BLOG – The Poker Hall of Fame

BLOG – The Poker Hall of Fame

Monday, 13 September 2010

Before the final table of the 2010 World Series of Poker $10,000 Main Event plays out and awards almost $9m to the eventual winner, there will be a lot of pomp and ceremony about the entrants to the Poker Hall of Fame. One or two players selected from a publically voted shortlist will make it in. Who is most deserving, you ask? I can’t tell you that but I can tell you what I think about some of the names being debated.

Chris Ferguson is the 2001 World Series of Poker Main Event champion and is well-known for his nickname ‘Jesus’, deriving from his long hair and beard. He is one of the co-owners of Full Tilt Poker and is known for a tight-aggressive style. In my opinion he has no place in the Hall of Fame despite his skills – you need to be consistently beating all manner of high stakes games and he is hardly seen at a non-televised table these days.

Barry Greenstein is known as the ‘Robin Hood of Poker’ for his charitable donations. He worked his way up through cash games to compete with the best in the Bobby’s Room mixed game at the Bellagio but also has two WPT titles and three WSOP bracelets. His book, Ace on the River, is a great insight into being a poker pro and few would complain if he was nominated.

Jennifer Harman would become the second woman after Barbara Enright to enter the Hall of Fame – she is certainly deserving; she is known as the best female player in the poker world and beats up on the boys in the $4,000/$8,000 mixed games. She was also the only woman to take on Andy Beal in the $30,000/$60,000 Limit Hold ‘em matches and won over $8m from him. A worthy addition.

Dan Harrington has back-to-back Main Event final tables as well as a win in 1995. His series of books, Harrington on Hold ‘em, are regarded as the most influential publications on tournament poker play and indeed poker in general. However, I can’t see him in the Hall of Fame – more of a businessman than a poker player despite his fantastic books.

Daniel Negreanu is probably the most well-known, likeable and renowned player on the poker tournament circuit. His four WSOP bracelets and numerous WPT titles make up for his performances in televised cash games. That said, he has recently admitted that his Hold ‘em game is below par and competed in the $100/$200 games on PokerStars against some of the best young players. Humble, too – he will get in the Hall of Fame someday, just maybe not this year. He’s still young, too. Relatively speaking.

Phil Ivey is a shoe-in. No one else has been so unanimously regarded as the world’s best poker player – not just Hold ‘em, Omaha or Stud but poker player. He dominates all forms of the game in cash or tournaments and has accrued lifetime winnings of well over $40,000,000 – and that’s just the ones we know about. I would bet my net worth on him getting into the Hall of Fame within the next five years so we may as well get it over with and put him in now.

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