Poker Hall of Fame to Induct One New Member in 2020
The Professional Poker Hall of Fame will have an inductee in 2020. However, the process will be done a bit differently than in previous years. According to the WSOP’s Executive Director, the Hall of Fame will have a single inductee and that person will be voted by his peers only.
Just One New Member for the Hall of Fame in 2020
Last week, the World Series of Poker Executive Director Ty Stewart spoke with PokerNews regarding the 2020 WSOP Main Event. During that conversation, Stewart was asked about the Poker Hall of Fame. When the 2020 WSOP was moved online, many assumed that the Poker Hall of Fame wasn’t taking new inductees this year.
Stewart told PokerNews that the Hall of Fame will get a new inductee. However, this year there will only be a single inductee. According to Stewart, “We are going to return to the tradition of one inductee per year, voted in by their peers.”
Typically, PHOF voting is a multi-facet process. First, fans vote on which players will be finalists. In the past, most finalists were picked from voting. That was changed in the last couple of years to where the fans could vote on one finalist. This year, fan voting will not occur.
Next, the finalists are normally voted on by a panel of living Poker Hall of Fame members and a media panel. This year, only living Hall of Fame members will be voting on the new inductee. More information about the Hall of Fame vote will be forthcoming from the WSOP.
Will This Just Be for 2020?
This change in Hall of Fame voting seems a bit odd. It is understandable that fan voting not occur because of how late the vote is happening. However, it’s hard to see the reasoning behind restricting the vote to just living Hall of Fame members and not include the traditional media panel.
Next, why just induct just a single new member. There is a serious backlog of potential candidates with new candidates coming up almost every year. By limiting inductions to just a single person, this makes it much more difficult for certain players or contributors to get in.
Also, the living members of the Poker Hall of Fame have been historically picky with their new picks. They’ve been known to pass over the most deserving candidates for those that, while deserving of induction, probably should have gone in later.
The big question is whether this is a pandemic move or if this is a permanent fixture of the PHOF. We’re hopeful that this is just a last-minute move to ensure that the Hall of Fame gets a new member and not a permanent change. Although, the living members could have picked two new inductees just as easily as one.
Who Will Get Inducted?
There are many names being floated for induction, and we will take a look at a few of the top names. Let’s get one out of the way right now. Isai Scheinberg is a name that many feels should already be in the Hall of Fame. While few will argue this, it’s unlikely the living members will induct him this year. The living members favor players over contributors and outside of Daniel Negreanu and Phil Ivey, most do not have a serious connection to online poker.
Antonio Esfandiari is another name that’s getting a lot of buzz. Antonio is well-liked and definitely has the pedigree for induction. However, he is a bit younger and doesn’t have the old school connection as some of the potential candidates.
The one player that likely has the best path for induction this year is Ted Forrest. Forrest is a six-time WSOP bracelet winner and one of the most prolific cash game players in history. He is the type of player that many of the living members identify with and is the likely frontrunner for induction. In the end, we expect Ted Forrest to be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2020.