Poker Hall of Fame

Las Vegas – The World Series of Poker has announced ten finalists who each have a chance to be 2020 entrants to the Poker Hall of Fame. This year the nominating board promised a more inclusive list of candidates that is more reflective of the actual makeup of the poker community – and they… uh… from a certain perspective… have accomplished that?

No Women, 30% Felons

“In the wake of the social change movements of the last few years and current upheaval in the world, we thought that this would be a good time to honor the diverse world of poker,” said a representative of the World Series of Poker.

This year’s nominees look a lot like your average poker room: 100% men and 30% with felony charges on their records. When BonusCodePoker mentioned that the poker world has some worthy women, and that perhaps some of them could have been nominated instead of the criminals, we were laughed at.

To demonstrate their commitment to change, the WSOP – which already requires that Poker Hall of Famers be at least 40 years old – will now solidify preconditions for gender, race and criminal records with next year’s class. “This isn’t your grandfather’s Poker Hall of Fame,” we were told, despite the choices clearly seeming like ones that would have come from our grandfathers.

The 2020 class honors poker’s wrong-doers

Poker, perhaps more than any other industry, embraces the inclusion of individuals who have been on the wrong side of the law during their worst moments. The WSOP nominations reflect that:

  • Mike Matusow: In 2003, Matusow was arrested and charged with six drug-related category A felonies. He plead guilty to a single count and spent six months in a Las Vegas area detention center.
  • Ted Forrest: In 2016, Forrest was charged with theft and the intent to defraud after attempting to draw and pass a check without sufficient funds.
  • Isai Scheinberg: The former senior programmer for IBM committed the felony of building the largest and most beloved online poker room of all-time.

In a twist of fate during the weeks leading up to the nomination process, Howard Lederer reportedly tried to lobby the nomination committee that his run-in with the law was also a felony, apparently in an effort to make himself more appealing for consideration.

ALSO READ: The Top 10 Reasons The Attorney For Mike Postle Wanted To Quit


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