The Poker Hall of Fame was initiated in 1979 by Benny Binion, the owner of Horseshoe Casino and the same name behind the prestigious World Series of Poker (WSOP). The whole idea was to preserve the legacies and names of the world’s greatest poker players, those who have contributed to the growth of the game over the years.
As for 2018, 56 members existed in the Poker Hall of Fame, with two candidates being added each year through a strict selection process. Last year, it was John Hennigan and Mori Eskandani who joined this elite club and now, we have two more entries from the Poker Hall of Fame Class of 2019.
A couple of weeks back, ten nominees were announced, and the winners turned out to be Chris Moneymaker and David Oppenheim, both high-profile names in the industry. 16 years ago, Moneymaker was responsible for the biggest boom of poker in USA and across the world, when he won the 2003 WSOP Main Event and revolutionized the industry.
As for Oppenheim, he’s a high-stakes cash game legend who is considered as one of the most feared in the industry, including by Daniel Negreanu, who is also a member of the Poker Hall of Fame. Oppenheim also has around $1.9 million in career live tournament cashes. There were questions regarding the inclusion of Moneymaker because he only managed around $1.2 million in live cashes after that memorable 2003 ME victory, where he won $2.5 million.
Considering Moneymaker hasn’t played high stakes for years, he was an unsure entrant. However, he has contributed to the overall growth of the game and now, he is a poker Hall of Famer. Other nominees who didn’t make the cut were Chris Ferguson, David Chiu, Mike Matusow, Chris Bjorin, Eli Elezra, Antonio Esfandiari, Ted Forrest and Huckleberry Seed.
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