The nomination process for inducting the best poker pros into the 2016 Poker Hall of Fame (PFOF) has officially begun. The World Series of Poker (WSOP) which handles the PHOF operations opened the voting process last week, allowing the public to participate in the process of nominating players who they believe are worthy to enter the PHOF.
The PHOF was established in 1979 and at the start seven members were inducted. Since then the PHOF has preferred to induct two players per year. The last time a single player was inducted was in 2009 when Mike Sexton was the sole nominee. So far around 50 members have been inducted into the PHOF.
The WSOP took over the annual award after Caesars Entertainment acquired the rights in 2004. The rules had to be revised after 23-year old Tom Dwan was voted into PHOF in 2011. The Poker Hall of Fame Governing Council turned down his nomination and later introduced a set of criteria including an age limit of 40 years to ensure that only those who had proven themselves on a consistent basis could join the elite rank of players.
This year Phil Ivey often dubbed as the world’s best poker player is expected to be one of the nominations as Ivey turned 40 in February. Daniel Negreanu was similarly inducted the year he turned 40. There have however been complaints of an American bias in the inductions.
Europeans in particular have pointed out that none of the 50 members so far inducted into the PHOF are European.
Women in Poker Hall of Fame (WiPHOF) in fact broke fresh ground by inducting UK’s Victoria Coren-Mitchell earlier this year. Coren-Mitchell who has won the European Poker Tour (EPT) Main Event twice was the first non-American to be inducted into any Poker Hall of Fame. The nomination process is open to public and can be done on WSOP’s website by filling a form with the player’s name and an explanation for the nomination.
The 5-point criteria for the nomination are as follows. The player must have played against top poker pros and played for high stakes, must be at least 40 years of age, must have consistently played well earning the respect of peers and must have stood the test of time. For non-players, the criteria is that they must have contributed to the growth and success of poker the poker industry with lasting results.