After what should have been the greatest moments of their careers, John Juanda and Jennifer Harman as well as the inductee panel of players in poker hall of fame are all experiencing the wrath and disappointment of the very massive and vocal international poker community.
The POH announced yesterday the new inductees from a list of deserving nominees including; Carlos Mortensen, Bruno Fitoussi, Chris Bjorin, David Chiu and Max Pescatori. For most of these nominees this was their second or third nomination except for Pescatori who is a newcomer on the list. Other renowned poker players that were nominated for poker’s highest honor were Matt Savage and the late Terry Rogers.
It will however seem that the biggest disappointment to the International poker community was the exclusion of the late David ‘devilfish’ Elliot from the inductee process. The professional player sadly passed away earlier in April this year which sparked a number of poker campaigns all gunning for his inclusion into the 2015 poker hall of fame nominee list and ultimately to win the induction. The campaigns run over social media platforms and even the 2015 World Series of poker to give first time nominee Elliot a big push closer to being one of the selected inductees.
When PHOF announced the names of the new inductees yesterday, a few members of the international poker community took to social media platforms to express their outrage and disapproval. One such person is European Poker Tour founder John Duthie who stated on Facebook, “No non U.S poker player should even consider accepting a nomination to the WSOP hall of fame (note the bastardization of the POKER hall of fame name, which has been in existence since 1979). I have the greatest respect for both Harman and Juanda and their selection are understandable, but the WSOP need to take a serious look at the whole process.”
Ex-Hendon Mobster Joe Beevers took to his blog to express his ire over Elliot’s exclusions with a blog post with the title, “When is a hall of fame not a hall of fame?” In his blog, Beevers stated that there was a possibility that Elliot’s vote was split with Rogers who is the CEO of Irish Poker Open. Beevers then proceeded to state, “There are zero living non-Americans in the Poker Hall of Fame and the only non-American name I can see in the list (now) of 50 is Edmond Hoyle who was inducted in 1980 (he died in 1769). Sounds like they have a fair system here with no bias whatsoever, right?”
Finally Warren Lush, former head of consumer public relations at Bwin Party took to Facebook and said, “The results of the North American Poker Hall of Fame (once again an insult to the institution) are out,”. Lush then proceed to give a link to the WSOP announcement.
To a certain extent majority of the international poker community has a right to be angered with the poker hall of fame processes. For started while the nomination list is put to a public vote, while the actual voting for the inductees is a bit clouded. In the past, an equal number of media representatives and living hall of famers were allowed to vote, however, for this year’s induction process there are claims that the number was a bit tilted in increasing favor of hall of fame members and less media representatives. Then there is the argument that the number of people on the panels carrying out the induction process is too few and need to be expanded. Again there is the issue of lack of transparency in the entire process which explains the lack of international players in the poker hall of fame.
Bottomline, all these perfectly reasonable arguments need to be addressed quickly by the poker hall of fame.