Saturday, September 28, 2013

2013 Poker Hall of Fame Finalists Announced

World Series of Poker officials have announced the 2013 list of ten finalists for induction into the Poker Hall of Fame.  Seven of the ten have been nominated before, and six of those seven return from the 2012 finalists' ballot, when Eric Drache and the late Sailor Roberts were honored.  These were the top ten vote-getters based on fan nominations, which had been available for a couple of months this summer on the site.

The six returnees from last year's crop of finalists are Chris Bjorin, David Chiu, Thor Hamsen, Jennifer Harman, Tom McEvoy and Scotty Nguyen, while a seventh, Huckleberry Seed, returns to the final 10 after last being considered as a finalist in 2011.  These seven are joined by three first-timers: Humberto Brenes, Carlos Mortensen and Mike Matusow.

Final voting is done by a panel of 37 poker veterans, consisting of 19 living members of the PHOF and 18 members of the poker media.  The rules for nomination and enshrinement have been tweaked a bit in recent years, since Caesars (formerly Harrah's) acquired the PHOF brand; the latest tweaks include an age-40 minimum, and finalist-voting rules designed to ensure that two people are added almost every year.

Here are the complete requirements for enshrinement, which are what the panelists are supposed to consider when making their votes:

• A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition;
• Be a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination;
• 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.

As happens with the fan-based nomination process, all living players were nominated, although in recent years removals and substitutions have been made to give the list more of a historic flavor.  This time around, however, no deceased players or industry people have been added to the final ten, guaranteeing that the WSOP will have one or two warm bodies on hand to receive the honor, with a ceremony held in conjunction with this year's WSOP main event final table in November.


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