The Poker Hall of Fame (PHOF) is to poker what the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame is to rock. It is the icing on the cake for a poker career that was considered outstanding and an honour for the inductee. The PHOF which was founded in 1979 has so far inducted a total of 48 hall of famers and recently announced number 49 and 50.
Those respective spots went to Jennifer Harman and John Juanda after they went through a long selection process where two panels made up of 23 Poker Hall of Fame living members and 16 media representatives reviewed a number of nominees and then finalized on Harman and Juanda.
Some of the other nominees included the likes of Matt Savage, Terry Roger, Chris Bjorin and David “Devilfish” Ulliott.
There was an outcry within the poker community protesting the fact that David “Devilfish” Ulliott was overlooked and many believed that the selection process needs to be changed as it was unfair. One of those individuals who expressed their disappointing was John Duthie, a well known poker player and the creator of the television show European Poker Tour. Duthie congratulated both Harman and Juanda for their induction into the PHOF and said that while he held nothing against them, he felt it was extremely unfair for David Ulliott to be left out.
Duthie also voiced his concern over the fact that so far only U.S poker players have been inducted into the hall of fame and stated that while one can argue that Scotty Nguyen, Johnny Chan and John Juanda were not born in the U.S. but made it into the PHOF, they were currently U.S. citizens.
In a statement, Duthie said
The Poker Hall of Fame and the World Series of Poker, who claim its ownership on their website, need to make one of two decisions. Either the WSOP breaks its association with the Poker Hall of Fame and it remains as it is, becoming a sort of Madame Tussaud’s of U.S. poker, or it resolves to change and completely overhaul the nomination and selection process so that it is a true reflection of international poker talent and not just U.S.-centric
Duthie stated that if the PHOF continues to work with the same selection process then it would be hard for the PHOF to be recognized at a global level when all the nominees were Americans.