Todd Brunson, Carlos Mortensen Enter Poker Hall of Fame
Having narrowed down its original list of 10 nominees to just two, the WSOP announced this morning that Todd Brunson and Carlos Mortensen have officially been selected as the 2016 inductees.
Chris Bjorin, Humberto Brenes, Eli Elezra, Bruno Fitoussi, Chris Moneymaker, Max Pescatori, Matt Savage and David Ulliott were not selected by the 44-member voting panel but will remain eligible for induction in all future votes.
The choices of Brunson and Mortensen are both well earned and marginally surprising as some expected Dave "Devilfish" Ulliott to be selected. The British poker icon and pioneer of the UK poker scene died last year.
“This Game Has Given Me So Many Things"
The exclusion of Ulliott shouldn't dampen the selection of Mortensen, however, who becomes the first European to enter the Hall of Fame. Born in Ecuador and also living in Denmark, Mortensen grew up in Spain but has called Las Vegas home for a long time.
Not only has Mortensen won the WSOP Main Event (2001), he's also won a second WSOP bracelet and 3 WPT titles. All told his live earnings total just uner $12 million.
The most underrated aspect of his prowess, however, might be his cash-game chops as he's been holding his own in Vegas' biggest games for over a decade. He also has an incredible ROI for the small volume of tournaments he's played.
"I have been playing poker professionally for more than 20 years,” Mortensen said. “This game has given me so many things that I have come to cherish.
"I've always wanted to be included among the great players who make up the Poker Hall of Fame. To be included with the legends makes me very happy."
Brunson Family Legacy Continues
If you know poker at all, you know Doyle Brunson - the Godfather of Texas Hold'em poker and as iconic a figure in the game as you can find.
Long a member of the Hall of Fame himself, Brunson now also gets the honor of seeing his son Todd join him - the first Father-Son combination to achieve the feat.
While Todd might be lesser known among casual poker fans he's certainly known in the high-stakes Las Vegas poker world as he's had a seat in the biggest games running for years.
Primarily a Limit specialist Todd was a key cog in the group of pros dubbed "The Coporation," who played Dallas billionaire Andy Beal in a series of high-stakes matches in Las Vegas.
After being down several million to the amateur, The Corporation eventually turned things around and took him for millions. Brunson himself won $13.5 million over a two-day span playing $50,000-$100,00 Limit Hold’em.
Beal reportedly then retired from poker for good but resurfaced in Vegas again last year, where Brunson alone won $5m against him in a heads-up Limit Holdem rematch.
Brunson also has a World Series of Poker bracelet of his own along with 52 WSOP cashes and $4.3m in tournament earnings overall.
"It's a true honor to be inducted by my peers into this prestigious institution,” said Brunson. “I literally grew up attending these ceremonies and have always respected and admired its members. To join their ranks is the honor of a lifetime."
The two newest members will officially be inducted in a live ceremony at Binion's Gambling Hall in Las Vegas on Oct. 26.