Posts Tagged ‘Hall’

Phil Ivey, David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott Inducted into Poker Hall of Fame

 Phil Ivey, David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott Inducted into Poker Hall of Fame

During the broadcast of Friday night’s action at the 2017 World Series of Poker Championship Event final table, the two latest inductees for the Poker Hall of Fame were announced. With congratulations, one of them was a first-ballot inductee in Phil Ivey and the other was a well-deserved and beloved choice in David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott.

“I want to thank the living members of the Poker Hall of Fame as well as the media who voted for me to be part of the Poker Hall of Fame,” said Ivey. “It’s an honor to be inducted alongside legends like Chip Reese and Doyle Brunson. I love the game of poker and the game has done a lot for me.  I am one of the lucky people who has been able to make a living playing a game which was always my passion. Thankfully, I’m just as passionate about the game today as when I first stepped into Binion’s Horseshoe to play my first-ever WSOP. Thank you to my family, my friends, and all the poker fans across the world that supported me on this journey.”

Ivey was considered a shoo-in for nomination for the resume he has built over the last 20-odd years. From the days he played in the New Jersey poker rooms using a friend’s identification – which brought him the nickname “No Home Jerome” for the amount of time he spent playing on the Boardwalk – and over the next two decades, it is arguable there isn’t a more feared player in the game. His first tournament cash dates to 1998, when he won a Customer Appreciation event for $ 1000, and he certainly has gone on to greater things in the years that followed.

In Ivey’s first serious foray into a tournament schedule in 2000, he would final table four events at the First Annual Jack Binion World Poker Open in Tunica, MS, before moving on to Las Vegas for the WSOP. In the span of 10 days that year, Ivey cashed three times and made two final tables, including winning his first WSOP bracelet in Pot Limit Omaha. Phil Ivey was now known to the world and he took full advantage of it.

He holds the record for most final tables on the World Poker Tour with 10, winning one of those opportunities in 2008 at the L. A. Poker Classic. Ivey has also cashed 59 times at the WSOP, with 10 bracelet victories that put him in second place all-time (only behind Phil Hellmuth and tied with Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan). More impressive than his tournament record, however, is his cash game statistics.

It is conceivable that Ivey has made twice as much playing cash games around the world than his $ 23 million-plus that he’s won on the tournament circuit. In fact, over the past few years, those cash games have infringed on his play at the WSOP, slowing down his pursuit of Hellmuth. Still, one of the qualifications for induction into the Poker Hall of Fame is to have “played for high stakes,” and Ivey has played for the highest possible.

The Ulliott family commented to WSOP officials regarding the induction of their loved one. “As a family, we would like to thank the general public, media and current Poker Hall of Fame members that voted David into the Poker Hall of Fame.  We know he will be up there strumming on his guitar and probably asking what took so long! How he might say it – I think you all know!”

“There isn’t a day that goes past when we don’t think of him and miss him but today we are so proud and delighted that he takes his rightful place in poker history – the legend of the Devilfish lives on!  One thing we know he would be happy about is the progress of John Hesp in the Main Event, a regular at Napoleon’s in Hull, David’s home city in the UK.  John represents what poker is all about – a true game of the people.”

“There are too many people to individually thank but we would particularly like to thank Rob Yong and Simon Trumper of Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham for their support and also we would like to thank Leon from Kings Casino in advance for offering to commemorate David’s induction into the Poker Hall of Fame at the WSOP Europe in October.  Just remember, as the Devilfish would say – ‘Life is a blast. It doesn’t last. Live it long and live it fast’.”

Ulliott, who passed away in 2015, was a popular sentimental choice that year but had the qualifications to be there previous to his passing. Once a safecracker who served time for his offenses, Ulliott changed his life as he poured himself into his passion, poker. He became such a feared competitor in his hometown of Hull that he found it nearly impossible to find a cash game to play, which sent him into the casinos of the United Kingdom. His first tournament cash was in a Seven Card Stud event at the Grosvenor Spring Classic in London in 1993, where he won £200 for his sixth-place finish.

There would be much more for Ulliott in the world of poker after that. In 1997, legend has it his nickname of ‘Devilfish’ came into being after defeating Men ‘The Master’ Nguyen in Pot Limit Omaha at the Four Queens Poker Classic. Reports with the headline “Devilfish Devours The Master” circulated following that win and Ulliott would embrace it head-on, including having a set of ‘knuckle dusters’ (a form of brass knuckles) with ‘Devil’ on the right hand and ‘Fish’ on the left made for him personally.

