From now through December 11, nominations for the Poker Hall of Fame are open. It was unclear if the WSOP would host the Poker Hall of Fame and induct anyone this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, this year will not be skipped, and someone will be inducted, but who?
Who will be in the 2020 Class?
The open-nomination process is provided to allow worth nominees to be placed on the final ballot. New names will be added this year and those who did not make the cut last year are still eligible. This includes Mike Matusow, Antonio Esfandiari, Huck Seed, David Chiu, Chris Ferguson, Chris Bjorin and Ted Forrest.
The final ballot will be provided on December 16 via an announcement by Caesars Entertainment. The list will be voted on by the living Hall of Fame members. There are currently 32 people on this list. It is unclear as to if media members will be allowed to vote, as they have in the past.
There will only be one inductee in 2020 and they will be revealed as well as awarded with the honor on December 30 when the WSOP Main Event heads-up finale takes place at the Rio.
Many names are floating around the poker community as to who should be nominated. Individuals must meet a certain criteria, be it if they are a player or a nonplayer. For players, they must have played the game against acknowledged top competition. They must also have played at high stakes, and consistently to have gained the respect of fellow players.
For non-players, the individual must have contributed to the overall success and growth of the game, showing lasting results. Nominees must also be at least 40 years old.
It is a non-player that is being suggested for nomination that is all the buzz right now. Isai Scheinberg. As the founder of PokerStars, Scheinberg has never been placed as a finalist, even though he has support in the industry. The reason for this is most likely his connection to Black Friday.
In March of this year, Scheinberg pled guilty to a single count of operating an illegal gambling business. This was done to settle charges with the Department of Justice in the US. Scheinberg had to pay a $30,000 fine and was sentenced to time served.
Scheinberg was the man behind PokerStars for more than a decade and was part of selling the brand to David Baazov and other investors. He has been credited for setting up industry standards via the brand and turning PokerStars into the largest operator in the poker industry.
Daniel Negreanu, a former PokerStars Team Pro, wants to see Scheinberg honored. On Twitter, the poker pro posted that there is one clear person who must be nominated and inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame: Isai Scheinberg.
Negreanu says everyone should ‘do the right thing’ and nominate and vote for Isai.
We shall see in the coming days if everyone listens and just who makes the list as potential inductees for the Poker Hall of Fame in 2020.