Doyle Brunson has become quite open in his blogs and tweets over the past year or so, which is great for poker, in my opinion. Being privy to his opinions on issues gives the poker community a perspective from one who’s been in the game longer than most. His latest “deep thoughts” pertain to the Poker Hall of Fame, as his membership in the elite club garners him a chance to vote on this year’s list of nominees.
He pulls no punches, noting in his latest blog post that Mike Sexton is his top pick, and he also likes Tom McEvoy, Erik Seidel, Scotty Nguyen, and Barry Greenstein. Interesting that he notes he’s admired Men the Master’s “work ethic” for years without any mention of numerous and widespread allegations of him cheating in live games.
With Doyle ready to make his picks, his thoughts likely echo many of the other Hall of Fame voters. See below for specifics:
Remember, these are my thoughts. If you donâ€™t agree with me, please donâ€™t start a civil war about it.
The criteria for selection is:
(1) Must have played against top competition.
(2) Played for high stakes.
(3) Played consistently well, gaining respect of their peers.
(4) Stood the test of time.
(5) Contributed to the overall growth and success of poker with positive and lasting results.
Here are the players in alphabetical order and my opinions about each one.
(1) Tom Dwan â€“ Itâ€™s really an honor for Tom to be a nominee at the age of 22. Obviously, he canâ€™t meet the criteria that are listed. I think he is a fine player and barring something unforeseen, his picture will be on the wall someday.
(2) Barry Greenstein â€“ Barry meets all the requirements. I think he was a much better choice when he was a cash game player only. He is in my top 3 or 4 choices.
(3) Dan Harrington â€“ â€œAction Danâ€ as he is known would be a good representative of the poker world. He has a lot of interests outside poker, which will go against him.
(4) Phil Ivey â€“ This is where Iâ€™ll get a lot of heat, because I think the Halls of Fame for any sport is for players whose careers have more to look back at than look forward to. Phil isnâ€™t even at the height of his career yet but is a 100% cinch to be inducted soon. Iâ€™ve got a feeling Iâ€™m going to lose this argument which is OK if I do.
(5) Tom McEvoy â€“ Tom is a long time ambassador of poker and is one of the old guys that I favor. I understand that playing for high stakes is different for everybody. You have to be a little bit crazy to play the stakes some of us play for, but Tom has put his time in at the tables.
(6) Men Nguyen â€“ Iâ€™ve admired Menâ€™s work ethic for years. Nobody has played and supported tournaments as much as Men. He has several player of the year awards as proof of that.
(7) Scotty Nguyen â€“ Anybody that is called â€œThe Prince of Pokerâ€ has to be a viable candidate. He is one of the best all-around players and he certainly meets the criteria well.
(8) Daniel Negreanu â€“ What can I say here? go back and read what I said about Phil Ivey and pretend itâ€™s here. Daniel is my choice to outlast any of the â€œyoung gunsâ€ people keep talking about Daniel and Phil both meet all 5 criteria.
(9) Eric Seidel â€“ Eric is definitely one of my top choices. I think he is the consummate gambler. Besides being a great player, he has the best all-around disposition of anyone. He reminds me of Chip Reese, which is the highest compliment I can pay anyone.
(10) Mike Sexton â€“ In my opinion, here is the #1 choice. Mike paid his dues at the table for years, gambled as high as his bankroll allowed and meets all the requirements for induction. Mostly, go back and read #5 in the criteria. Nobody and I mean nobody has contributed more to the success of poker than Mike Sexton. If he isnâ€™t one of the people selected, something is wrong. I know of 3 votes from the living members at the HOF that Mike will get. Binion and Crandell Addington both assure me Mike will be their 1st choice, also.