The Poker Hall of Fame has welcomed two new inductees, Chris Moneymaker and David Oppenheim. They are the 57th and 58th players to receive this exclusive and prestigious honor.
How Are Poker Hall of Fame Players Selected?
It is up to the current living Poker Hall of Fame members to decide on who will be inducted, along with a 21-person panel of professionals in the media. This year, the shortlist included some very talented names, such as:
- Chris Bjorn
- David Chiu
- Eli Elezra
- Antonio Esfandiari
- Chris Ferguson
- Ted Forrest
- Mike Matusow
- Huckleberry Seed
There are a number of considerations that the voting panel must regard when deciding which players are the most worthy of being inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. Firstly, players must be at least 40 years of age at the time of nomination, and they must have played at high stakes. They should also have played consistently with a high level of skill and competed against other top players.
Many members of the poker community took to Twitter to congratulate Moneymaker and Oppenheim:
Congratulations @CMONEYMAKER on induction into the Poker Hall of Fame. Not one person can argue that your impact on the poker world has been immense. It’s still my career highlight and surely a factor why so many have played and continue to do so today. Your Dad would be proud! pic.twitter.com/XPtW6357nT
— Matt Savage (@SavagePoker) July 16, 2019
Congrats to @CMONEYMAKER and Oppie on being voted into the poker hall of fame.
— Todd Brunson (@ToddBrunson) July 16, 2019
Excited about Chris Moneymaker being inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. Most important player of the century so far.
— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) July 16, 2019
Chris Moneymaker and David Oppenheim on Being Inducted into the Hall of Fame
Chris Moneymaker is one of the most influential players with regards to making online poker a popular pastime. He was first online player to win the WSOP Main Event in 2003 for $2.5 million, and inspired a whole new generation of poker fans to follow their dreams.
Moneymaker credits Phil Hellmuth with his development as a professional poker layer. He had met Hellmuth at that fateful 2003 WSOP tournament, just before winning the Main Event. Although their chat only lasted 15 minutes, it had a long-lasting impressive on Moneymaker.
“I always remembered that. I wanted to give back to the fans and be that open and accessible, too. So Phil’s going to get a little bit of credit for how I approach the game and the fans,” he says.
David Oppenheim was an interesting yet appropriate choice for induction into the Poker Hall of Fame. While he was the only player on the shortlist to have not earned a WSOP bracelet yet, he has been a high stakes master for over 25 years.
“Being recognized as one of the all-time greats by my peers is truly humbling and I am honored to have been selected to the Hall of Fame. I have been so fortunate to be able to do what I do for a living. I never planned to be a professional poker player, rather it was a passion that became my job”, Oppenheim says.
They are very deserving of this honor, and our congratulations goes out to them both!