The World Series of Poker (WSOP) announced on Monday evening, the 8th of July 2019, that there were two new inductions into the Poker Hall of Fame for the year 2019. The duo of players is David Oppenheim and Chris Moneymaker. They have become the 57th and 58th members to receive the honor of being added to the list of prestigious poker players.
Out of ten finalists, these two were chosen as the newest inductees. The other ten players that were in the running included Eli Elezra, Chris Ferguson, Huck Seed, Mike Matusow, Ted Forrest, Antonio Esfandiari, Chris Bjorin, and David Chiu. The two chosen finalists were selected by the living Poker Hall of Famers, as well as, a media panel comprised of 21 people.
The Poker Hall of Fame
The Poker Hall of Fame was founded back in 1979 and had the rights bought by Caesars Entertainment and the World Series of Poker. This Hall is a virtual honor as it is a list of the best players of all time. Those that have been inducted into this list include the most influential players, as well as, any players that have had a lasting impact and contribution added to the game. Including the newest additions, there are 58 members of the Poker Hall of Fame, with 25 of the original 56 still living. Between one and two members are added to the hall on an annual basis. The ceremony that inducts the new players into the Hall of Famers takes place during the final table of the Main Event of the WSOP.
The criteria for becoming part of the Poker Hall of Fame go as follows:
- Be a minimum of 40 years of age during nomination time
- Have stood the test of time
- Played for high stakes
- Played well consistently, gaining peer respect
- Played against acknowledged top competition
- (for non-players) Have contributed to the growth and success of poker with lasting positive results
Oppenheim is known less from a tournament perspective and more for being a regular in the highest stake cash games in the world. His 3rd place finish in the 2010 $50 000 Poker Players Championship became his most notable cash prize victory of $603 348. Then the Los Angeles native finished 7th in the same event this year and has just earned just under $2 million in career earnings. It is said that his nomination comes from dedication and respect for his peers as he is a good sport and a good opponent.
Moneymaker has been an integral part of the poker boom due to his 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event victory. Thereafter the name Chris Moneymaker became synonymous with the popularity increase of the game. It was even given a name – the Moneymaker Effect. Besides the $2.5 million he won during his main event, he managed to accumulate an additional $1.36 million in tournament winnings.
Then, during the 2011 NBC Heads-Up Championship, he came in 2nd, and he was the runner up in the World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star main event. This former Tennessee accountant has done rather well for himself and his family.