Monday, September 19, 2016

Panels and Processes

Was reading this curious article earlier today by someone who had been part of the group of “poker media” who voted for the Poker Hall of Fame in which he says he’s giving up his spot on the panel.

The author is from the United Kingdom, and after talking about how he generally doesn’t vote (e.g., he passed on Brexit), he’s giving up voting for the PHOF, too, because he doesn’t feel informed enough about the nominees to be able to vote in a way that wouldn’t be overly biased toward his personal, limited experience.

In his case, he says, he’d cast all 10 of his available points for Dave “Devilfish” Ulliott, mainly because of having met him early in his poker writing career and having a personal liking for him.

While he says “a Hall of Fame means jack diddly squat to me,” he also notes how he’d felt honored to be part of the PHOF voting process. But he’s giving that up, mainly because of that feeling he’s not quite qualified to assess the nominees adequately, while also adding some doubts about the process by which the nominees are selected (which might have discouraged him further).

I suppose it’s a good move for the fellow to step away and let someone else who cares more about it all to get involved. Kind of weird how it comes off as vaguely suggesting some kind of criticism of the process, but I don’t think that’s the intention.

I’ve mentioned here before how I used to be part of that group of “poker media” who voted for the PHOF. The votes come both from the writers and from living Poker Hall of Famers, and from 2010 through 2013 I spent a lot of hours each fall going through the nominees and deciding how to fill out my ballots.

Before the 2014 vote I had switched email accounts and missed a note regarding that year’s PHOF, and as a result ended up not being part of the voting process anymore. In other words, I think my losing my spot was mostly inadvertent, although I did talk with the WSOP then and learned how they were interested in getting more Europeans involved in the voting, which made sense to me.

I also feel like it is good for the panel to have at least some turnover as a general principle -- after all, “poker media” has a lot of people coming and going constantly, and thus isn’t necessarily represented so well if the exact same people are involved every single year.

I wouldn’t have given up my spot as a PHOF voter willingly. I have too much interest in the game and history of poker, and I always felt like my vote was well informed and a positive contribution to the process.

But as I say I didn’t mind letting others get in there and have a crack at it, too -- if they wanted to, that is.

Image: “Personal preference,” Kevin Dooley. CC BY 2.0.

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