WSOP Announces Poker Hall of Fame Finalists

After almost two weeks of nominations, the Poker Hall of Fame finalists for 2020 have been named. The top ten will be reviewed by living members of the hall of fame and will be voted on, with one person moving forward as the 2020 class inductee. Since this has been a difficult year for poker, it was assumed that the class would be skipped this year. However, the WSOP decided to go ahead with the process, just as they did with the Main Event.

Who Made the Cut?

Several people were nominated by the public to be considered for the Poker Hall of Fame. However, only 10 will be considered by the members. The list includes the following:

Patrick Antonius

Huckleberry Seed

Lon McEachern/Norman Chad

Isai Scheinberg

Eli Elezra

Matt Savage

Antonio Esfandiari

Mike Matusow

Chris Ferguson

Ted Forrest

When looking at the list, you may notice that McEachern and Chad are listed together. These two are considered a duo and were nominated for their contributions to the broadcasts of WSOP events on ESPN. The two play well off of each other and certainly make listening to commentary on tournaments interesting.

A new name to the list and also just as interesting is Isai Scheinberg. The founder of PokerStars was nominated by several pros publicly due to his overall contribution to the world of Poker. Daniel Negreanu is one such pro who pushed for Scheinberg to make the list of contenders.

The community nominated him for several reasons. First, he founded PokerStars almost two decades ago. He helped to push online poker to new heights for many years. The online poker room continued to operate in the US year after year and was eventually affected by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

Even though the site was shut down in 2011 by federal authorities, and Scheinberg was charged with money laundering, bank fraud and being in violation of the UIGEA, years later he still helped players to be paid what they were owed due to the infamous Black Friday seizure.

Eventually, Scheinberg plead guilty to operating an online poker site and was given a $30,000 fine this year. He did not have to serve any prison time for his actions.

Many players are in favor of Scheinberg being inducted into the hall of fame, while some have a different opinion. Take Doyle Brunson for instance. One of the more seasoned veterans, Brunson commented on Scheinberg and asked why he should be voted for, stating all he did was make a billion off of poker players.

Determining a Winner

Now that the list is complete, the votes will be tallied and a winner named. The Poker Hall of Fame usually inducts more than one person each year, but for 2020, there will only be one new member. The inductee will be announced on December 30 before the WSOP Main Event finale begins at the Rio.

Usually, a big ceremony event would take place to recognize the winner. However, this year is a bit different. There will not be a big event with everyone onsite. The winner will be recognized and congratulated, with a ceremony possibly taking place at a later date next year.


Our in-house expert for all things regulation, Jackson covers all major recent developments across US states relating to gambling laws & legislation.