Poker Hall of Fame Finalists Announced

Poker Hall of Fame Finalists Announced

The 10 finalists for possible induction to the Poker Hall of Fame in 2018 were announced this week.

The public voting process took into consideration all names submitted through the online form on the World Series of Poker website. The names with the most submissions were then vetted to ensure that they met the requirements to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The top 10 names that survived that evaluation were then announced on Sunday, July 1.

The final voting is now in the hands of a special panel that will collectively decide who will become members of the elite Poker Hall of Fame later this month.

10 Finalists

In alphabetical order by last name, the 10 finalists are as follows:

Chris Bjorin (Sweden/England)

David Chiu (China/US)

Mori Eskandani (Iran/US)

Bruno Fitoussi (France)

John Hennigan (US)

Mike Matusow (US)

Chris Moneymaker (US)

David Oppenheim (US)

Matt Savage (US)

Huckleberry Seed (US)

The only new names on the list this year – ones that had not previously been nominated – are Hennigan and Oppenheim. Many had been in the final list last year – Chiu, Eskandani, Matusow, Savage, and Seed – and Bjorin, Fitoussi, and Moneymaker had been nominated prior to 2017.

A point of interest is that Hennigan is also leading the 2018 WSOP Player of the Year race as of July 2 with 3130.76 points, having cashed in nine tournaments so far this summer. He won the $10K HORSE event to capture his fifth gold bracelet and made several final tables. Hennigan’s closest competitor on the POY leaderboard is Shaun Deeb with 2769.11 points, and none of the other Hall of Fame finalists are in the top 10.

All of the finalists have met the qualifications to become a member of the Hall of Fame, which are as follows for poker players

–Must have played poker against acknowledged top competition.

–Must have played for high stakes.

–Must be a minimum of 40 years old at the time of nomination.

–Must have played consistently well, gaining the respect of their peers.

–Must have stood the test of time.

For non-players like Eskandani and Savage who are nominated, the requirement is:

–Must have contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker with indelible positive and lasting results.

It is interesting that Moneymaker doesn’t exactly fit the criteria of either category in full, but his contributions to the game and association with it have allowed him to be nominated.

Expedited Voting

The 10 names listed above have been distributed to the private voting panel. The 28 current Hall of Fame members who are alive today have the opportunity to vote, as do the 18 members of a media panel. They must do so by this Friday, July 8.

The WSOP Governing Council will tally those votes and inform the inductee(s). The person or persons chosen will be officially inducted during the ESPN broadcast of the WSOP Main Event on July 13, which is the day scheduled for the final six players to compete until only three remain.

Typically, two persons are inducted each year, but there are the occasional years when only one person receives the Hall of Fame honor, though that hasn’t happened since 2009.


About Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including and has followed the US poker and gaming market closely for the last 15 years. Follow Jen on Twitter

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