Just a couple of days ago the Poker Hall Of Fame again announced the yearly 10 finalists to be put up for induction into the Class of 2012. As per usual the opinions of others started to fly around about players that should or should not be in that top ten list.
In one particular Facebook thread there were some of the biggest names in poker debating about how the process that the HOF uses concentrates more on modern poker rather than the history of it. Poker professional Allen Kessler asked in a comment about why Ted Forrest or Huck Seed is never put forward for nomination.
This post proved a popular one with players such as Daniel Negreanu and Nolan Dalla the HOF all agreeing that the process need urgent reform. Negreanu pointed out that all of the first phases of nominations are conducted by fans; this means that older players who are no longer in the limelight as much do not stand a chance. He then concluded by urging them to reform the system, saying that many of the fans that have become interested in poker today, do not really have any knowledge of the poker players from yesterday. He claims it is a weak way to acquire the top ten and doesn’t believe any other hall of fame uses the same kind of system.
Dalla responded that while he feels Negreanu had made a fair point he still felt that the HOF were right in trying to have a balanced correlation between poker players, the media and of course the fans. He believes everybody should have a voice in the eventual outcome. He did however admit that he would like these kinds of debates to be seen by the public so that they could perhaps become a little more educated about past players who obviously deserve an induction.
Our view here is that the system could and should certainly be improved, however we feel the bigger problem is that the HOF has really only become a matter of real interest in recent years, before that it was just curiosity. If people think the nominations are strange now, the ones that were made when it was first introduced were just bizarre.
It certainly does need re-thinking though, when you have such legends that have never had a mention being looked over for a young guy who may be a good player but hasn’t been in the game as long. We feel that the vote should be initially made by fellow players as to who gets into the top ten, and then the fans can have a vote in the final perhaps?