This year’s nominees are Chris Björin, David Chiu, Eric Drache, Thor Hansen, George Hardie, Jennifer Harman-Traniello, John Juanda, Tom McEvoy, Scotty Nguyen, and Brian "Sailor" Roberts.
The ballots have yet to be sent out -- that will happen next week -- but I’m assuming things will go similarly to previous years. I’ll have 10 points which I’ll be allowed to distributed among one, two, or three nominees. (Voting for none at all is an option, too, although I can promise I won’t be doing that.) Once the votes are collected, the points will be tallied and the top two point-getters will be inducted.
For a rundown of the nominees and a little info about each, check my post over on Betfair poker this morning titled “New Names Among 2012 Poker Hall of Fame Nominees.”
I had a few initial impressions when the list was announced earlier this week. One was the fact that McEvoy and Nguyen have both been named as finalists for the last four years (i.e., ever since the voting process was first introduced). Unlike other finalists who’ve appeared, were not voted in, and then dropped, these two have had support in the past and may well be favorites to get in this time around.
Among the other things that stood out as I intially perused the list was the fact that six of the nominees this year hadn’t been named before. That five of the 10 were born outside the U.S. (Björin, Chiu, Hansen, Juanda, Nguyen). And that Annie Duke, Marcel Luske, Jack McClelland, and Huck Seed failed to get back on the ballot this time after being finalists and not getting voted in last year.
I wasn’t surprised to see Eric Drache’s name included, as I’ve heard several voice support of his candidacy before thanks to his contributions as a tourney director at the WSOP and introduction of the satellite system.
Can’t say I expected to see George Hardie’s name on the ballot, although it wasn’t out-of-nowhere. He started and ran the Bicycle Club in the 1980s and was part of the California poker scene’s huge growth during that era, although subsequently ran into all sorts of legal problems in the 1990s and eventually left the Bicycle after the U.S. government took the place over. (Here’s something from Poker Player Newspaper about Hardie from a short while ago arguing the case for his importance to poker’s history.)
The late “Sailor” Roberts appears on the ballot thanks to having been suggested by a living Poker Hall of Famer -- that is, he’s a “write-in” candidate rather than one nominated by the public via the WSOP website. As one of the famed “Texas Rounders” along with Doyle Brunson and “Amarillo Slim” Preston -- not to mention having won the WSOP Main Event in 1975 -- Roberts is certainly deserving of the nomination, although I wonder if those voting will consider him worthy enough to take points away from other candidates.
I don’t take this responsibility lightly, and so as before I will be committing a lot of study and thought before deciding how to vote. Thankfully I will have until the end of September to make my decision.
How would you distribute your 10 points among one, two, or three of these candidates?