Is it finally the year Matt Savage will get over the hump and into the Poker Hall of Fame? What about perennial candidate Mike Matusow? Or, will a first-time-eligible player like Brian Rast join the exclusive club?
Starting now, fans can nominate an eligible player or industry personnel for the 2022 Poker Hall of Fame. Up until June 19, you can go to the WSOP website to nominate the person of your choice. It only takes a minute and each individual can only vote once.
Who is Eligible?
When the fan vote concludes, the WSOP will send the top 10 nominees to the current members of the Poker HOF, who will then vote on the most worthy candidate. On July 10, during the WSOP Main Event, one, and only one, winner will be announced.
The criteria required for induction, which should be taken into consideration during the nomination process, is as follows:
- Must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
- Be a minimum of 40-years-old at time of nomination
- Played for high stakes, consistently well and 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
Last year’s fan nominees were Savage, Matusow, Antonio Esfandiari, Layne Flack, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Ted Forrest, Michael Mizrachi, Isai Scheinberg, Chris Ferguson, and Eli Elezra.
Elezra, the Israeli four-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, was selected as the 2021 Poker Hall of Fame inductee. The nine individuals who didn’t quite make the cut in 2021 are eligible again this year.
There are a few players who turned the required age 40 to become eligible since last year’s WSOP. The short list of potential new candidates include Rast, Anthony Zinno, and Steve O’Dwyer.
O’Dwyer has been one of the top high stakes tournament crushers for years and has over $31 million lifetime in live tournaments according to Hendon Mob. Rast is a five-time WSOP bracelet winner and considered one of the top high stakes cash game players, especially in mixed games. He also won the inaugural $500,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl in 2015 for $7.5 million.
Zinno is also an interesting case given his success both in WSOP and World Poker Tour events. The Boston native is the only player in history with four WSOP bracelets and three WPT titles.
During the 2021 WSOP, Rast told PokerNews he not only believes he deserves induction into the Poker Hall of Fame, but is passionate about getting in soon.
“If people vote fairly next year, I think I’ll make it in,” Rast said last fall.
Assessing the Veterans
The same list of players and industry personnel who missed out last year are eligible again, and will likely receive numerous votes this year. Other potential veteran candidates include long-time WSOP announcers Lon McEachern and Norman Chad, and Allen Cunningham.
During the 2021 WSOP, Savage made his case for the Hall of Fame. The WPT Executive Tour Director has come close a number of times.
Savage, along with Rast, is a proponent of multiple inductions per year, which the Poker Hall of Fame did in the past. But that’s a topic of discussion for another day.
Current Members of the Poker Hall of Fame
|Tom Abdo||1982||Barry Greenstein||2011||Johnny Moss||1979|
|Crandell Addington||2005||Jennifer Harman||2015||Daniel Negreanu||2014|
|Bobby Baldwin||2003||Dan Harrington||2010||Scotty Nguyen||2013|
|Billy Baxter||2006||Murph Harrold||1984||David Oppenheim||2019|
|Lyle Berman||2002||Phil Hellmuth||2007||Henry Orenstein||2008|
|Joe Bernstein||1983||John Hennigan||2018||Walter “Puggy” Pearson||1987|
|Benny Binion||1990||James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok||1979||Julius Oral Popwell||1996|
|Jack Binion||2005||Red Hodges||1985||Thomas Austin “Amarillo Slim” Preston||1992|
|Bill Boyd||1981||Edmond Hoyle||1979||David “Chip” Reese||1991|
|Doyle Brunson||1988||Phil Ivey||2017||Brian “Sailor” Roberts||2012|
|Todd Brunson||2016||Linda Johnson||2011||Huck Seed||2020|
|Johnny Chan||2002||Berry Johnston||2004||Erik Seidel||2010|
|T.J. Cloutier||2006||John Juanda||2015||Mike Sexton||2009|
|Nick Dandolos||1979||Jack Keller||1993||Jack “Treetop” Straus||1988|
|Eric Drache||2012||Jack McClelland||2014||Dewey Tomko||2008|
|Barbara Enright||2007||Felton McCorquodale||1979||David “Devilfish” Ulliott||2017|
|Mori Eskandani||2018||Tom McEvoy||2013||Stu Ungar||2001|
|Fred “Sarge” Ferris||1989||Chris Moneymaker||2019||Red Winn||1979|
|Henry Green||1986||Roger Moore||1997||Sid Wyman||1979|
|T “Blondie” Forbes||1980||Carlos Mortensen||2016||Eli Elezra||2021|
Bookmark this page! All you need to know about the 2022 WSOP is here.