2023 Poker Hall of Fame Nominations Open; Rast, Scheinberg, Savage Frontrunners?

2023 poker hof

You — yes, YOU — can have a say on which individual will become the 2023 Poker Hall of Fame inductee.

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is now accepting fan nominations through June 18 on the WSOP.com site. Fans can select anyone who meets the strict criteria, which includes first and foremost, being 40 years of age or older. For non-players, the selection must have contributed in a significant way to the growth of the game.

Isai Scheinberg, the founder of PokerStars, and Matt Savage, a long-time Executive Tour Director for the World Poker Tour (WPT), are prime examples of those who are often considered under the "contributor" category.

For players, the prerequisites are to have played consistently well at the high-stakes level and stood the test of time. Winning bracelets, dominating high-stakes cash games, and racking up Hendon Mob stats are among the different factors fans should take into consideration when making their selection.

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Many poker fans have debated this ad nauseam, but only one individual — player or contributor — is selected each year as of 2020, and the WSOP has no plans to change that rule. So fans and eventually the final voting panel must compare apples to oranges when choosing if a player or an industry person/non-player is most deserving this year.

Speaking of that final voting panel, once the fan nominations are in, the top 10 selections will be sent to the 32 living members of the PHoF to vote on a 2023 inductee. The late Layne Flack, a six-time WSOP bracelet winner, was chosen by his peers last year.

Who Will Join Layne Flack in the Poker Hall of Fame?

Layne Flack Poker HOF Induction

"Back to Back" Flack, who passed away in 2021, beat out the following nine other nominees to become the 61st member of the Poker Hall of Fame.

  • Josh Arieh
  • Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier
  • Kathy Liebert
  • Mike Matusow
  • Lon McEachern & Norman Chad
  • Michael Mizrachi
  • Brian Rast
  • Matt Savage
  • Isai Scheinberg

There are some other names who didn't make the list of fan nominations last year worthy of consideration, including but not limited to Anthony Zinno, Antonio Esfandiari, Ted Forrest, and Jeremy Ausmus. As for those who just became eligible this year, one name that might get some consideration is Steve O'Dwyer, who ranks 12th all-time on the Hendon Mob list with $36.7 million in live tournament cashes.

Who are the Favorites?

Matt Savage poker
Matt Savage

It's difficult to determine who the favorites are because the competition is stiff. But there are a few individuals who have been nominated multiple times, including Savage, who has come close seven of the past eight years.

Savage, who has played an instrumental role in creating uniform tournament rules, is open about how much he wants to reach the Poker Hall of Fame. Rast, a five-time bracelet winner, also openly argues that he is the most deserving candidate. In a 2021 interview with PokerNews, the high roller who became eligible last year said, "if people vote fairly next year, I think I’ll make it in,"

Scheinberg is another name who has been strongly considered as he played an integral role in the growth of online poker. Daniel Negreanu has, on multiple occasions, publicly lobbied for Scheinberg's induction.

Matusow also has received some public support. "The Mouth" is a four-time bracelet winner and was one of the top poker players in the world during the 2000s, which is often forgotten among the younger generation of fans.

With only one selection permitted, it won't be easy for fans and the current members of the HOF to make a selection. But there's going to be a huge backlog of deserving superstars soon as legends of the game such as Tom Dwan, Scott Seiver, Justin Bonomo, Jason Mercier, Jason Koon, and many others become eligible over the next few years.

The 61 Current Members of the Poker Hall of Fame

Tom Abdo1982Barry Greenstein2011Johnny Moss1979
Crandell Addington2005Jennifer Harman2015Daniel Negreanu2014
Bobby Baldwin2003Dan Harrington2010Scotty Nguyen2013
Billy Baxter2006Murph Harrold1984David Oppenheim2019
Lyle Berman2002Phil Hellmuth2007Henry Orenstein2008
Joe Bernstein1983John Hennigan2018Walter "Puggy" Pearson1987
Benny Binion1990James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok1979Julius Oral Popwell1996
Jack Binion2005Red Hodges1985Thomas Austin "Amarillo Slim" Preston1992
Bill Boyd1981Edmond Hoyle1979David "Chip" Reese1991
Doyle Brunson1988Phil Ivey2017Brian "Sailor" Roberts2012
Todd Brunson2016Linda Johnson2011Huck Seed2020
Johnny Chan2002Berry Johnston2004Erik Seidel2010
T.J. Cloutier2006John Juanda2015Mike Sexton2009
Nick Dandolos1979Jack Keller1993Jack "Treetop" Straus1988
Eric Drache2012Jack McClelland2014Dewey Tomko2008
Barbara Enright2007Felton McCorquodale1979David "Devilfish" Ulliott2017
Mori Eskandani2018Tom McEvoy2013Stu Ungar2001
Fred "Sarge" Ferris1989Chris Moneymaker2019Red Winn1979
Henry Green1986Roger Moore1997Sid Wyman1979
T "Blondie" Forbes1980Carlos Mortensen2016Eli Elezra2021
  • Find out who is up for 2023 Poker Hall of Fame.

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