Seems like there has been more commentary/social media interaction and interest on 2012’s Poker Hall of Fame nominations than year’s past.
While we could debate until we’re blue in the face that last year’s inductees weren’t the right call, we could make a bigger case this year that some potential candidates who are MOST deserving didn’t even make the finalist cut.
There are four carryover noms from last year (Scotty Nguyen, Tom McEvoy, Jennifer Harmon-Traniello, and John Juanda). That means math math math there are six new candidates.
And some major snubs.
So who do we feel are the biggest omissions from the list?
First and foremost, let’s discuss everyone’s amigo, Carlos Mortensen.
Mortensen turned 40 in April, and thus was eligible. Maybe not enough people knew this, and that’s why he did not get a nod. But Mortensen should have been, unquestionably, a first ballot inductee. His credentials blow everyone else out of the water. He’s widely considered to be one of the best (if not the best) live no-limit hold’em players ever. He has over $10M in career earnings. He’s the only player to ever win both the WSOP Main Event and WPT Championship. He’s tied for most WPT titles (3). He was the first person to ever translate the human genome. He ate 89 “nuclear” buffalo wings once in one sitting.
Along with Mortensen, most of the “wait, what?”‘s have been directed towards Huck Seed. Huck was on the finalist list last year (we’re pretty sure–Kevmath confirm?). He’s also a Main Event winner with four total bracelets. He absolutely owned the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship for about five years, eventually winning a title. He’s a skilled mixed game and cash game player. He dates black chicks, so he’s probably hung like Dwyte Pilgrim.
Two other players at least worthy of consideration (more so than who made the ballot, at least): Ted Forrest (was on the list last year) and Humberto Brenes (insufferably annoying, but legitimate tournament record for decades and decent international ambassador).
On the non-player side–three people who have been totally overlooked the past few years: the writers of Rounders (Brian Koppelman and David Levien) and Steve Lipscomb.
Why the snub? Look at last year. Linda Johnson made it into the 2011 Hall of Fame. Sweet lady. Eventually deserving. No personal knock on her at all.
But she mostly made it in on her “contributions to the game” cred. Now, who would you argue did more for the growth of poker: Linda Johnson, or the two people who created what is widely considered the best poker movie ever (Rounders) and the TV show that first really popularized poker in the U.S. (WPT).
So let’s get these guys on the ballot at least next year.
What’s your take? Vote on your biggest snubs below and add your thoughts.
UPDATE: Two more interesting omissions worth consideration after the post went up–neither of which has made a finalist list that we recall: Tony G (Poker News, international growth) and Kathy Liebert (is to tournaments what Jen Harman is to high-stakes cash).