Daniel Negreanu: Guide to Poker Hall of Fame5 years ago
Daniel Negreanu has never been shy to share his opinions on poker (and non-poker) related matters. With the Poker Hall of Fame inductions looming, he recently published a blog in which he explains how he perceives the entire institution and how the decision making process should work with regard to the existing criteria.
The first thing that KidPoker finds amiss is the fact that there are certain players not on the list who should be there – players like Gus Hansen and John Juanda. At the same time, there is Bob Hooks on the list, a player Negreanu admits that he does not really know anything about.
The Matter of Age
KidPoker wonders if, and to what extent, age should be a factor in determining if one should be admitted to the Poker Hall of Fame. The addition of the “stood the test of time” to the induction rules leaves room for interpretation. Should a 75-year old be given an advantage over a player who is in his forties, who’s been around for twenty or so years and is still playing? In Negreanu’s opinion this should not be a consideration at all, and the most deserving person should be inducted regardless of the age.
Being “Nice” Shouldn’t Count
People often seem to think that being nice to other players (and in general) is an important factor when determining one’s suitability for the Poker Hall of Fame. However, in Negreanu’s opinion, this should not be considered at all as Hall of Fame is the place for the best poker players, not the nicest.
If he (Howard Lederer) was a player that met the first five criteria, I would support his induction. Where do you draw the line? If a player has a criminal record unrelated to poker, should that have anything to do with his place in the poker hall of fame? Not in my opinion. Not at all.
He even goes as far as to say that even Howard Lederer, if his results at the felt warranted it, should be able to enter Poker Hall of Fame despite the entire Full Tilt fiasco. These are two separate matters and as he would be considered as the player, not the builder (e.g. a person whose merits relate to helping poker grow and gain wider acceptance), only his results as the player should be considered.
Focusing on What Matters
Media and other relevant entities often focus on stuff that does not matter as much, if at all, when considering players for the Hall of Fame. How good of an ambassador player is for the game is not important as long as he is being considered as a player, not the builder, and this is the most important idea Daniel tries to get across.
When Phil Ivey turns 40, he deserves to be in. That would be true even if in the next three years he finds himself in a Ray Rice like scandal, curses the game, shuns the media, or even pees on a dealers leg after losing a pot.
The poker climate changed significantly during the last two decades and requirements for entering the Poker Hall of Fame have been through some changes, most significant one being two inductions per year. This will certainly water down the Hall somewhat, but that’s the reason more the conditions should be observed closely and not mixed up.
I guess Negreanu’s message is simply that Poker Hall of Fame belongs to the best poker players, not the nicest or oldest, and that’s the most important thing bodies in charge should have in mind when making decisions.
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