Poker Hall of Fame Welcomes Moneymaker and Oppenheim

Poker Hall of Fame Welcomes Moneymaker and Oppenheim

The people were announced as the latest inductees into the Poker Hall of Fame. Chris Moneymaker and David Oppenheim were revealed to be the people that won the most votes and are the 2019 honorees.

WSOP host on ESPN, Kara Scott, announced the names on Monday night, July 15, during a break in the action of the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event final table playdown. She did so with commentary from Phil Hellmuth and Maria Ho.

Moneymaker and Oppenheim are the 57th and 58th names added to the Poker Hall of Fame, following last year’s induction of Mori Eskandani and John Hennigan.

Two of Ten Nominees

The final list of 10 nominees for the Poker Hall of Fame in 2019 came from a public process during which time anyone was welcome to submit names and express support for those in the poker community that they felt should be honored.

That list was revealed as:

Chris Bjorin

David Chiu

Eli Elezra

Antonio Esfandiari

Chris Ferguson

Ted Forrest

Mike Matusow

Chris Moneymaker

David Oppenheim

Huckleberry Seed

Over the past several weeks, the final decision was made by a select group of people given the chance to vote. That group consisted of the 30 living Poker Hall of Fame members and a 21-person panel of poker media and industry members. The people on the panel have not been revealed.

The WSOP Governing Council tallied the votes and notified Moneymaker and Oppenheim of their wins.

Chris Moneymaker

Typically, a person is inducted into the Hall of Fame for their long history of poker play. Qualifications for this type of inductee includes playing against acknowledged top competition, playing for high stakes, playing consistently well and gaining the respect of his peers, and standing the test of time.

However, non-players can also be inducted by contributing to the “overall growth and success of the game of poker with indelible positive and lasting results.”

Moneymaker qualifies for the latter category but also fits much of the criteria from the first as well. His 2003 WSOP Main Event victory is widely regarded as a pivotal and historic point in poker history, one that spurred the poker boom and attracted millions of new players to the game.

The American player has collected more than $3.8 million in live tournament earnings to date, though he also plays regular cash games and online poker. He is, however, most recognized for his 2003 WSOP Main Event win for $2.5 million.

Since that time, Moneymaker has won and final tabled numerous poker tournaments of all sizes around the world, most recently making the final table of the PartyPoker MILLIONS Las Vegas this summer. His ninth-place finish was worth $80K.

Moreover, Moneymaker has served as a PokerStars ambassador since his 2003 win, traveling the world to represent PokerStars and poker itself. He submits to photos, signs autographs, and interacts with fans via social media on a daily basis.

David Oppenheim

Meeting all of the qualifications for a player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, Oppenheim easily qualified. He has earned nearly $2 million in live tournaments throughout his career, though he has been and remains mostly a cash game pro.

Interestingly, it is mostly for his cash game acumen and career longevity that he was voted in to the Hall of Fame, as the only tournament win on his record are from a Full Tilt-sponsored invitational event in 2011 in which he won A$250K. He has made some final tables, several significant ones at the WSOP, but he is most known in the poker community for his high-stakes cash play and mixed game skills.


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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