The annual Poker Hall of Fame has just announced its list of finalists and this year the UK’s Dave Ulliott looks to be one of the early betting favorites.
Following public nominations and an internal vetting process, the WSOP announced a total of ten players who will now go before an expert panel tasked with choosing 2016’s two HOF entrants.
Among the candidates for this year’s HOF are six returning finalists, one former nominee and three newbies.
Chris Bjorin, Bruno Fitoussi, Humberto Brenes, Carlos Mortensen, Max Pescatori, Matt Savage and Ulliott have all been nominated in past while Todd Brunson, Eli Elezra and Chris Moneymaker, are all new to the game.
Of course, previous form in the HOF process doesn’t have an impact on how a player performs in the latest round of voting, but one player who stands out from the crowd is Ulliott.
The British pro sadly passed away in April of 2015 and many thought he should have been named as one of last year’s HOF entrants.
Unfortunately for Ulliott’s fans, Jennifer Harman and John Juanda clinched the two open spots, but this time around there should be a lot more love for Mr. Ulliott.
As well as banking more than $6.2 million in live tournament winnings, Ulliott was one of the original poker stars and captivated fans and players alike with his antics.
Never one to shy away from a confrontation or a guitar, Ulliott was easily one of the biggest personalities in the game before his untimely death.
However, he wasn’t simply a man who had the power to entertain the masses. Ulliott was also a highly skilled player and often played in many of the biggest games Las Vegas had to offer both before and after the poker boom.
Under the WSOP’s entry requirements, Ulliott appears to be a prime candidate for inclusion this year.
Of course, everyone on the current list is more than worthy of place in the poker HOF, but with Ulliott unable to add to his already impressive record, it seems a place among the game’s greats would be a fitting end to his career.
If Ulliott is leading the way for one of the places in the class of 2016 then who else could join him?
Moneymaker is certainly a hugely important figure in the industry, but with many years ahead of him it could be too early to put him in this year.
Senior figures like Savage, Elezra and Mortensen could certainly capture the nostalgic vote, while the likes of Pescatori and Fitoussi will be hits with the Europeans.
There’s no doubt the panel of media experts and current Hall of Famers have a tough job this year so we’ll have to wait until November 10 to see which players will etch their names in poker’s history books.