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Poker Hall of Fame Snubs

By Scott Carlson, Rakeback.com Staff Writer

Poker Hall of FameAs we reported earlier, Dan Harrington and Erik Seidel were elected to the Poker Hall of Fame. The question now centers on who are the front runners for the Class of 2011? This week World Series of Poker Vice President Ty Stewart was interviewed on Wicked Chops Poker’s This Week In Poker video podcast. Stewart indicated that the final vote tallies will be made public so we will get a good idea how close some of the others came to making it. Until then we can play the guessing game.

First let’s take a look at the Poker Hall of Fame criteria:

  • 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
  • For non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker with indelible positive and lasting results.

Now let’s take a look at the players who were not voted in this year.

Chris Ferguson

Ferguson has over $8 million in career tournament earnings. He is 19th on the all time tournament money list. He is 3rd on the all time list for number of WSOP cashes and has earned five WSOP bracelets.

Conclusion: Ferguson meets most of the HOF criteria but at the age of 38 one could easily argue that he has not stood the test of time. NOT SNUBBED

Barry Greenstein

Greenstein is best known for his play in cash games. Despite his limited number of tournaments played, the Team PokerStars pro has $7.2 million in earnings and three WSOP bracelets. Greenstein is also a tremendous person away from the felt having donated millions of his tournament winnings to the charity Children, Inc.

Conclusion: Greenstein passes all of the criteria to get into the HOF (including non-player contributions) and was arguably more deserving than the people entered this year. SNUBBED

Jennifer Harman-Traniello

Harman has earned $2.6 million in tournaments over her career. She is best known for being the only female player to play in “The Big Game”, the highest stakes cash game around with the likes of Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey and the late Chip Reese.

Conclusion: Harman passes the smell test when compared to the HOF criteria but her lack of tournament results in the last few years hurts her chances in the voters eyes. NOT SNUBBED

Phil Ivey

At the young age of 34, Ivey has accomplished more in his relatively short career than anyone else on the list. He is first on the all time tournament winnings list with $13.6 million. He has eight career WSOP bracelets including three within the past two years. All of this pales in comparison to the nosebleed stakes he plays live in “The Big Game” and online on Full Tilt.

Conclusion: Ivey has accomplished more than anybody in the history of the game of poker and easily meets every criteria the HOF sets, except one. He is 34 and that is just too young. Ivey will get his day. NOT SNUBBED

Linda Johnson
Johnson is probably the most deserving of the people on the list due to her contributions to the game away from the table. Known as the “First Lady of Poker”, Johnson is a former owner of Card Player Magazine. She was also the first play by play announcer at the final tables on the World Poker Tour. She also has one career WSOP bracelet.

Conclusion: Johnson has done more than just about anyone to grow the game of poker. She has done just as much as Mike Sexton for the game, who entered the HOF in 2009. SNUBBED

Tom McEvoy
McEvoy won the WSOP Main Event back in 1983 and has earned nearly $3 million in tournaments. He has also won three other WSOP bracelets besides his Main Event victory. He has contributed to the poker community by having written numerous poker strategy books.

Mr. McEvoy, what have you done for me lately? According to the criteria he is a candidate for the HOF but I just don’t see it happening any time soon. NOT SNUBBED

Daniel Negreanu

“Kid Poker” has $12.8 in career tournament earnings which puts him 2nd on the all-time money list behind Ivey. He also has four career WSOP bracelets. Negreanu is also one of the greatest ambassadors of poker the game has ever seen.

Conclusion: I could probably write the same thing for Negreanu as I did for Ivey. At the age of 36 he is just too young. NOT SNUBBED

Scotty Nguyen
The 1998 WSOP Main Event champion as amassed $11.3 million in career tournament cashes which places him 6th on the all-time list. Including his Main Event victory he has won five WSOP bracelets. It remains to be seen if his antics at the final table of the $50k WSOP HORSE event from a few years ago  will make him wait for his almost certain induction at some point.

Conclusion: Nguyen is a certain future HOF member when you compare him to the criteria. It will only be a matter of time before he gains entry. SNUBBED

The good news is that there isn’t going to be a person that suddenly appears on the list of finalists out of the blue so we can make highly educated guesses as to who will make it into the Class of 2011. My fearless predictions are Linda Johnson and Barry Greenstein.

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