Names of the ten finalists for the 2016 Poker Hall of Fame were announced yesterday by WSOP.com. We now have the shortlist of people who made the final cut; one or two of them will be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame on October 26, after all votes are gathered. Those inducted will also be officially acknowledged during the 2016 WSOP November Nine festivities.
2016 Poker Hall of Fame Finalists
The final list contains ten names: nine of those nominated are alive, while one truly deserving player, Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott, is sadly no longer with us. ‘Devilfish’ has done a lot for popularization of poker in the UK, being one of the true characters of the game. On top of that, Ulliott still holds the second place on the England’s All Time Money List with $6.2 million in earnings.
Todd Brunson, a son of the ultimate poker’s legend and a member of the Hall of Fame Doyle Brunson, has achieved a lot during his career. Although he is often primarily recognized as a Doyle’s son, Todd has a WSOP bracelet to his name, just shy of $4.3 million in live winnings, and has been a regular fixture in the high stakes cash games, holding his own against the best.
Chris Moneymaker is often referred to as the reason why we are all here. The man who almost singlehandedly kicked off the poker boom certainly has his place among the greats, be it 2016 Poker Hall of Fame, or some other year. Whatever happens in poker next, the Moneymaker Effect will never be forgotten.
Eli Elezra is the player we got to know primarily through his appearances on the High Stakes Poker, where he mixed it up with the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, and Tom ‘Durrrr’ Dwan. Apart from his regular appearances in the high stakes cash games, the Israeli born player also has three WSOP bracelets to his name and $3 million in tournament winnings.
Humberto Brenes, aka ‘The Shark,’ will certainly remain best remembered for his table antiques and theatrics. However, this Costa Rican has a truly outstanding record of 86 WSOP cashes, nine of which have come from the Main Event. Brenes may seem a bit out there occasionally, but his poker skills are undeniable and his 2016 Poker Hall of Fame nomination more than justified.
The Spaniard Carlos Mortensen has certainly left his mark on the live poker scene. Also known as ‘The Matador,’ Mortensen boasts in excess of $11.9 million in live tournament earnings as well as the 2001 WSOP Main Event title. He also holds the record for the most money won on the WPT circuit.
Max Pescatori is probably the best known Italian poker player, holding the top spot on the Italian All Time Money List. His 2016 Poker Hall of Fame claim resides with his four WSOP bracelets and more than $4 million in live winnings. On top of all this, the ‘Italian Pirate’ has also penned two poker books in Italian language, helping promote the game in his country.
Chris Bjorin hails from sweden. The 68-year old currently residing in the UK has 80 WSOP cashes to his name, two gold bracelets, numerous big cashes, and around $5.5 million in live tournament earnings. With numerous other records and achievements, Bjorin has certainly stood the test of time and proven he belongs in the ranks of the poker elite.
Standing tall for France is Bruno Fitoussi. He is the man who introduced Texas Hold’em to French casinos and he has also built a successful career as a player over the years. Bringing poker on TV in France is probably his biggest contribution to the game as it really helped popularization of Hold’em.
The only non-player on the 2016 Poker Hall of Fame list of finalists is Matt Savage. An experienced tournament director, Savage has given his contribution in numerous big events and was one of the TDA founders. His commitment to the game and his overall influence in the poker circles cannot be overstated.
2016 Poker Hall of Fame: Rules & Voting
The rules for someone to be nominated for the Poker Hall of Fame remain unchanged in relation to the last year. Some of the requirements are:
- Minimum 40 years of age
- Player has played for high stakes & stood the test of time
- Player enjoys the respect of his / her peers
- If not a player: significant and visible contribution to the game growth and development
The official ballots for 2016 Poker Hall of Fame voting will now be sent to the relevant addresses, including the poker media and the living Hall of Fame members. Once the votes are in, they will be counted and one or two winners will be announced on October 26.