It’s that time of the year again to induct one or two new members to the prestigious Poker Hall of Fame (PHOF). The public nomination for the 2018 PHOF opened in June, where the public was invited to submit any name they felt should be considered for a spot at the PHOF. After the public nominations, the names were then vetted by Poker Hall of Fame Governing Council to come up with a final list of 10 candidates for the year.
The Governing Council has now come to a consensus and the official 10 candidates for the 2018 PHOF and they are: Bruno Fitoussi, Mike Matusow, Chris Bjorin, Chris Moneymaker, David Chiu, Mori Eskandani, Huck Seed, John Hennigan, Matt Savage, and David Oppenheim.
This is the first time that Hennigan and Oppenheim are joining the PHOF shortlist, while the eight other names are returning to the list. This list will now be forwarded to the living members of the PHOF and to 18 members of the media voting panel so the new inductee/s can be decided by July 8.
Here is a look at the 10 candidates for the 2018 PHOF before the newest member or members are chosen and inducted on July 13 during the WSOP Main Event final table festivities.
At 70 years old, Bjorin shows no sign of stopping, still grinding at the WSOP and other tournaments year on year. Currently, he is 2nd in Sweden’s All Time Money List with $5.6 million in lifetime total earnings. He has two WSOP bracelets to his name which was won in 1997 and 2000. He loves the WSOP and has a total of 92 WSOP cashes and 7 Main Event cashes.
Poker really took off in France thanks to the efforts of this man who introduced Texas Hold’em to the influential Aviation Cub de France in 1995. Since then, Fitoussi has continued championing the game in his home country, helping push for the poker games to be televised. His poker career is just as sterling, with almost $3 million in total live earnings and a best live cash of $1.2 million from a second placer at the 2007 WSOP H.O.R.S.E. event.
It’s almost been two decades since “The Mouth” started his poker career and since then he has amassed over $9.5 million in winnings across poker tournaments. Mostly playing in US events and at the WSOP, Matusow has 4 gold bracelets and 15 WSOP final tables to his name.
Chris Moneymaker is still known for his influential WSOP Main Event win in 2003, where he became the first person to turn an $86 online satellite into a $2.5 million payday. Since then, Moneymaker has become a household name credited for the poker boom of his generation, and has cashed in 80 events all over the world bringing his total live earnings to more than $3.7 million.
David Chiu has been active in the WSOP since 1996 which was exciting for him as he won his very first WSOP gold bracelet at the $2,000 NLH event on debut. His versatility and consistency as a poker player can be seen with his five gold bracelets wins from NLH, Omaha Eight or Better and Seven Card Stud events. To date, he has over $8 million in total live earnings, with a career best of $3.3 million from the WPT World Championship in Las Vegas in 2008.
As a four-time WSOP bracelet winner over two decades, Huck Seed is well respected within the poker community. Although he hasn’t been active as of late, he has amassed over $7.6 million in total live earnings.
A WSOP regular and a PHOF shortlist first-timer, Hennigan has more than $8 million in total live earnings and 5 gold bracelets from different events. His most famous win and his biggest cash to date was his victory at the 2014 WSOP $50K Poker Players Championship, where he took home $1.5 million.
Oppenheim is also on the PHOF list for the first time and at just 45 years old, is already one of the most feared and respected high-stakes cash game players in the world. To date, Oppenheim has a total of $1.8 million in total live earnings.
Eskandani is one of the two candidates who are on the list for their contributions to the poker world behind the scenes. While he has also made waves for his high-stakes cash games in the 1980s, Eksandani is better known for producing some of the best poker content in the recent years including Face the Ace, Poker After Dark, and High Stakes Poker.
Matt Savage needs no introduction as he has become one of the most notable names in the poker world for his work as a tournament director for many casinos and the World Poker Tour. Savage is also the founder of the Tournament Directors Association (TDA) and is credited for helping standardize poker tournament rules across the globe.