the World Series of Poker, having cashed in each of the last three Seniors events as he continues to add to his $1.5 million in WSOP career earnings. “Modern day players may not know the name Jay Heimowitz as he wasn’t one of the pre-Moneymaker grinders to make it big on TV during the boom. However, his resume speaks for itself and his consistency and dedication to the WSOP, having played and cashed in the series in every decade in its history, makes him one of the greats.” – PocketFives Senior Writer, Jeff Walsh. #39 - David ‘Chip’ Reese BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 3 25 $2,246,089 16 The man that Doyle Brunson once declared as “the best poker player that ever lived” was David ‘Chip’ Reese, winner of the WSOP's very first $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament for over $1.78M. After Reese’s death in 2007, the WSOP honored him by putting his name on the trophy for the prestigious event (later named the Poker Players Championship). Widely considered one of the best cash game players of his era, Reese made a lasting impact on the WSOP by winning three bracelets and over $2.2 million over the course of his 25 cashes. #38 - Chris Bjorin BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 2 92 $2,630,156 33 Sweden’s Chris Bjorin is a model of World Series of Poker consistency. His first WSOP cash came back in 1991 and he’s had a presence at the series ever since. Amassing 86 cashes in Las Vegas, and another six during the WSOPE, Bjorin has earned over $2.6 million from WSOP events, helping him to the #2 on Sweden’s All Time Money List, right behind WSOP Main Event Champion Martin Jacobson. Bjorin picked up bracelets in 1997 ($1,500 Pot Limit Omaha) and 2000 ($3,000 No-Limit Hold’em). "The consistent nature that Chris Bjorin brings to the WSOP is remarkable. He's one of Europe's most distinguished players and has been recording numerous cashes each summer at the WSOP for decades now. His success, done so through performances across all variants, served as a model for European players at the WSOP." - PocketFives Managing Editor Donnie Peters #37 - Sammy Farha BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 3 11 $2,586,105 6 Legendary gambler Sammy Farha’s contribution to the explosion of poker in the early 2000’s simply cannot be overlooked. With his unlit cigarette dangling from his mouth, Farha’s one-of-a-kind personality made almost as much impact on the WSOP as the man he sat across from at the final table of the 2003 Main Event. Farha, as we all know, finished runner-up to Chris Moneymaker, an event that served as ground zero for the poker boom. After that, Farha remained a fixture of the WSOP. He showed up and played in some of the biggest events of the series. He picked up two of his three gold bracelets after 2003, winning one in 2006 ($5,000 Omaha Hi-Lo) and another in 2010 ($10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo or Better Championship). "The character that is Sammy Farha is as important to WSOP history as is Sammy Farha the poker player. He epitomizes the gambler and his legend only grows in that regard when you realize his game of choice is and will always Omaha. Farha only has 11 WSOP cashes, but that's largely because he focuses on high-stakes cash game play and only really plays tournaments when they are Omaha. Even so, six of those 11 cashes have resulted in top 10 finished and three of them were bracelet wins. Omaha is the second most popular variant in WSOP history and Farha is one of the most iconic Omaha players the WSOP has ever seen." - Donnie Peters #36 - Jonathan Duhamel BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 3 41 $14,647,089 12 The first of the modern day Main Event winners to grace this list, Jonathan Duhamel seemed to come out of nowhere when he took down the 2010 Main Event for $8.9 million. That victory alone is not enough to land in the top 50 of all-time, however, Duhamel was more than a one-hit wonder. He continued to make the trip to Las Vegas and in the years since has tacked on two more bracelets. First, he won the $111,111 High Roller For One Drop in 2015 for another $3.989M and then added a WSOPE bracelet in the same year in the €25,600 NLHE High Roller for $628K. Duhamel has over $14.6M in WSOP earnings with 11 final tables over the course of 40 cashes. #35 - Dan Harrington BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 2 13 $3,534,237 5 Despite his limited WSOP resume, Poker Hall of Fame member “Action” Dan Harrington (and his iconic green Boston baseball cap) was an important presence during some of the biggest moments of the WSOP. In 1995, Harrington bested the 273 player field to take home the $1,000,000 first-place prize of the Main Event. He then made it back to the final table in 2003, finishing in third place to Farha and Moneymaker for $650,000. He navigated the field in 2004 to reach his third Main Event final table, finishing in fourth place for $1.5 million. “Harrington may only have 13 cashes at the World Series of Poker, but this results made a major impact on the WSOP brand and poker itself. His back-to-back final tables in the Main Event came just as cameras captured the birth of poker boom and Harrington’s Boston toughness at the table is something that still resonates with those in the pre-Moneymaker generation. Having had the opportunity to play with Harrington once, I can attest to his on-the-felt charisma that was broadcast to millions in 2003.” - Jeff Walsh #34 - Layne Flack BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 6 52 $2,803,470 20 The first time Layne Flack went to the World Series of Poker in the late ’90s, he was there to work as a dealer. After one week in the box, he switched sides and started his WSOP career as a player. Now, over 20 years later Flack has won six WSOP titles and over $2.8 million in earnings. Although he earned his nickname of ‘Back-to-Back’ Flack before 2003, Flack lived up to his moniker after winning a bracelet in the $2,500 Limit Omaha Hi-Lo and then jumping right into a $1,500 Limit Hold’em Shootout and taking that one down as well. #33 - Brian Rast BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 4 35 $6,012,256 11 Las Vegas pro Brian Rast has proven himself to be a