Phil Ivey Leads An All-Star Cast in WSOP Hall of Fame Finale

July 10th, 2017 | by Jason Reynolds

The World Series of Poker’s (WSOP) annual Poker Hall (HOF) of Fame nomination process is complete and this year we could see Phil Ivey finally make the grade.

Phil Ivey WSOP Hall of Fame.

Phil Ivey is one of the finalists in the 2017 WSOP Poker Hall of Fame voting process. (Image: WSOP.com)

In a bid to find the players or industry members worthy of a place in the HOF, the WSOP asked the poker public to nominate one player based on the following criteria:

The player must have played against acknowledged top competition.

Nominees must be at least of 40-years-old.

Anyone nominated must have played for high stakes and at a level to earn the respect of their peers.

Players must also have stood the test of time.

For non-players, nominees must have contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results.

Top Players Make the Grade

The public nominations got underway in June and the final results were calculated and published on July 9. Reading through the shortlist of ten players and industry members (below), only two of them, Phil Ivey and Mori Eskandani, are first-time nominees.

The other players on the list have all appeared before, including Matt Savage, Max Pescatori and Dave Ulliott who were all finalists in 2016:

David Chiu

Mori Eskandani

Ted Forrest

Thor Hansen

Phil Ivey

Mike Matusow

Max Pescatori

Matt Savage

Huckleberry Seed

Dave Ulliott

Of those on the list, many will look to Ivey as one of the hot favorites. Often referred to as a prodigious talent in the same way Stu Ungar was (he was inducted in 2001), Ivey has all necessary attributes to be inducted.

As well as earning just short of $24 million in live tournaments and winning 10 WSOP bracelets, Ivey has the respect of his peers.

A constant fixture in the highest stakes cash games in the world for the best part of a decade, many consider Ivey to be the best all-round player in the game.

Who Will Become One of the Dynamic Duo?

If Ivey is a lock for one of the spots this year, it will be a close fought contest for the other place. Each of the candidates has enjoyed success on a personal level and contributed to the overall development of the game.

The final decision will be the result of a private vote between the 27 surviving members of the WSOP HOF as well as a panel of 18 media members. Each member of the panel will vote for the two players they believe are worthy of a place in the WSOP HOF.

The two players with the most votes will then be inducted in a special ceremony on July 21 inside the Rio, Las Vegas.  In fact, the induction ceremony will form part of the ESPN’s live coverage of the WSOP Main Event which kicked off on July 8.

Day 1A of the Main Event attracted 795 players, which was 31 more than in 2014 but someway short of the recent high of 1,297 that joined the action in 2008. However, as has been the case in other WSOP events this summer, players turned out in force on Day 1B.

When the final count was in, 2,164 players paid the $10,000, making it the highest number of Day 1B entrants for almost a decade. With Day 1C promising yet another big turnout, we could see the 2017 WSOP Main Event become one of the most attended in recent history.

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