I’ve been neglecting my blog lately because of vacation and traveling. I’ll try to do better and I now feel like a new man. The truth of the matter is I loved my time in Montana and I plan on spending more time there each year. I also traveled to Abilene, Texas for my 60 year high school reunion. Over 75% of the living members showed up from all across the nation. We recalled a lot of old memories. That trip was ruined by the news that Pete Popovich died having a heart procedure. Pete was one of the good guys and will be missed.
It’s going to be time to induct two more members in the Poker Hall of Fame next month. I’m primarily a cash game player and perhaps I put too much emphasis on the cash games but I don’t see how it can’t be the most important landmark. I consider all of the nominees to be friends and for what it’s worth, here are my thoughts.
The criteria for being in the hall are simple. (a) A player must have played against top competition. (b) Played for high stakes. (c) Played consistently well, gaining the respect of their peers. (d) Stood the test of time. (e) Contributed to the overall growth and success to the game of poker.
The nominees in alphabetical order are:
(1) Chris Ferguson. Chris is a worthy candidate even though he doesn’t meet (a) and (b) of the criteria. Even though he hasn’t played much outside tournaments, he is so strong in the other three he has to be considered. Probably not yet though.
(2) Barry Greenstein..You can’t find a criteria Barry doesn’t meet. If not this year, next year for sure.
(3) Jennifer Harman-Traniello..Jen also meets all the requirements. I’ve always considered her to be the all-time best female player. However, her sex doesn’t matter here and she will probably need a few more years before she goes in.
(4) Dan Harrington…My only problem with Dan is I don’t remember him playing in any high-limit cash games. Well respected however.
(5) Phil Ivey….Who?
(6) Linda Johnson…Aptly known as the First Lady of Poker. Loved by everyone but probably isn’t a strong candidate this year.
(7) Tom McEvoy…Tom’s name keeps getting on the ballot every year so that means he is a strong candidate. While he didn’t play in the real high stake cash games, he paid his dues in the mid stake games.
(8) Daniel Negreanu. It’s only a matter of time for Daniel. He meets the criteria but probably is going to have to wait until he is a little older.
(9) Scotty Nguyen…Scotty needs to live up to his nickname, “The Prince of Poker” He meets all 5 criteria but is going to have to wait until his behavior in his $50K win in the Horse tournament fades from people’s memory.
(10) Erik Seidel…I gave almost all of my votes to Erik. Most people don’t remember his cash game play but he was in all of the games in his early career. He meets all the requirements and his exemplary conduct deserves a special accolade. He reminds me of Chip Reese.
So who is it going to be? If Seidel isn’t one of the inductees, I’ll be very surprised. I think the 2nd will be Greenstein or Ivey. I feel it should be Barry but if Phil is the one, I’ll have no objection even though I feel he should wait until he is older.