Poker Hall of Fame Breakdown (Part Tres)

by , Sep 22, 2010 | 11:50 am

In this third part of the series, its time we go through the last four pros that are up for the Poker Hall of Fame. There haven’t really been any misses in this group thus far, sure, a couple people that have no chance given the current roster of nominees, but no complete misses. That said, we haven’t completed the list yet, and parts one and two are available if you need a refresher of what has been said so far. Here are the top three thus far:

  • Dan Harrington: 9
  • Barry Greenstein: 7
  • Phil Ivey: 6

But with 4 more people to go, none of these players are safe (well, three people need to get 10s in order to knock our Harrington, but you get the idea.) The last four are Tom McEvoy, Daniel Negreanu, Scotty Nguyen, and Erik Siedel.

Tom McEvoy

Age: 65
Time Played: 30+ years
Tournament/Cash Stakes: WSOP tournaments every year
Accolades:

  • 1983 WSOP Main Event Champion
  • 4 WSOP Bracelets
  • 38 WSOP Cashes
  • Tournament winnings: $2,931,000
  • Team Pokerstars Pro

Off the Felt:

  • Prolific writer, writing The Championship Series of poker books
  • (EDIT) Largely responsible for smoke-free poker rooms

Thoughts: Tom McEvoy has an incredibly long tournament resume that stretches back over 25 years; it goes all the way back to his win in the main event in 1983. He was the first player ever to win a WSOP ME after satelliting in, and he has put up an impressive 4 bracelets wins. However, the accolades kind of stop there. He hasn’t won a bracelet since 1992 (and no, the Champions Invitational does not count), has barely made any noise at all in the last few years, and his tournament winnings seems low for someone that has been around for someone last long as Tom, even if you account for inflation. His books do give him a similar, albeit smaller, boost to what Dan Harrington got for his publications. I personally haven’t read any of them, but its on my to-do list. That said, the fact that they are regulated to my “to-do” list as opposed to, say, the “must read” list, may suggest a bit of a decline in how those books are perceived.

Final Points: 5

Daniel Negreanu

Age: 36
Time Played: 15+ years
Tournament/Cash Stakes: Consistently high buy-in tournaments and the largest cash games in Vegas
Accolades:

  • 4 WSOP Bracelets
  • 47 WSOP Cashes
  • 2 WPT Titles
  • Tournament winnings:$12,751,000
  • Team Pokerstars Pro

Off the Felt:

  • Main contributor to “Power Hold’em Strategy”
  • Main Pro behind PokerVT
  • Contributed to Super System II in the 2-7 Triple Draw chapter
  • On pretty much every poker TV show under the sun…unless he cant go because of sponsorship issues.

Thoughts: Initially, I just thought writing one simple sentence and leaving it at that: If I don’t think Phil Ivey deserves getting in this year, then Daniel Negreanu definitely will not. And while this sums up my position on Daniel pretty exactly, it does belittle his accomplishments. $12.75 million dollars is enough money to live off of forever, and that doesn’t even include the money he has won at the cash tables (well, the non-High Stakes Poker cash tables anyway). His tournament resume shows there is a reason he is so high on the all-time money list, but there is another reason Daniel gets so much attention; he is a media whore, in probably the best way you could use that phrase. He is on pretty much any show Pokerstars can get their hands on, and even shows where his sponsor doesn’t have a stake. Daniel also has been writing about poker (in books and through his blog) and coaching (through PokerVT) for years. You pretty much can’t get through a year of following poker without seeing something about Daniel at least once a week. Of course, he also speaks his mind, which got him in trouble earlier this year and in times past, so while we always enjoy honesty when we can get it, it does make us cringe when something non-PC gets said. Its the price of marketing yourself as a high profile poker superstar, but its a job that, for the most part, Daniel has done very well in. At the end of the day, if I am applying a somewhat arbitrary age requirement on Phil, it also applies to Daniel, and if I’m more likely to vote for Ivey than Negreanu, then Negreanu is going to be a little lower on the totem pole, at least this year.

Final Points: 5

Scotty Nguyen

Age: 47
Time Played: 25+ years
Tournament/Cash Stakes: Consistently high buy-in tournaments around the world
Accolades:

  • 1998 WSOP Main Event Champion
  • 2008 Chip Reese Trophy Winner ($50k HORSE)
  • 5 WSOP Bracelets
  • 37 WSOP Cashes
  • 1 WPT Title
  • Tournament winnings:$11,341,000

Off the Felt:

  • Showed us how alcohol and poker sometimes don’t mix.

Thoughts: I will confess, I have not been in the business long enough to understand fully how Scotty rubs some members of the media the wrong way. Yes, he was an absolute jerk in the 2008 HORSE, but he has apologized for that profusely and at the very least he has moved on. Maybe its the fact he adds “baby” to the end of every sentence, which makes dictating and quoting him an absolute nightmare (or really easy). Whatever it is, he is the only player to have both a Main Event win and a $50K HORSE win, and his experience across all the games is something that should be able to put people past one bad final table. Not only that, but Scotty is 5th on the All-time Money List, has 5 bracelets, a WPT title, and has final tabled that series a whopping 9 times. He does get dinged for being purely a tournament player, but his accomplishments certainly warrant a serious look at being inducted this year, the next year, and beyond.

Final Points: 7

Erik Seidel

Age: 50
Time Played: 25+ years
Tournament/Cash Stakes: Consistent high buy-in tournaments around the world
Accolades:

  • 8 WSOP Bracelets
  • 60 WSOP Cashes
  • 1 WPT Title
  • Tournament winnings:$10,350,000
  • Member of Team Full Tilt

Off the Felt:

  • Part of the design team for Full Tilt Poker

Thoughts: Now…I get some of the negative things about Erik Seidel. In an era of colorful personalities, Erik is quiet, reserved, and very much just a poker player. However, you can say the exact same thing about Phil Ivey, or at the very least be in the same kind of ballpark. Phil is way up there on everyone’s list “in spite of that”, so I don’t see why Erik would get the shakedown for a similar personality. Also, Erik was against hole card cams because it would let people know what player’s strategies are when they play poker, even weighted against its necessity in television poker coverage. We all know who won that battle as well as its results, both on TV’s end and on Seidel’s. Despite those pesky holecard cams, he has won 3 bracelets from 2003 onward, and recently was the runner-up to Annie Duke in the 2010 NBC National Heads-Up championship. Like Scotty, he is a tournament specialist, but 8 bracelets, a WPT title, and over $10 million in career winnings certainly are the right kind of stats to have if you want to get in the hall purely based on your tournament chops.

Final Points: 8

So due to excellent planning, there are 4 people in the top 3 because there is a tie…Harrington, Siedel, Greenstein and Nguyen. In the final part of the series, I’ll see who to cut between Greenstein and Nguyen, and then how many votes the three finalists will get for this year’s ballot.


  • Mark K

    Tom McEvoy was instrumental in making poker rooms smoke free. This is huge in my book. Also, he won a PPT event, against all pros, as I recall

  • http://www.cardrunners.com/blog/spartanfox Mark Gahagan

    Hmm…thought I had the smoking part in there, at least as a mention. It doesn’t particularly change my score on him or at the very least wouldn’t change the ultimate outcome, but that is a good point. I’m not a fan of the smoke-filled room when playing.

    As for the PPT…eh, that series being invitation-only freerolls give its that made-for-TV flare that equates it (in my mind) with the Champions Invitational, which he also won against a group of WSOP Main Event winners.