By Robert Jones, Rakeback.com Staff Writer
Despite the official announcement of the Poker Hall of Fame inductees still being a month away, Doyle Brunson recently gave his opinion of many of the nominees up for that honor. When the Godfather of Poker speaks, people listen. So his opinion on such an important subject piqued the interest of many around the industry.
Brunson, writing on his blog for the first time in over two weeks due to taking an extended vacation to enjoy a family reunion, explained the five main criteria one must meet to be eligible for the hall of fame. Players must have:
(a) Played against top competition.
(b) Played for high stakes.
(c) Played consistently well, gaining the respect of their peers.
(d) Stood the test of time.
(e) Contributed to the overall growth and success to the poker games.
Then, one by one, he went over this year’s nominees, giving his opinion on whether they should join him in the hall of fame. Of the ten nominees eligible, only two of them will enter the hall of fame. Luckily for Brunson, he only thinks 3 on the list should even be seriously considered, but even pin-points the two he thinks should be in – Erik Seidel and Barry Greenstein.
On Seidel, Brunson wrote: “I gave almost all of my votes to Erik. Most people don’t remember his cash game play but he was in all of the games in his early career. He meets all the requirements and his exemplary conduct deserves a special accolade. He reminds me of Chip Reese.”
For Greenstein his accolades were not as wordy, but just as complimentary, stating, “You can’t find a criteria Barry doesn’t meet. If not this year, next year for sure.”
Brunson also stated that he would not be surprised if Phil Ivey made it, but believes he should be a little older before earning such an honor.
Of the players Brunson feels should not make it despite being nominated, his strongest words were for Scotty Nguyen. Brunson said the Nguyen needs to learn to live up to his nickname “The Price of Poker,” and that he’s going to have to wait “until his behavior in the 50k win in the Horse tournament fades from people’s memories.” However, Brunson did add that Nguyen did meet all five criteria.
The two females on the ballot, Linda Johnson and Jennifer Harman-Traniello, also didn’t get the nod from Brunson. Without being too specific, he stated Johnson, the “First Lady of Poker,” isn’t a serious candidate this year, and Harman-Traniello, despite meeting all the requirements “will probably need a few more years before she goes it,” although Brunson considers her the best female player in history.
Other players not getting the hall of fame approval of Brunson include Chris “Jesus” Ferguson (doesn’t play a lot of cash games), Dan Harrington (doesn’t play cash games), Daniel Negreanu (too young), and Tom McEvoy (good mid-stakes player, but not a high stakes player).
The Poker Hall of Fame members will be announced as part of the 2010 World Series of Poker festivities, set to start November 6th.
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