Public Nominations Open for Poker Hall of Fame Induction
Another rite of summer is upon the poker world: Public nominations are now open for the 2018 enshrinement edition of the Poker Hall of Fame (PHOF). This year’s nomination process is much the same as in recent years, when anyone with a love for poker and its people can visit the nomination page (http://www.wsop.com/phof/) and offer his or her take on the ceremonial recognition.
The nominations generally open at the start of June, roughly in concert with the beginning of the summer’s World Series of Poker, and remain open for about two months. Visitors can nominate multiple players, industry professionals and so on, but can do the nominating process only once per e-mail address, as is proper.
The Poker Hall of Fame is owned and operated by Caesars and is run through the World Series of Poker’s operational framework. Caesars (then Harrah’s) acquired the PHOF from the old Binion’s Horseshoe in the same 2004 deal that saw the WSOP change new corporate owners. The PHOF has since stabilized and standardized its nomination and election processes, generally enshrining two new honorees each year.
If you’re interesting in nominating someone for possible enshrinement, these are the rules for any nominee’s potential eligibility:
- A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
- Played for high stakes
- Be a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination
- Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers
- Stood the test of time
- Or, for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results.
Last year’s PHOF class consisted of Phil Ivey (who has returned to play at the 2018 WSOP after several years’ absence) and the late David “Devilfish” Ulliott. The enshriment of Ivey and Ulliott swelled the PHOF’s ranks to 54, with the complete ranks of the Hall including these individuals, sorted by year of enshrinement (most recent first):
2017 Phil Ivey, David Ulliott
2016 Todd Brunson, Carlos Mortensen
2015 Jennifer Harman, John Juanda
2014 Jack McClelland, Daniel Negreanu
2013 Tom McEvoy, Scotty Nguyen
2012 Eric Drache, Brian “Sailor” Roberts
2011 Barry Greenstein, Linda Johnson
2010 Dan Harrington, Erik Seidel
2009 Mike Sexton
2008 Henry Orenstein, Duane “Dewey” Tomko
2007 Barbara Enright, Phil Hellmuth
2006 Billy Baxter, T.J. Cloutier
2005 Crandell Addington, Jack Binion
2004 Berry Johnston
2003 Bobby Baldwin
2002 Lyle Berman, Johnny Chan
2001 Stu “The Kid” Ungar
1997 Roger Moore
1996 Julius Oral “Little Man” Popwell
1993 Jack Keller
1992 Thomas Austin “Amarillo Slim” Preston
1991 David “Chip” Reese
1990 Benny Binion
1989 Fred “Sarge” Ferris
1988 Doyle Brunson, Jack “Treetop” Straus
1987 Walter Clyde “Puggy” Pearson
1986 Henry Green
1985 Red Hodges
1984 Murph Harrold
1983 Joe Bernstein
1982 Tom Abdo
1981 Bill Boyd
1980 T “Blondie” Forbes
1979 Nick “The Greek” Dandolos, James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok, Edmond Hoyle, Felton “Corky” McCorquodale, Johnny Moss, Red Winn, Sid Wyman
Following the two-month public nomination process, the top 10 nominees are reviewed by the Hall of Fame’s election committe, with the bottom one or two generally supplanted by deserving industry members whose contributions to the game often go under-recognized by the playing community.
From there it’s on to the voting process, which is done by the PHOF’s 25 living enshrinees plus a slightly smaller “blue ribbon” panel of media members, all of whom have 10 ballots to bestow upon one or several of the nominees. Current PHOF online documentation notes that the year’s enshrinenees will be feted in November in conjunction with the WSOP Main Event’s “November Nine”, though the November Nine itself is no more, and that reference will surely be updated shortly. In any event, expect this year’s honorees to be announced in September and to be honored at a ceremony in October or November.