Public Votes

On June 6, just one week into the 2022 World Series of Poker, the WSOP announced the opening of public voting for the Poker Hall of Fame. The public nomination module was live through June 19 for anyone around the world to submit names for consideration.

To be considered, nominees had to follow certain criteria:

  • Players must have competed against acknowledged top competition, played for high stakes consistently well, stood the test of time, and be at least 40 years old at the time of nomination.
  • Non-players must have contributed to the overall growth and success of poker with indelible positive and lasting results.

That process did end this past weekend. The WSOP staff went through the submissions and tabulated them all, ultimately coming up with the ten who received the most votes.

And the Nominees Are…

On June 22, the World Series of Poker announced the official list of ten nominees. In alphabetical order of last names, they are:

  • Josh Arieh
  • Layne Flack (2021)
  • Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier (2021)
  • Kathy Liebert
  • Mike Matusow (2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021)
  • Lon McEachern & Norman Chad (2020)
  • Michael Mizrachi (2021)
  • Brian Rast
  • Matt Savage (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021)
  • Isai Scheinberg (2020, 2021)

The years next to names indicate past years that they have made the list of finalists. This is the eighth year that Matusow has appeared on the list of finalists. For Savage, it is the seventh. Isai Scheinberg is in his third year as a finalist, but he was not allowed to be considered for many years after Black Friday.

Savage is nominated for his many contributions to poker in various roles through the years, most recognized for his tournament director roles and as the TDA (Tournament Directors Association) founder. Many people want Scheinberg to be inducted for the innovation involved in launching PokerStars and making it into the largest poker site in the world. And Lon McEachern and Norman Chad are nominated together due to their pairing as WSOP commentators for so many years. Their voices are synonymous with poker on television.

The other nominees are nominated because of their accomplishments at the poker tables as players. It is easy to look up the players by their Hendon Mob results, but some of them also had online poker success and played live cash games as well. And some of their accomplishments weigh more than others in terms of prestige and intricacies, such as levels of difficulty and competition.

One Inductee

Out of the ten nominees, only one will be inducted to the Poker Hall of Fame in 2022.

The nominees are now under consideration by the 32 living members of the Hall of Fame. Each person has ten points to allocate in any way they choose, spread out among several nominees or all for one of them.

The WSOP staff will tally the results. They will inform the winner before the public knows who that winner is. The public will find out on July 10.

The press release from the WSOP states that the induction ceremony will be on Sunday, July 10, “in tandem with the final table of the Main Event,” but the Main Event final table doesn’t play until July 15-16. However, the Poker Hall of Fame Bounty tournament does start on that day. In that tournament, each member of the Hall of Fame who plays is a bounty. Each of their bounties will correspond to the year of their induction. That means the person with the largest bounty will be Eli Elezra, who entered the Hall of Fame in 2021, so his bounty will be $2,021. The tournament costs $1,979 to enter, as 1979 was the first year that the Hall of Fame inducted anyone.

So, it appears that the WSOP will announce the inductee at a ceremony around the time of that Hall of Fame Bounty tournament’s start time. More details will follow.