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Poker Hall of Fame Nominees Announced

Author: Carolla Published: 27.06.22

11 people can still hope to be inducted this year, including Brian Rast, Mike Matusow, and “ElkY”.

Poker Hall of Fame Nominees Announced

Three New Poker Hall of Fame Nominees on the List

Last Wednesday, the World Series of Poker revealed the list of the 11 people who are on the shortlist to be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. As always, only one person will be selected this year as well.

The criteria to be chosen are the following:

  • The inductee must be at least 40 years of age
  • Must have played at the highest stakes
  • Must have been a consistent, strong player, well-regarded by their peers
  • If the person isn’t a professional poker player but an industry worker, they must have contributed significantly to the growth of the game.

The 32 living members of the Hall of Fame will vote on who will become the 61st member of the illustrious club. Their choice will be revealed on July 10th, along with the WSOP Main Event final table’s line-up.

A Brief Introduction of the 11 Nominees

A collage of all but one of this year's nominees.

So, without further ado, here’s the list of the 11 nominees:

Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier: the French high-stakes pro got his start as an eSport player. Switching to poker, he played at the highest stakes heads-up NLHE tables online. He’s also completed the “triple crown”, meaning he has a WSOP, a WPT, and an EPT title as well.

Brian Rast: a true high roller hailing from Denver, Colorado. He has over $22.7 million in live tournament cashes, including 5 WSOP gold bracelets, and a victory in the $500K Aria Super High Roller Bowl in July 2015 for a whopping $7.525 million. He’s one of the first-time nominees on the list.

Mike Matusow: “the Mouth” can boast 4 WSOP gold bracelets. He also appeared on classic poker TV shows such as Poker After Dark on NBC and High Stakes Poker on The Game Show Network back in the day. In 2013, he won the NBC National Heads-Up Championship.

Josh Arieh: he has a 3rd place finish from the 2004 WSOP Main Event, 4 WSOP victories, as well as a WSOP Player of the Year title from 2021.

Kathy Liebert: the only female nominee on this list is best known for being the first female player to win a 7-figure cash when she took down a PartyPoker Million event in 2002. She has 1 WSOP gold bracelet and over $6.5 million in live tournament cashes.

Michael Mizrachi: he’s a 5-time WSOP gold bracelet winner. Even more impressively, he won the Chip Reese Trophy for the $50,000 WSOP Poker Players Championship an unprecedented 3 times. The $50K PPC is the biggest mixed game event every year.

Layne Flack: sadly, he’s a posthumous nominee. The 6-time WSOP champion poker pro from South Dakota passed away at age 52 last year. 

Lon McEachern & Norman Chad: the iconic commentators are nominated as a duo. They started calling WSOP events for ESPN’s coverage in 2003. They started just in time to do commentary for Chris Moneymaker’s historic 2003 WSOP Main Event win that changed the world of poker.

Isai Scheinberg: he’s one of the co-founders of PokerStars. The major online poker room started in 2001, and was the market leader for over a decade. He also oversaw the buyout of the stranded Full Tilt players’ balances after the ill-fated other poker site shut down during the Black Friday events.

Matt Savage: arguably the most influential tournament director in the history of poker. He worked for both of the two biggest tournament series out there, the World Poker Tour and the World Series of Poker as well. 

Last year, 4-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Eli Elezra from Israel got to be inducted.

A Brief History of the Poker Hall of Fame

This institution started in 1979. 7 players were inducted in the inaugural year, then one new addition was introduced every year since 1980. As we wrote above, 60 players have been inducted so far, 32 of them are still alive who vote on who gets to be the next member.

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