favorite in just about any tournament he enters, having picked up four bracelets in his career and earned over $6 million at the WSOP. One of only two people to have won the prestigious $50,000 Poker Players Championship more than once, Rast picked up his first PPC victory in 2011, denying Phil Hellmuth the win, and taking home $1.7M for first. Then in 2016, he bested current All-Time Money List leader Justin Bonomo to pick up his second Chip Reese Memorial Trophy and another $1.29M prize. "Rast is a very special breed of poker player. He doesn't play a 30-40 event schedule each summer in pursuit of Player of the Year points. He picks and chooses the events where he has an edge and then crushes them. Having won the Poker Players Championship twice, Rast has proven his mettle against the best players of his era. If we do this list again in ten years, I suspect Rast will be higher up the list." - Lance Bradley, PocketFives Editor in Chief. #32 - Jeff Madsen BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 4 68 $2,958,415 13 In 2006, when 21-year-old Jeff Madsen won his first gold bracelet in the $2,000 No Limit Hold’em event for $660,948, he became the record holder for the youngest bracelet winner in history (a distinction that now belongs to Annette Obrestad). Madsen followed that performance in the same year with a victory in the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em Six Max for another $643,381. His success in his first year earned him WSOP Player of the Year honors. Madsen has returned to the Rio every year since 2006, accumulating 73 cashes for nearly $3M in earnings and adding another two bracelets in 2013 and 2015. #31 - Antonio Esfandiari BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 3 48 $21,835,096 9 One of the most popular players on the planet is the bracelet winner of what was the largest tournament ever held at the World Series of Poker, the 2012 $1M buy-in Big One For One Drop. ‘The Magician’ was literally lifted in the air, on the shoulder of his rail, after claiming the first-place prize of $18.3M, the current record for largest payout ever at the WSOP. The iconic image of a barefoot Esfandiari basking in the victory of a lifetime is the current peak of a WSOP career that dates back to 2003. Esfandiari claimed his first bracelet in 2004 ($2,000 Pot Limit Hold’em) and added a third bracelet after his One Drop win, by taking home a €1,100 No Limit Hold’em title from World Series of Poker Europe. In addition to his 48 cashes and over $21M in lifetime earnings, Esfandiari’s personality has been affiliated with the WSOP brand in front of the camera, both on the felt and in the commentary booth on ESPN. For more discussion on PocketFives' Top 50 Greatest Players in WSOP History, check out the latest episode of The Fives podcast. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher Stay tuned to PocketFives as we continue to count down the 50 greatest players in WSOP history leading up to the start of the 2019 festival.
  6. The 2019 Poker Hall of Fame finalists includes nine World Series of Poker bracelet winners, three former Main Event champions, and for the first time ever, a magician. Well, The Magician. Antonio Esfandiari, once known as 'The Magician, is the only first-time finalist in the group of 10 players selected by the WSOP Hall of Fame Committee that will now be voted on by living Hall of Fame members and a select panel of poker media and industry personnel. The top two vote-getters will be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame later this summer. Voters are tasked with considering the following criteria when awarding their votes: 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 Or, for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results. The other nine finalists are Chris Bjorin, David Chiu, Eli Elezra, Chris Ferguson, Ted Forrest, Mike Matusow, Chris Moneymaker, David Oppenheim, and Huck Seed. The final group of 10 was put together by the "WSOP Hall of Fame Committee". In years past, the public was invited to submit names for inclusion with the 10 most-suggested names being the finalists. This marks Bjorin's seventh time as a finalist. No other player has been nominated as often as the two-time bracelet winning Swede. Now 71, Bjorin has earned $5.75 million in lifetime earnings. He's been nominated in seven of the last eight years. Chiu has now been a finalist six times, including the last three in a row. The 58-year-old has five WSOP bracelets, won the WPT World Championship in 2008, and has just over $8,000,000 in lifetime earnings. Ferguson, Moneymaker, and Seed are all former Main Event champions. For Ferguson, this marks a return to the list of finalists. His only previous nomination came in 2010, before Black Friday and the Full Tilt Poker scandal. He's since won WSOP Player of the Year, a sixth bracelet and cashed 65 more times. Moneymaker was previously a finalist in 2016 and 2018. The 2003 WSOP Main Event champion is credited with being an integral part of poker's explosion in popularity in the mid-2000s. So much so, that it's often called 'The Moneymaker Effect'. Seed has four bracelets, including the 1996 Main Event championship. He also won the 1998 Carnivale of Poker and the 2009 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship. Matusow, who has four WSOP bracelets, is a finalist for the fifth time. He won the 2013 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship and has just over $9.5 million in lifetime earnings. Six WSOP bracelets, an NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship title, and a World Poker Tour victory are just the highlights from Forrest's tournament resume. He was also an integral figure in the Andy Beal cash games in the mid-2000s. Fresh off of winning his fourth bracelet, Elezra's nomination is his second. He was a finalist first in 2016. Oppenheim is the only player nominated that has not won a WSOP bracelet. Mainly a cash game player, Oppenheim has $1,866,190 including just nine WSOP cashes, three of which came in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship. The 2019 Poker Hall of Fame inductees will be announced during the WSOP Main Event in early July.
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