The World Series of Poker (WSOP) closed its list of fan nominations for the 2021 Poker Hall of Fame (PHoF) on Oct 14. Fans had to fill in an online form and send in their nominations for the 2021 PHoF.
The WSOP used to induct 2 individuals each year into the PHoF and has so far inducted 59 individuals so far. The WSOP decided to cut down the number of inductees from 2 to 1 from 2021 as the WSOP wanted to be more selective of who it inducts into the PHoF.
Based on the nominations that came in and the top 10 that made the shortlist, most of the nominees are the same names that were on the 2020 PHoF nominee list.
The names that appeared on the 2020 shortlist but not on the 2021 shortlist are Norman Chad, Lon McEachern and Patrik Antonius.
The top 10 nominees for this year’s PHoF are Ted Forrest, Michael Mizrachi, Chris Ferguson, Layne Flack, Antonio Esfandiari, Bertrand Grospellier, Eli Elezra, Layne Flack, Mike Matusow, Isai Scheinberg and Matt Savage.
Who Will Be The 60th Inductee?
Two of the names on the list are not players but personalities who have done a lot for the game of poker. Isai Scheinberg founded PokerStars and can take a lot of credit for boosting online poker worldwide. Matt Savage is another one who has done great things for live real money poker. The WPT executive director is not a poker player but is still on the nomination list for his contributions to the game.
However, we don’t think the poker community will be very accepting of a non-player joining the 2021 PHoF. The 60th inductee into the PHoF will most likely be a poker player. While there are eight poker players on the list, we think only three of them are in with a strong chance to be the next inductee.
Antonio Esfandiari: he hasn’t won any big poker tournaments of late as he does not play poker a lot these days. However, he has over $27.8 million in prize money, two WPT titles and is the winner of the 2012 WSOP Big One for One Drop.
Michael Mizrachi: He has won the WSOP $50,000 Poker Players Championship on three occasions, has over $17.3 million in live poker winnings, 2 WPT titles and 2 WSOP titles.
Chris Ferguson: still has a bad reputation with some of the poker community due to his ties with Black Friday. However, Ferguson has over $9.5 million in winnings and is the winner of the WSOP POY in 2017.