Matt Savage has been around poker for more than 25 years. He has been a poker dealer, a tournament director and, on occasion, a poker player. While his talents at the felt may not be strong, his behind-the-scenes abilities are unquestionable. Now that public nominations are being accepted for the Poker Hall of Fame (PHOF), Savage is hoping to be inducted, and has turned to social media to support his cause.
Savage took to Facebook last week, posting, “Hello Facebook friends, the 2018 Poker Hall of Fame nominations are up again. I have been nominated 4 times and the last 3 years in a row as a contributor not as a player obviously. I would appreciate your nomination vote this year more than any other for a couple reasons, one because I’m turning the big 5-0 and one being personal.” Several followers posted responses to his comment. One said, “3 years and still not in?? Shoulda been a 1st ballot Hall of Famer.” Another chimed in, saying, “No one, I dare them, can name someone else in the industry that can do, or has done, what he’s doing. Must be in HOF.”
It may be surprising to many that Savage hasn’t already been selected for the PHOF. He’s come close, having been nominated four times in the past, but has never made the final cut. As the executive tour director for the WPT, the tournament director for the Bay 101 and Commerce casinos in California and a founder of the Tournament Directors Association (TDA), he certainly meets the nomination requirements.
According to the PHOF nomination criteria, non-players who “contributed to overall growth and success of the game (with indelible, positive, lasting results)” can be nominated. His accomplishments have certainly helped advance the game and some could argue that he’s done more than Edmund Hoyle who was inducted in 1979 for a rulebook he wrote 250 years earlier (the rulebook was subsequently superseded in 1864).
There are currently 54 members in the PHOF; the most recent addition were Phil Ivey and David Ulliott, who were inducted in 2017. It would be a little surprising if Savage, due to his long and highly productive career that has done a great deal to advance poker, did not make it in this time around.