1997 was also the year of Ulliott’s one and only WSOP victory, in the $ 2000 Pot Limit Hold’em competition. He would come close on several occasions after that, but would never taste of WSOP gold again. ‘Devilfish’ would also win on the WPT, taking the championship of the 2003 Jack Binion World Poker Open Main Event during the tour’s inaugural season.

Once again, while the tournament record is outstanding (227 cashes for over $ 6.1 million in earnings), it is the cash game arena where Ulliott made his mark. He also was one of the biggest characters in poker, taking such poker programming as Late Night Poker to unprecedented heights with his roguish personality. When he passed in 2015, not only the British poker community but the international poker world mourned the passing of a truly one of a kind character.

Congratulations to Ivey and the Ulliott Family for their inductions into the Poker Hall of Fame.

Poker News Daily

Ten Nominees Announced for 2017 Poker Hall of Fame Seats

 Ten Nominees Announced for 2017 Poker Hall of Fame Seats

After the compilation of the fans’ selections for consideration, the Poker Hall of Fame have announced the top ten nominees, with two of the men on the list being enshrined in the ‘Valhalla of poker’ during the final table play of the World Series of Poker Championship Event.

The ten men on the list run the gamut of poker history. There are two newcomers to the field – players who haven’t been nominated prior to 2017 – along with eight other men, three of which were nominated last year and five who have previously been nominated. Additionally, there are five foreign-born players – players born outside the States of America – although a couple of them have become naturalized citizens of the U. S.

Here are the ten men who will vie for the honor of induction with the 2017 class of the Poker Hall of Fame, presented in alphabetical order:

David Chiu
Mori Eskandani
Ted Forrest
Thor Hansen
Phil Ivey
Mike Matusow
Max Pescatori
Matt Savage
Huckleberry Seed
David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott

Of the two new names on the list, one is all but guaranteed to be a first ballot induction. Ivey, the holder of 10 WSOP bracelets, a World Poker Tour championship (and 10 final tables, a record), various other major championships (including back-to-back wins in the Aussie Millions $ 250,000 Challenge) and a terror on the high stakes cash game circuit, should be a shoo-in for one of the seats at the table come the induction ceremonies. The big question will be who joins him.

A large segment of the international community would like to see Ulliott get recognition for his exploits on the felt and his impact on the game in the United Kingdom and Europe, but Hansen has had just as great an effect on Norway and in Europe. Eskandani, who emigrated from Iran at the age of 18 and has become a naturalized U. S. citizen, is the other newcomer in 2017 who is being recognized not only for his play but for his work “behind the scenes” in some of the best poker television productions created that the “rest of the world” would like to see inducted. Both having been previous nominees, there isn’t much call for Pescatori’s or Chiu’s induction into the Hall (odd because both are outstanding players worthy of induction).

For the North American contingency, the odds-on favorite seems to be Savage, for the lengthy resume of work he has as a tournament director. Savage was the lead TD for the WSOP and currently is the Executive Tour Director for the WPT and calls the Commerce Casino his home base. Along the way, Savage has introduced some of the biggest innovations in tournament poker – for better (the Ironman Tournament, played with no stoppages) or for worse (re-entry tournaments) – and been the leader of the Tournament Directors Association, which is seeking to coordinate tournament rules at casinos around the world. Forrest, Matusow and Seed all have resumes that are Hall worthy, but there doesn’t seem to be the clamor for their induction.

With the 10 men nominated, the rest of the process is in the hands of the living members of the Poker Hall of Fame – 27 men and women – and an 18-member panel of poker journalists. Although the actual process is a closely guarded secret, in previous years each of the voters had 10 votes to allocate. Under those previous rules, the individual voter could give all ten votes to one player or break them up amongst three players. The top two vote-getters (if they meet a requirement that they received 50% of the vote) earn induction into the Poker Hall of Fame.

The 45-person voting bloc has their work cut out for them. They must return their ballot to the WSOP Governing Council by July 15 and, after the votes have been tallied, the new members of the Hall of Fame will be announced. Those new members will be honored during the play of the WSOP Championship Event final table on July 21 during ESPN’s broadcast of the tournament.

Poker News Daily

Poker Legend Doyle Brunson Enters Another Hall of Fame

 Poker Legend Doyle Brunson Enters Another Hall of Fame

Although he has had a tremendous career as a legendary poker player, Doyle Brunson wasn’t always known for his abilities on the poker table. His exploits in another area – athletics – have also brought him great renown, including his recent induction into another organization’s Hall of Fame.

