September 3 – While the poker world awaits the decision of the World Series of Poker Hall of Fame members and eligible media, opinions are flying about who has the best chance of being elected. The ten nominees can be divided into three categories: good, better and best.
Every player that is nominated for the hall this year is a champion in his or her own right; even so, Linda Johnson, Jennifer Harman and Daniel Negreanu are considered to be the least likely of the group to gain admittance. Johnson and Harman are excellent players and great role models as woman players, but neither has won a bracelet since 2002. Negreanu, though one of the game’s most successful players, has produced a great deal of controversy lately, something that is likely to lose him points in the eyes of the current Hall members.
Dan Harrington, Barry Greenstein, Tom McEvoy and Scotty Nguyen are all great candidates for the Hall. Together they have 14 bracelets, respected training books and $27 million in combined career winnings. If these guys don’t win this year, they are all strong candidates for next year’s Hall.
Although the other seven are wonderful candidates, the two new members selected this year will likely be chosen from a group that includes Chris Ferguson, Erik Seidel and Phil Ivey. Seidel is tied with Ivey for fifth place on the career WSOP bracelet list with eight and has over $10 million in winnings. Ferguson only has five bracelets, but “Jesus” is one of the most recognizable faces in poker. Ivey has the eight bracelets, $13.4 million in career live winnings and $16 million in online winnings in just the last three years.
While a surprise could shake up the voting, the best bets to be in the WSOP Poker Hall of Fame have Seidel edging out Ferguson for one spot while Ivey enters as a landslide winner. Regardless of who joins in 2010, the Hall will be getting two great members.