Great careers make great players. Are Fedor Holz, Daniel Colman and Justin Bonomo ready for the greatest poker recognition of all time?
The Poker Hall of Fame (PHoF) is perhaps the most prestigious recognition in the poker industry, dating back to 1979 when it was created by Benny Binion, owner of the Horseshoe Casino, to honor and preserve the legacy of poker players who have had great accomplishments on the felt.  In 2004, the PHoF awards were acquired by Caesars Entertainment, along with the World Series of Poker (WSOP) brand.
Since 2009, the PHoF nominations have been open to the public, but the decision on which players will be inducted into the PHoF still remains in the hands of the previous PHoF awardees and a special blue ribbon committee. Every year, one or two players are inducted into the prestigious PHoF and to date a total of 54 poker personalities have been inducted and 25 of them are still alive.
Criteria To Be A PHoF Nominee
The nominations for the 2018 PHoF are now open at, and outlines six specific criteria for a player to be eligible for the recognition: that the player is at least 40 years old at the moment of nomination, has played for high stakes, has played well consistently, has played against top poker pros, has stood the test of time, and should’ve contributed to the overall growth and success of the game that have resulted to long-lasting results.
The first five criteria have been drafted to make sure that poker players who are nominated for the award are not just one-off  poker superstars, but are pros who have consistently grinded and excelled in the game, earning respect among their peers and in the community. The last criterion also enables non-poker players to be nominated for the PHoF—including key officials and poker reporters—as long as they have been on the felt long enough and have contributed immensely to the growth of the game.
Eligible Nominees
Some of the more obvious nominees for the 2018 PHoF include names that are pitched by some of the seasoned pros and current PHoF members. According to 2011 PHoF inductee Barry Greenstein, both John Hennigan and David Oppenheim are top cash players who deserve to be on the list. 2009 inductee Mike Sexton named Steve Lipscomb as a strong contender, since he was the man behind the very successful World Poker Tour (WPT).
The Poker Academy instructor Rep Porter shared Sexton’s sentiments that a non-player deserves to be on the 2018 PHoF and said industry leader Matt Savage, founder of the Tournament Directors Association and Executive Tour Director of the WPT should also be on the list.
Young Guns?
But while a number of eligible names have been floated for the PHoF nominations, many experts and poker enthusiasts wonder if younger poker players should also be considered for the award.
Granted that the Poker Hall of Fame is very stringent on a poker player’s longevity in the field, many believe that younger pros who have made historical wins and careers in just a couple of years do deserve to be awarded as well. These younger pros include the likes of FedorHolz, Justin Bonomo, and Daniel Colman, three poker players who are up there on the all-time money list and are now some of the most formidable and respected players on the felt.
Fedor Holz, at just 24 years old, has just been playing competitive poker for six years, but is already at 6th place in the all-time money list with $26,550,884 in total live earnings. He has 3 WPT titles, 3 EPT titles, and 1 WSOP gold bracelet to his name.
American pro Justin Bonomo is currently in 3rd place on the all-time money list with $32,800,090 in total live earnings. Now 32 years old, it will take Bonomo 8 more years before he is eligible for a PHoF nomination. But with a sterling career that includes 2 bracelets, 45 money finishes and 15 final tables at the WSOP alone, many wonder if his 13-year career is enough for him to secure a place in the PHoF.
Daniel Colman, currently ranked 4th on the all-time money list with $28,925,059 in total live earnings, is another name that has been floating around for the PHoF. His biggest achievement was when he won the Big One for One Drop event in 2014.
PHoF member Daniel Negreanu said that Holz and Bonomo have already both accomplished feats worthy of the PHoF but it was still very important for both to stand the test of time to be eligible for the honour. However, Negreanu felt that it was still a little too early to talk about Colman as a future PHoF member as he hasn’t been very active on the poker circuit of late.

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