Brunson, now 83 years old, was inducted into the Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame at the end of April for his exploits on the basketball court. The Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame honors great athletes from a 19-county area (remember, Texas is a pretty big state) for their achievements in athletics. Brunson was a standout basketball player while in high school at Sweetwater High School, being named All-State in the sport, while also winning the mile in 1950 at the Texas Interscholastic Track Meet in a time of 4:43. Brunson would then move on to greater things after going to college.

While attending Hardin-Simmons University, Brunson was named the Border Conference Most Valuable Player as a junior in 1953 after averaging 15.3 points per game in leading the school to the NCAA tournament, where they would lose in the first round to Santa Clara. The then-fledgling National Basketball Association noticed the 6-foot-5 Texan and his achievements, with the defending champion Minneapolis Lakers (then with the dominant center in the game, George Mikan, and fellow Texan Slater Martin; both men would go on to the Basketball Hall of Fame) indicating that they would draft Brunson in that summer’s NBA draft.

There is an old saying from the wise sage of the Beatles, John Lennon, however: life is what happens while you are busy making other plans. Working in a factory, Brunson attempted to stop the shift of a forklift full of sheetrock by extending his leg in front of the massive weight, breaking it in two places and essentially ending any athletic career that the NBA was offering. Brunson would spend the next two years on crutches and still has mobility issues because of the unfortunate accident.

Brunson, contacted by the Abilene Reporter-News writer Evan Ren, was quite pleased with his latest Hall of Fame induction. “I’m honored, because the (Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame) is from where I grew up and I know the names of most of the people who are in it,” Brunson noted to Ren in a telephone interview. “Most of the people in it who I knew personally have died. But I’m very honored because it’s from Texas.”

This is just the latest Hall of Fame to honor Brunson. His exploits in the poker world – a back-to-back World Champion by winning the World Series of Poker Championship Event, a ten-time WSOP bracelet winner overall, a legendary road gambler and recognition as the “Godfather of Poker” from his seminal tome on the game (Super/System) – earned him induction into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1988 and, due to his exploits on the basketball floor, he was inducted into the Hardin-Simmons University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009. The induction into the Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame is the third organization to honor Brunson with enshrinement.

The list of notable athletes that Brunson is joining are numerous. Football players Sammy Baugh (Washington Redskins), Bob Lilly (Dallas Cowboys), Don Maynard (New York Jets) and Colt McCoy (former University of Texas quarterback) are all members of the Hall. Brunson was inducted with fellow members Mary Bolden-Washington (track), Jimmy Carmichael (football), Tey Forkerway (baseball), Steve Lineweaver (football coach), Jack Turner (Golden Gloves boxing) and Larry Wartes (baseball). Congratulations to Doyle Brunson for another well-deserved accolade in a life that has been replete with such awards!

Poker News Daily

Todd Brunson, Carlos Mortensen Inducted Into Poker Hall of Fame

 Todd Brunson, Carlos Mortensen Inducted Into Poker Hall of Fame

In a lavish ceremony at the birthplace of the World Series of Poker, poker professionals Todd Brunson and Carlos Mortensen were enshrined as the 2016 inductees into the Poker Hall of Fame.

The ceremony brought out many of the living Hall of Famers to welcome their new mates to poker’s Valhalla. In an especially memorable moment, the younger Brunson was joined by his father and now fellow Hall of Famer Doyle Brunson for a family photo of the occasion. The celebration was especially sweet in that it is the first time that a father and son have been enshrined in poker’s greatest lifetime achievement award.

“This wasn’t quite what I expected,” Todd Brunson noted before his acceptance speech, “so I apologize for what’s about to come,” to the laughter of the audience. Brunson then went on to deliver a solid five-minute routine that would earn a stand-up comedian his living if he had been in that arena. But there were some serious moments as Brunson thanked a few people for what they had done for him.

“First off, I’d like to thank my mother,” Brunson began. “My mother had a big impact on me not only as a person but also as a poker player. That may surprise some because my mother…hasn’t played a hand of poker in her life. But she taught me valuable lessons about life that transcended poker. The #1 thing she taught me was the value of a dollar…my mom is very frivolous, very good with money.” Brunson continued to regale those in attendance with stories about his time in the game and left the stage to raucous applause.

Both men were more than worthy of their induction into the Hall. Mortensen is the first-ever European player inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame, having used his skills around the world and spread the game of poker to his fellow countrymen in Spain. He is the leading all-time money winner on the World Poker Tour and is tied for the most WPT titles in the history of the circuit (three, along with Anthony Zinno and Gus Hansen). On the World Series of Poker stage, Mortensen was the winner of the WSOP Championship Event in 2001 and, along with his win in the WPT World Championship in 2007, is the only man to win both the WSOP World Championship and the WPT version. In his career, Mortensen has won over $ 6.8 million.

