On Sunday, June 23, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) announced the ten finalists for the 2019 Poker Hall of Fame class and over half of these nominees will be inducted to the ranks of the Hall of Fame this year. As always, the 10 nominees were listed through both a public nomination and subsequent vetting by the Governing Council of the Poker Hall of Fame.
This nominee list was based on the World Series of Poker’s criteria for induction which stipulates that an eligible player:
- Must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
- Be a minimum of 40 years old at the time of nomination
- Played for high stakes
- Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers
- Stood the test of time
- Or, for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results.
The list of nominees includes:
- Chris Bjorin
- David Chiu
- Eli Elezra
- Antonio Esfandiari
- Chris Ferguson
- Ted Forrest
- Mike Matusow
- David Oppenheim
- Chris Moneymaker
- Huck Seed.
Out of the 10 nominees, only Antonio Esfandiari is making his debut to the list of nominees – the remaining nine have all been previously nominated. Esfandiari has been working very hard and it was just a matter of time before his efforts caught the attention of everyone. He is not only a three-time bracelet winner but also boasts of being the World Series of Poker’s all-time money leader with a whopping $21,835,100 in earnings at the poker series.
When the time comes, a panel consisting of 30 Hall of Fame members as well as 21 poker industry media members will vote in the players that are going to be inducted. The final ballots are due by July 8 after which the 2019 Class of the WSOP Poker Hall of Fame will be announced. This announced has been scheduled for July 15 and will be part of the broadcast of the World Series of Poker main event final table on ESPN.
Established way back in 1979, the Poker Hall of Fame was acquired alongside the World Series of Poker (WSOP) by Caesars Entertainment and since then it has continued to amass memberships by inducting some of the most influential poker players as well as a number of important contributors to the game of poker. As such, even being just a nominee with a chance of joining its ranks is quite a big deal.