It's Time to Honor Chris Moneymaker in Hall of Fame6 years ago
I believe it is time for the poker world to bite the bullet and induct Chris Moneymaker into the Poker Hall of Fame. The list of nominations are well-known and much has been discussed on who should make it and who missed out on the list, e.g. Isai Scheinberg, Huck Seed and Mike Matusow, but I believe it is time to honor the man who, it is generally accepted by most in the poker world, brought about the poker boom and thus launched the modern poker world as we know it.
Moneymaker’s induction might be unlikely given the criteria for new inductees. Daniel Negreanu did an analysis on his blog where he applied the criteria to each nominee and by his calculations he puts Chris Bjorin, Todd Brunson, Carlos Mortensen and the late Dave “The Devilfish” Ulliott as the most likely winners with Moneymaker, in his opinion, only fulfilling two of the five essential achievements for entry.
The inductee must be:
- A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
- Be a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination
- Played for high stakes
- Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers
- Stood the test of time
Daniel advises he is voting for Carlos Mortensen, who has two WSOP bracelets, three WPT crowns and is the WPT’s all-time money winner and has won the WSOP Main Event and WPT Championship in the past. $12 million in tournament winnings shows he stood the test of time, so if Mortensen is ultimately elected this can hardly be seen as an upset.
So why would I love to see Moneymaker inducted? The answer is because he changed everything. From his famous three barrel bluff against Sammy Farha where he showed an amateur really could outfox the pro to winning it all in the end, Moneymaker represents our dreams played out. He personifies what makes us shuffle up and deal. Perhaps he is not the greatest player in the world, but the greatest players win the big money because players like me play. Players like me play because of Chris Moneymaker, so in my view that makes him worthy of his place in the Poker Hall of Fame.
Imagine if Farha called the bluff? Moneymaker loses and goes home much richer but poker does not quite reach the heights of what we know today because in the end the pro won. Twitch is perhaps less popular without the number of Twitch streamers playing poker. Online poker exists, but less popular. Think about it. Moneymaker’s win is literally that important, so whilst I agree with Daniel, sometimes you have to put the stats to one side and do what is right in your heart rather than your head.
One of the other criterion for the nominees is this:
- Or, for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results.
When considering their votes, those selecting the inductee should note that there is nobody that comes close to “contributing to the overall growth and success of the game with lasting results” than Chris Moneymaker in 2003 did. Ask ten players what they remember about poker of yesteryear and over half, at least, will cite Moneymaker’s 2003 win as a seminal moment in poker.
We should honor Chris Moneymaker and his impact on the game by putting him in the Hall of Fame. If not this year, as a posthumous Devilfish induction and Mortensen’s very strong case would be undoubtedly fine choices, then as soon as possible.
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