Brunson might be viewed as the more traditional inductee to the Poker Hall of Fame. Brunson has had a successful tournament career, earning a WSOP bracelet in 2005, and he has finished as high as 13th in the WSOP Championship Event. Brunson also has 45 other WSOP cashes, seven trips to the WPT cash out cage and a solo effort on the soon-to-be-departed European Poker Tour to make up his $ 4.3 million in career earnings.

Where Brunson has made his money, in the true tradition of what poker is supposed to be about (to many in the poker world), is on the cash game felt. For at least 25 years, Brunson has plied his trade in the high stakes cash game arena, earning untold amounts of money from that endeavor but assuredly enough to support a very nice lifestyle. In one setting alone that has been documented, Brunson defeated businessman and billionaire Andy Beal in a $ 200,000/$ 400,000 Limit Hold’em matchup to the tune of over $ 13 million. That success was documented by Michael Craig in his seminal work The Professor, The Banker and the Suicide King.

Congratulations to both men for their induction into the Poker Hall of Fame!

Poker News Daily

Daniel Negreanu Would Like to Change Poker Hall of Fame Voting Process

 Daniel Negreanu Would Like to Change Poker Hall of Fame Voting Process

Daniel Negreanu has never been one to keep his feelings about poker matters to himself. Now that Todd Brunson and Carlos Mortensen have been elected to the Poker Hall of Fame, he has something to say about the Hall’s election process. To be sure, Negreanu has no problem with the men who were elected – he calls them “both gentlemen friends and tough players.” What Negreanu would like to see changed are some of the eligibility requirements and the method by which the finalists are chosen.

In his blog on Full Contact Poker, Negreanu detailed the adjustments he suggests for the Poker Hall of Fame eligibility criteria. First, let’s review the criteria that are in place right now:

•    A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
•    Played for high stakes
•    Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers
•    Stood the test of time
•    Or, for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results.

Covering the last one first, Negreanu said that non-players, or “builders” as they are often called, should be considered separately from players:

I also find it difficult to vote for someone in the builder category when it takes up a spot that a player may have gotten. Since builders represent a small percentage of the nominees, my suggestion to address this is to induct a builder once every 4 years in addition to the two players that go in annually. That way people like Matt Savage, Steve Lipscomb, John Duthie, Bruno Fitoussi and others would compete against each other in this category and not be judged against players. It’s quite difficult to judge apples and oranges, so just the apples against the apples, and the oranges against the oranges.

He also wants to reword the criterion slightly to add more clarity.

Clarity is a common theme amongst Negreanu’s desired changes. When it comes to “top competition,” he wrote, “What defines top competition exactly? When the Hall of Fame was created, this could only happen if a player played the highest stakes cash games against the world’s best players. Since the 70’s poker has changed a great deal. You have online poker skills, tournament players, and a wide range of stakes that could be considered high stakes.”

Negreanu concluded that the “top competition” requirement should just be removed, as it is a given that if someone is good enough to be considered for the Hall of Fame, they will have played against the best players in the world.

Similarly, Negreanu wants to define “high stakes” as tournaments with buy-ins above $ 10,000, Fixed-Limit cash games of $ 400-$ 800 and above, and No-Limit cash games of $ 25-$ 50 and higher.

He aimed for similar clarity for the “played consistently well” and “stood the test of time” criteria, which are obviously quite subjective. In the end, Daniel Negreanu came up with a revised set of requirements for the Poker Hall of Fame:

1. Must Be a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination
2. Played for High Stakes.
-Tournaments with buy ins over $ 10,000
-Limit Cash games $ 400-$ 800 and above
-No Limit Cash games of $ 25-$ 50 and above
3. Their poker skills are well respected by their peers
4. They were exceptional in at least one of these areas:
-Cash Games
-Tournaments
-Online Poker
5. Stood the test of time over a period of 15 years or more

As for the nomination and final voting process, Negreanu isn’t thrilled with the finalists being selected by a public nomination process because a fan vote basically boils down to a “popularity contest.” He would like it tweaked to allow four finalists selected by fans and six selected by the media and Hall of Fame voting panel.

Speaking of which, those 44 living Hall of Famers and media members currently get to submit ten votes split up amongst any finalists they would like. Negreanu feels that this “gives voting blocks far too much power” and would like it changed to allowing voters to select just two finalists, ranking them as a first choice and second choice.

Poker News Daily



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