Many poker players would agree that the pinnacle of being recognized as a top poker professional is being inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame (PHoF). The PHoF is the equivalent to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame acknowledging contributions of poker players and non-players who have had outstanding achievements and contributed to the game of poker over the years.
Poker Hall Of Fame Selection Criteria
The PHoF inducts just two individuals every year from a long list of nominees. The players who are nominated must meet a number of criteria and then upon nomination, the final two will be selected by a panel of judges that include 27 living PHoF members and 18 members from the media. The criteria for a poker player to qualify for a nomination into the PHoF include being over 40 years of age, played high stakes poker, have a good reputation in the poker community, must have competed against elite competition and have gained the respect of one’s peers.
For non-poker players, some of the criteria include making significant contributions to growing the game of poker and have measured and long lasting results. The list of candidates that were nominated for the 2017 PHoF included Huck Seed, Ted Forrest, Phil Ivey, Mike Matusow, Matt Savage, David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott, David Chiu, Max Pescatori and Thor Hansen.
The PHoF panel of judges decided to induct Phil Ivey and David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott into the 2017 PHoF and the remaining nominees who did not get inducted will once again be eligible to be a part of the 2018 PHoF selection process. The fact that Phil Ivey was nominated comes as no surprise as it was a given that the poker great would be inducted once he turned 40 and fulfilled the eligibility criteria. Ivey turned 40 in 2017 and was very happy to be in an elite group of players which included Doyle Brunson, Stu Ungar, Daniel Negreanu and Phil Helmuth.
Ivey’s reputation precedes him as he has won more than $24 million in lifetime career earnings, 10 World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets and a World Poker Tour (WPT) title. Ivey has not had a lot of success during the last 3 years at live poker tournaments and has preferred to spend more time playing online poker. His biggest win in the recent past was at the 2012 Aussie Millions where he won first place and took home $3,582,753.
Ivey has played poker for over 20 years and has no intention of stopping anytime soon. During his PHoF speech, Ivey stated that he remembered how passionate he was the first time he entered into a WSOP event in 2000 and said that he still possesses the same passion today.
David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott
Those who knew the late David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott will not be surprised to see him inducted into the PHoF. He passed away in 2015 but his legacy continues to live on, especially in the United Kingdom as Devilfish did a lot for the game of poker. He won more than $6.2 million in live poker career earnings and used to be regularly featured on poker television throughout Europe.
Devilfish passed away at the age of 61 after battling cancer and was second on the UK’s all time money list after Sam Trickett. He also won a WSOP gold bracelet in 1997 and would later go on to win a WPT title in 2003. Devilfish had a massive fan base in Europe and would often take the time to offer advice to young poker players.
The Ulliott family, released a statement “As a family we would like to thank the general public, media and current Poker Hall of Fame members that voted David into the Poker Hall of Fame. We know he will be up there strumming on his guitar and probably asking what took so long! How he might say it-I think you all know! There isn’t a day that goes past when we don’t think of him and miss him but today we are so proud and delighted that he takes his rightful place in poker history -the legend of the Devilfish lives on!”