Only one person will be inducted to the Poker Hall of Fame (PHOF) in 2020. World Series of Poker (WSOP) Executive Director Ty Stewart confirmed this in a recent interview saying there will only be one 2020 PHOF inductee, and that it would remain that way moving forward.
Stewart fell short of explaining the reasons behind the decision, but stated that they will release the full details soon.
Stewart said they decided to go back to the tradition of bringing in only one inductee each year. This might sound a bit strange as the only time the PHOF had a single inductee was back in 2009 when the award went to the late Mike Sexton.
Since then, the PHOF has honored two players each year, the latest being Chris Moneymaker and David Oppenheim (2019). And even during its early years, multiple players had made it into the history books all at the same time.
PHOF has been honoring poker greats since 1979. Some of the recent inductees include John Hennigan & Mori Eskandani (2018), Phil Ivey & David Ulliott (2017), Todd Brunson & Carlos Mortensen (2016) John Juanda & Jennifer Harman (2015). Daniel Negreanu and Jack McClelland were inducted in 2014, with Scotty Nguyen & Tom McEvoy (2013).
Changes to the Voting Rules
Stewart also said that the 2020 inductee will be selected by his or her peers, meaning the usual public vote will now be dropped. Since 2009, the PHOF voting system has included public nominations. The move was aimed at increasing interest in the PHOF. During the same year, Tom Dwan, who was then 23 years old, became one of the finalists because of public balloting. This prompted the WSOP management to set a minimum age of 40 for a player to be eligible for the honor.
This requirement still stands until now, but should it be scrapped? Clearly, a lot of today’s top poker players are worthy of the accolade, only that the minimum age requirement is preventing them from being inducted.
Younger pros such as Fedor Holz, Bryn Kenney, Daniel Colman, and Justin Bonomo have all made an impact in the game and are currently highly successful in their careers. This might be one of the reasons why public vote has been removed, because obviously, several members of the poker community would ask that the age threshold be lowered so that their favorite players will be allowed.