Poker Hall of Fame Thoughts
I listened to an interview earlier this evening where Barry Greenstein discussed the Poker Hall of Fame and who deserved to make it in. He stated that he would vote Phil Ivey and Mike Sexton into the Hall of Fame. Greenstein also stated his case for Sexton's induction. His case was great, but I thought I would give some of my thoughts on the nine candidates up for election:
Barry Greenstein - Barry is a phenomenal player both in cash games and in tournaments. If based strictly on cash games, then he should be in. However, he only started playing tourneys in 2003. I am not adverse to him being in the Hall of Fame, just let him get some more big wins under his belt.
Dan Harrington - Dan is one of those players where I really would like to see him in the Hall of Fame due to certain outstanding accomplishments, but in reality, he doesn't deserve to be in. A tournament Hall of Fame, absolutely. Would I like to see him in? Sure. Does he deserve it based on the criteria? Not really in my opinion.
Phil Ivey - I feel that out of the nine finalists, Ivey deserves to be in the Hall of Fame the most. There really isn't any other player that is as regularly feared in all aspects of the game than Ivey. Ivey has been playing 15 years and has accomplished more than most players do in their lifetime. He is simply the greatest ever in my book. Of course, I am a bit biased, and I admit it. However, remember that even Greenstein said he would vote him in.
Tom McEvoy - If we consider Tom based solely on his poker play, he doesn't get in. Yes, he has some great accomplishments, but not nearly enough in my opinion. However, if we consider the wealth of knowledge he has contributed as an author and combine it with his play, I think he should eventually be inducted. With that being said, not this year.
Men Nguyen - If poker was solely tournaments, then Men should be in the Hall of Fame. Besides T.J. Cloutier, there isn't anyone that has won more tournaments than Men and he is going strong still today. However, what does he really do outside of tournaments. Also, there are parts of his past involving tournaments and poker that are not exactly becoming of this player. If those can stay buried, then I think he gets in eventually, but not this year.
Scotty Nguyen - Scotty is a fantastic player but he is only a tournament player. He has some major wins, but I personally don't think that he has enough of a resume to deserve enshrinement in the Hall of Fame. If there is a poker tournament Hall of Fame, then maybe.
Daniel Negreanu - Daniel is one of those that I look at and in my head, I know he has stats and results that many would consider worthy, but at the same time, I don't feel he has enough experience to be truly considered. In 10 years, if Negreanu is a legitimate force in the game, then put him in. He isn't Phil Ivey, that is for sure.
Erik Seidel - Erik Seidel has been successful at every level in poker. In addition, he has eight bracelets. Nobody on this list equals him. Ivey is getting there, but Seidel has been consistently good for many years. Personally, I think Seidel most closely fits the criteria for Hall of Fame enshrinement. He should get in this year in my opinion.
Mike Sexton - I did not see Mike Sexton back in the old days of poker as I was not involved during that time frame. As a result, I cannot comment on what Barry has said. Does Mike deserve to be in the Hall of Fame based on his playing ability? No. Has he "contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results?" Absolutely. And that is just in the last few years. Personally, would I vote Mike in this year? No. My reason is that there are too many players that are there that are deserving. Put Ivey and Seidel in and let Sexton headline a year that doesn't have many superstar poker names being considered. Within the next two to three years he is almost certain to get in.
Let me know what you think.