The World Series of Poker (WSOP) has announced the start of a brief window for the poker public to submit nominations for consideration to be the sole 2020 inductee into the Poker Hall of the Fame.
The PHOF’s public-nomination page for 2020 has been opened here, and only one entry per email address is allowed. The public-nomination window will remain open through Friday, December 11, 2020. Oddly, poker players and fans who choose to participate can submit multiple nominees, despite the WSOP’s announcement just two weeks ago that for the first time in 15 years, only one person will be inducted.
While it was always intended as a tool to generate public interest, the public-nomination phase remains largely a show pony, and there was some doubt that it would even be included in the PHOF’s accelerated and compressed 2020 induction schedule. A news release at WSOP.com announcing the 2020 nominations window was rushed online with numerous errors.
As always, the public-nomination results remain non-binding on the rest of the Poker Hall of Fame’s induction process. This year’s updated online nomination page notes:
“All submissions will be tabulated and the top 10 nominations will be reviewed by the Poker Hall of Fame Governing Council.”
However, the Governing Council routinely removes popular public nominees — for example, PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg, on a perennial basis — and replaces them with other poker-world figures.
From there, an official finalist list is created and, this year, per the WSOP, “will include 8-10 individuals.” This year, the vote will be held solely among the 32 living members of the PHOF, with no mention of a poker-media contingent being involved. The 2020 announcement also fails to mention whether each eligible voter will receive 10 separate votes (as in recent previous years), or if this will be a simpler single-vote process in light of the sole-inductee framework of the 2020 process.
The WSOP does note that all eight of last year’s non-elected finalists remain eligible, having not been elected. Those eight are Chris Bjorin, David Chiu, Eli Elezra, Antonio Esfandiari, Chris Ferguson, Ted Forrest, Mike Matusow and Huckleberry Seed. Whoever ends up being selected will be honored in a ceremony associated with the finish of the WSOP’s $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em World Championship in late December.
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