Chris Moneymaker's HOF Nominee Inclusion Stirs Debate

Each year, the Poker Hall Of Fame (HOF) seems to generate a certain level of controversy, with past gripes including the lack of international players who have made their way into the coveted pantheon of poker legends. This year, seven out of the ten nominees hale from outside of the US, and so it seems likely that at least one overseas player will find themselves in the 2016 Poker Hall Of Fame.
Nevertheless, the Hall Of Fame and controversy continues to go hand-in-hand, and this year’s criticism seems to be directed at the inclusion of one of the three US nominees, namely Chris Moneymaker. While his victory at the 2003 World Series of Poker helped launch the “poker boom” and propel the game into a new stratosphere of popularity, according to some in the poker community, this alone is not enough to secure his inclusion in the HOF.
In terms of actual returns from playing the game, they may have a point. After all, aside from the $2.5 million Moneymaker made from his famous victory, the 40-year-old has won just a further $1,110,459 playing tournaments over the past 13 years, or the equivalent of roughly $85k per year. While this point is well taken by Moneymaker himself, at the same time the Main Event champion has been defending his nomination by highlighting all of the things he has done to help promote the game to a worldwide audience. As Moneymaker subsequently explains:
“Some players may feel like I do not meet the criteria of a Hall of Fame player, but I believe I have done enough off the felt to be considered for the honor. I have worked hard over the last decade trying to promote and lobby for the game of poker and hope the nomination stems from that more than just my win in 2003.”
Having said that, Moneymaker still has his own favorites for the 2016 HOF, which includes Tournament Director Matt Savage, and the 2001 WSOP ME winner Carlos Mortensen, who has since captured another WSOP bracelet, and currently sits atop Spain’s all-time money list with $11,976,160 in earnings.

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