Who Will Be Inducted Into 2020 Poker Hall of Fame
Last week, we shared that the Poker Hall of Fame will be inducting a single new member in 2020. Based on reports at the time, everyone assumed that fan voting was out in 2020. Now it appears that there will be an abbreviated fan voting period.
Not only will there be fan voting, but finalists from last year will roll over to this year. We will take a quick look at the list of known finalists and predict any additional finalists that may be added. Also, we’ll give our ultimate pick for the 2020 Poker Hall of Fame.
Looking at the Finalists for the 2020 Poker Hall of Fame
Fan voting is underway over at wsop.com for the 2020 Poker Hall of Fame. From now until December 11th, fans can nominate players or individuals whom they think should be inducted. When fan voting was announced, it was also announced that last year’s list of finalists will roll over to this year.
Let’s take a look at this year’s list of finalists and their chances for induction:
- Chris Bjorin – If I had a vote for the Hall of Fame, I’d pick Chris. He is the Godfather of Swedish Poker and always competes at a high level at the World Series of Poker. While deserving of induction, it is unlikely he will get enough to get in this year.
- David Chiu – David Chiu is one of those players who is certainly good enough for the Hall of Fame, but he will probably not get enough votes. He may get in one day, but not in a year where there will just be one inductee.
- Eli Elezra – Eli Elezra is one of three players on this list that are going to get in within the next year or two. He is a multi-time bracelet winner and an elite cash game player. If he doesn’t get in this year, he probably gets in next year.
- Antonio Esfandiari – The winner of the first Big One for One Drop, Esfandiari is both proficient in tournaments in cash games. He is well-loved and will get in, but probably not this year.
Forrest Only “It” Candidate in Finalist List
The second half of the list of finalists includes one man who may only one shot left at induction and the person who is the best choice for induction.
- Chris Ferguson – This may be the last time we see Ferguson on the list of finalists. While he has the pedigree for HOF induction, his involvement with Full Tilt Poker will permanently stain him. If his supporters in the HOF don’t vote him in this year, it probably won’t happen.
- Ted Forrest – Out of all the players on the finalist list, Forrest ticks all of the boxes. He was part of the infamous “Crew” with Phil Ivey against Andy Beal. He also has 6 WSOP bracelets. Out of everyone on this list, Forrest is probably the “it” candidate with most of the living HOF members.
- Mike Matusow – Consistency has always been the one thing missing from Mikey. I’ve said for years that if Mike could show some consistency in his game, he will get inducted. As it stands, he is going to always be on the outside looking in.
- Huckleberry Seed – Huck Seed is one of those players where the “standing the test of time” qualification seems to hang him up. He has a HOF worthy career, but in the last decade, he has been a relative non-factor outside of a sparingly few events. His last WSOP cash was in 2016. I can’t see him getting in anytime soon.
Who Might Be Added to Finalist List
The one name that we can guarantee will be added to the list of finalists later this month is Isai Scheinberg. After he finally resolved his legal matters in the US, the door is now opened for his HOF induction. However, most of the living HOF members are probably going to overlook him because he is only a contributor and nowhere near the level of a competitor as others on the list.
Otherwise, we may see Bruno Fitoussi added to this list to give international players more exposure on the list. While he is the Godfather of French Poker, I still think he won’t have enough sway to persuade others to vote for him over players like Forrest or Elezra.
Ultimately, it is likely that Ted Forrest will be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2020. He fits all of the criteria and is the most likely choice from living HOF members. If he isn’t enshrined this year, it will be Eli Elezra. Scheinberg will have to wait until media and industry members are able to skew the vote in his favor.