Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 Five International Players That Belong in the Poker Hall of Fame
Photo: Thor Hansen, the Godfather of Norwegian Poker
The Poker Hall of Fame annually inducts those considered to be among the all-time greats in poker. For the most part, the inductions tend to be American players.
And while that is entirely understandable, it deprives some well deserving international players the greatest honor in the game.
Here are who we feel are the five best international players not currently in the Hall of Fame.
When thinking of successful international poker players, there are few players that have been as consistent over the years as Chris Bjorin.
The Swedish-born Bjorin, now based in London, has won over $100,000 a year in poker tournaments in 17 out of the past 20 years and the last 12 years straight.
He has two WSOP bracelets and has cashed seven times in the WSOP Main Event. He also made the final table of the 2009 WSOP Europe Main Event.
Holding poker titles from around the world, Bjorin has won over $5 million in poker tournaments for his career.
Few players in poker are more respected than "The Silver Fox." An Australian now also living in London, Judah is probably best known by casual fans for finishing in 3rd place in the 1997 WSOP Main Event - the year of Stu Ungar's record third Main Event title.
The former hairdresser has two WSOP bracelets, both in Seven Card Stud. While considered a stud specialist, Judah does also hold a WPT title for taking down the 2003 Legends of Poker event for $579,375.
To date, Judah has $3.28 million in poker tournament earnings.
Humberto Brenes (and his shark)
One of the more colorful characters in poker, there is definitely more to this popular Costa Rican player than his trademark light-up shark. Humberto has been playing poker tournaments since the 70s and started playing them professionally in the late 80s
He won two WSOP bracelets in 1993 and has cashed 61 times at the World Series of Poker. Among those are eight cashes in the WSOP Main Event, which puts him 3rd on the all-time list.
Among his long list of accomplishments is a victory in 2002 at the Jack Binion World Poker Open when he beat Erik Seidel heads-up for $502,000. Humberto's best WPT finish was a 2nd-place finish at the 2004 World Poker Tour Championship.
For his career, Humberto has $5.95 million in lifetime earnings and is among the most beloved and respected players in the game.
The Godfather of Norwegian poker is another player who has to have a spot in the Hall of Fame.
The two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner has been a force in the game since the late 80s when he won his first bracelet at the 1988 WSOP in Seven Card Stud. He has 46 cashes at the WSOP, including an 8th-place finish in the 2007 $50,000 HORSE Championship.
Hansen has won numerous smaller event titles around the world and was named as the first Norwegian Poker Player of the Year in 2005. Known as one of the nicest men in the game, Hansen has won over $2.9 million in poker tournaments and is eveb more legendary in cash games.
Depending on how long you 've been in poker will determine in what capacity you know Duthie. Many know Duthie as the founder and former CEO of the European Poker Tour.
Duthie helped the tour grow into the largest poker tournament series in Europe, doing everything from securing TV deals to even serving as commentator. However, Duthie has been a dominating force at the poker tables as well.
He put himself on the map after winning the Poker Million in 2000 for £1 million and has had numerous strong finishes since that point.
In 2009, Duthie finished 2nd in the $10,000 Heads-Up Event at the World Series of Poker. He followed that up with an 11th-place finish in 2011 in the $25,000 Heads-Up Championship at the WSOP. For his career, he has $2.77 million in tournament earnings.
Combine both his prowess at the table and his contribution to the international game and Duthie should be lock for Hall of Fame induction.