Traditionally, new entrants to the Hall of Fame are announced at the Main Event Final Table and take their place alongside such luminaries as Stu Ungar and Wild Bill Hickock. In alphabetical order, this year’s names in the frame are:
Swedish pro who has cashed in at least one event in the WSOP every year since 1994. He tops Sweden’s all time money list with over $5.5m in live tournament winnings. He has two WSOP bracelets and hasn’t had a losing year in live tournaments for over 13 years.
The man with the shark hails from Costa Rica and has 72 WSP cashes including a 4th place finish in the Main Event. He has popularized poker throughout Spanish speaking South America and also has two WSOP bracelets.
Chiu was nominated last year and since then has had an impressive 2013. He won his 5th WSOP bracelet and cashed in five other events at this year’s series. His bracelets have come in several games, Limit Hold'em, Omaha 8 and Stud taking his lifetime winnings to over $8m. Chiu came to the USA from China at the age of 18and famously beat Gus Hansen in the 2008 $25k Heads Up event.
Nominated unsuccessfully in 2011, Jennifer Harman has one of the longest records as a successful female player. 2011 saw the voters select Linda Johnson ahead of her as only the second female Hall of Famer. After two kidney transplants she has worked tirelessly for charity as well as maintaining a high profile, primarily as a cash game player. She was one of the members of the Corporation which played billionaire Andy Beal heads up with blinds at $50k/$100k.
The Norwegian “Godfather” of poker has 48 WSOP finishes in the money and two bracelets giving him just shy of $3m in tournament winnings. The 66 year old is undergoing a course of chemotherapy for cancer. His record is not as good as that of Bjorin, but he has many supporters and was once hired to play poker by Larry Flynt owner of Hustler magazine and champion of free speech.
Mike “The Mouth” Matusow’s autobiography is titled “Check Raising the Devil”-a fair description of one of the most checkered careers in poker. Mike has almost $10m in live tournament winnings and won his 4th WSOP bracelet at this year’s series. Famous for blowing up at bad beats, Mike is also one of the most accomplished come back kids in poker, having battled with drug addiction problems and been Team Pro at scandal hit Ultimate Be and Full Tilt Poker.
1983 Maine Event winner Tom McEvoy is almost the polar opposite to Mike the Mouth. The former accountant from Michigan has authored a dozen books on poker strategy. He turns 70 next year and can look back on a career with almost $3m in tournament winnings, and four WSOP bracelets.
Mortensen was the 2001 WSOP Main Event champion and remains one of the best players in the world today, as can be seen by his 10th place finish in this year’s Main Event. $11.5m in tournament winnings and two bracelets for the 41 year old Spanish resident-although born in Ecuador-put him 14th on the all time money list.
Thuận B. "Scotty" Nguyễn
Yet another nomination for Scotty Ngyuen who has both supporters and detractors in the poker world. Maine Event champion in 1998, he refuses to wear the bracelet as the day afterwards, one of his brothers was killed in a car accident. He has 37 money finishes at the WSOP and lifetime winnings of $11.7m,
Huck Seed is the 1996 WSOP Main Event winner, but also made the final table in 1999. He loves prop bets, the more bizarre the better and brings an immensely likeable demeanor to every table. This genial giant contains a sharp poker brain that has taken him to four WSOP bracelets and over $7m in tournament winnings.
The rules for nomination are simple: All nominees must have played poker against acknowledged top competition; played for high stakes; played consistently well; gained the respect of peers, and stood the test of time. Non-players must have contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible, positive and lasting results.
Beyond winning the WSOP Main Event, beyond even banking the millions which come with poker success, making the Poker Hall of Fame recognizes value, as a player and as a member of the poker community.
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