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A Look at 2014 Poker Hall of Fame Candidates

The nomination process for the 2014 Poker Hall of Fame is currently underway. Fans can login to WSOP.com through August 15 and nominate the player they think meets the hall’s stringent guidelines for induction.

The following are the primary criteria for induction into the Poker Hall of Fame:

A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition

Be a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination

Played for high stakes

Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers

Stood the test of time

Or, for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results.

Each year, several key players rise to the top during the nomination process. Below are three players whom we believe will be at the forefront of any Hall of Fame discussions in the upcoming weeks.

Daniel Negreanu

The “big name pro” that became eligible for the first time in 2014 is six-time bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu. When looking at potential candidates for election in 2014, there are few with a stronger resume than Negreanu.

Since 1997, Negreanu has been a fixture on the tournament circuit. He is #1 on poker’s All-Time Money List with $29.79 million in earnings and has eight years with earnings of $1 million or more.

In addition, Negreanu has won six World Series of Poker bracelets including the 2013 WSOP Asia-Pacific Main Event. He is also a two-time World Poker Tour Champion.

Negreanu’s success has not been limited to the tournament arena. He is also a feared cash game player and has never been afraid to exhibit his skills on televised high stakes games. Several shows either have been built around Negreanu or have relied on his outgoing personality to draw viewers.

Despite his success at the table, Negreanu’s greatest contribution to the game may be his role as ambassador. He is the one pro you can count on for an interview, a sound bite or a TV appearance. In addition, he has always generously given his time to fans and is one of the most popular pro players in the world.

Negreanu is a virtual lock for a nomination this year and could be inducted in his first year of eligibility.

Chad Brown

The poker world suffered a tragic loss earlier this month when Chad Brown lost his battle with cancer. Prior to his passing, he was awarded an honorary World Series of Poker bracelet for his contributions to the game. Following the conclusion of the series, there has been some talk that Brown may receive consideration for the Hall of Fame.

Most of Brown’s success in the game came in the tournament arena. He cashed 38 times at the World Series of Poker, making nine final tables and earning over $1.22 million in prize money. Brown also finished runner-up in the 2007 NBC National Heads-Up Championship.

Despite his illness, Brown remained competitive until the end. He finished second in a preliminary event of the WPT Borgata Poker Open in January and followed that up with a 26th place finish in that series’ Main Event. Brown finished his career with $3.6 million in tournament earnings.

It is understandable that Brown will receive votes towards the Poker Hall of Fame this year, but one has to wonder if his nomination will come because people feel that he is deserving or if their nominations are emotional tributes.

There’s nothing wrong with providing a tribute to Brown for his accomplishments. That was part of what the WSOP was hoping to accomplish with the awarding of the honorary bracelet. However, a spot in the Hall of Fame may not be appropriate when looking at his total body of work.

The best thing to do this year is remember Brown for his contributions to the game and his love for playing. Once the pain of his passing has lessened, we can then look at his career objectively and determine whether he truly deserves a spot in the hall.

Jennifer Harman

Jennifer Harman is the perfect candidate for the Poker Hall of Fame, yet she has fallen short of the required votes the last few years.

Harman is part of the “old guard” of poker. Her career began in the mid-1990’s during a time where the number of dominant female players could be counted on one hand. She established herself as a force in the tournament world at the 2000 World Series of Poker when she won the $5,000 NL 2-7 Lowball Event.

Two years later, she won her second career bracelet in the $5,000 Limit Hold’em Event. At the time, she was the only woman in history with two open-field bracelets. That record stood until this year when Vanessa Selbst won her third career open-field event.

The bulk of Harman’s tournament success came post-Boom. She has over $1 million in WSOP earnings and has appeared at ten final tables. She also has two World Poker Tour final tables and over $950,000 in earnings.

Harman is also one of the most feared high stakes players in history, regularly competing against and beating the best competition in the world. She’s been regularly featured on High Stakes Poker, Poker After Dark and other televised events.

At present, only two women have been inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. While Barbara Enright and Linda Johnson are certainly deserving of nomination, one could argue that Harman has a stronger poker resume.

In addition to her contributions at the table, Harman has served as an inspiration to females around the world looking to get into poker. She proved that women could be successful in poker at a high level and helped usher in the modern era that has produced players such as Vanessa Selbst, Liv Boeree and Melissa Burr.

Nominations for the Poker Hall of Fame will be accepted through August 15. At that time, the Hall of Fame Nominating Committee will narrow the nominees down to a final list of eligible candidates.

The final list of nominees will be announced in September and then forwarded to the panel of voters. The panel consists of the 21 living Hall-of-Famers and select members of the poker media.

The two finalists who receive the most votes will then be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Enshrinement will occur at the November Nine final table of the WSOP Main Event.

 

 

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