Scheinberg Included in Ten Poker Hall of Fame Finalists

Scheinberg Included in Ten Poker Hall of Fame Finalists

The World Series of Poker announced the finalists this week for the 2020 Poker Hall of Fame induction.

A public nomination process opened earlier this month, and poker fans and players around the world nominated their favorites.

Many of the names on the list are no surprise, as they have been nominated in the past. Some have been nominated in the last year or several years. But there are a couple of new names on the list of nominees. And the public will find out the name of the single inductee on December 30.

And the Nominees Are…

The list of nominees for this year’s Poker Hall of Fame induction is as follows:

–Patrik Antonius

–Norman Chad and Lon McEachern

–Eli Elezra

–Antonio Esfandiari

–Chris Ferguson

–Ted Forrest

–Mike Matusow

–Matt Savage

–Isai Scheinberg

–Huckleberry Seed

For the first time, a pair of poker personalities entered the list together. Norman Chad and Lon McEachern have been commentating on the World Series of Poker broadcasts on ESPN for years together. Their contributions to poker are intertwined, so the WSOP decided to pair them for a spot in the list of finalists.

Patrik Antonius is a longtime poker player but first-time nominee. He has long played the high-stakes games in poker, oftentimes online. He rarely plays in live tournament series like the WSOP in Las Vegas anymore, but he continues to play online from his home in Europe (Monaco, we believe). The Finland-born 40-year-old became known for his high-stakes cash game action but also his online heads-up play. He was also a member of Team Full Tilt prior to 2011. He has been playing in the WSOP online tournaments of late via GGPoker, cashing in 11 events online this year.

Many poker players have nominated Isai Scheinberg for years. The founder of PokerStars was known for creating the largest online poker site in the world but also providing opportunities for players to earn a living at the game.

The US government famously indicted the Israeli-Canadian on criminal charges pertaining to online gambling in the United States. It was the date in 2011 called Black Friday, when the US shut down the four major online poker sites and indicted their owners. Only in the summer of 2019 did authorities finally arrest Scheinberg in Switzerland, which extradited him to the US. In September of 2020, a judge released Scheinberg with time served and a $30K fine.

For his contributions to poker, many thought Scheinberg should have been nominated years ago. Some said he was nominated by fans but removed from the list of finalists by the WSOP. Whether true or not, the WSOP did put him on the list of finalists in 2020.

Members Decide

The World Series of Poker previously announced that only one nominee will be inducted in 2020.

The decision is now in the hands of the living members of the 58-member Poker Hall of Fame, of which there appear to be 31. Each of them may now vote with 10 points; each may allocate his or her 10 points as they see fit – all to one nominee or split among a group of them.

The WSOP will announce the winner – the man to be the sole 2020 honoree – on Wednesday, December 30. It will happen on ESPN before the start of the 2020 WSOP Main Event heads-up poker finale at the Rio in Las Vegas. However, the WSOP plans to organize a proper induction ceremony sometime in 2021.

A full list of current Poker Hall of Fame members is on the WSOP website.

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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