Last week the final 10 candidates for the 2015 Poker Hall of Fame were revealed on WSOP's website, and it didn't take long before everyone's favourite poker player Daniel Negreanu (inducted last year) posted a blog where he talked about PHOF's main criteria* and other things related to the matter.
* The main criteria for the Poker Hall of Fame are as follows:
♠ A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
♠ Played for high stakes
♠ 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.
"Notice is doesn't say anything about being a nice guy, being a poker ambassador, or being well liked? It doesn't give any points to players for their efforts to improve the state of the game. The only area where that is relevant is for NON-players. The criteria for players is based only on their skills as a player. When Tom McEvoy was inducted people referred to his efforts to help ban smoking in poker rooms as a key reason for his induction. Was he then inducted as a non-player or as a player? If he was inducted as a non-player then a reasonable case can be made, but if we are adhering to the criteria there is no way he should have ever been elected as a player. He isn't the only one, but he is the clearest case in recent years."
Negreanu on David "DevilFish" Ulliot being among the 10 "finalists"...
"We recently lost quite a character in Dave "DevilFish" Ulliot to a battle with cancer. He was great to have at a poker table and helped make televised poker more interesting. He also had a great career, standing the test of time and continuing the grind until his death.
Having said all that, his passing should have absolutely nothing to do with whether or not he earns your vote. In recent years Thor Hansen suffered some health issues as well (he is doing pretty well now thankfully) and there was talk of inducting him into the Hall of Fame. I've played with Thor for 20 years, great guy, and solid player, but the fact that he was sick should have absolutely no bearing on the voting. If the voters deem him to best fit the criteria, he should get in, but not based on sentiment."
So, who will Negreanu vote for this year? Well, he claims that he hasn't made up his mind yet, but it seems like John Juanda and Jennifer Harman could be two picks...
"There are two players on that list that continue, after 20+ years to play high stakes poker and find success: Jennifer Harman and John Juanda. JJ plays the biggest no limit hold'em games in the world in Macau and abroad, and despite skipping the WSOP 2015 entirely, he just won the biggest EPT event in their history. As for Jennifer, she is easy to find. She is sitting in the same place she has been for decades, in the Bellagio poker room playing the world's biggest mixed games. She remains the only woman in the entire world to be a winner in those games."