World Series of Poker announces 2014 Poker Hall of Fame Finalists

The Poker Hall of Fame is nearly as old as the World Series of Poker itself, started up by the legendary Benny Binion in 1979. After 34 years of honorable inductions, 46 poker pros have been inducted into the Hall, including 7 in its first year and a recent throng of annual double entries. Nominations for the 2014 Poker Hall of Fame have been narrowed down to 10 finalists, announced by the WSOP, and one of the names is being heralded as a shoe-in.

Of the 10 finalists, half of them are returning nominees from 2013, while the other 5 are new to the proposed line-up. Returning poker pros and industry innovators include (in alphabetical order) Chris Bjorn, Humberto Brenes, Jennifer Harman, Mike Matusow and Huck Seed. The newcomers this year are Bruno Fitoussi, Ted Forrest, Bob Hooks, Jack McClelland and – the aforementioned shoe-in – Daniel Negreanu.

Voting will be conducted by 20 pre=-selected members of the media and, of course, the 21 members of the Poker Hall of Fame who are still living. The winner(s) will be announced and inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame at the 2014 WSOP Main Event Final Table on November 10. Let’s take a brief look at each of the finalists.

Chris Bjorn
Age: 66
Country: Sweden
Achievements: 68 WSOP cashes (ranked 5th); 2 WSOP bracelets; $5.5 million in career winnings; Swedish all-time money earner; WSOP Europe all-time highest money earner.

Humberto “The Shark” Brenes
Age: 63
Country: Costa Rica
Achievements: 82 WSOP cashes (ranked 3rd); 9 WSOP Main Event cashes (ranked 2nd); $6 million in career winnings; Costa Rica’s all-time highest money earner; major contributor to the rise of poker popularity in Latin America.

Bruno “The King” Fitoussi
Age: 55
Country: France
Achievements: Introduced Texas Hold’em to France in 1995; $2.7 million in career winnings; ranked 8th of France’s all-time highest money earners.

Ted Forrest
Age: 49
Country: United States
Achievements: 30 WSOP cashes; 18 WSOP final tables; 6 WSOP bracelets; only poker player to win three bracelets in three consecutive WSOP events (1993: Events #11, #12 and #13); 1 WPT Title; 1 National Heads-Up Championship; $6 million in career tournament cashes.

Jennifer Harman
Age: 49
Country: United States
Achievements: $2.7 million in career cashes; only consistent female at ultra-high stakes cash games 10 years running; 32 WSOP cashes; 12 WSOP final tables; 2 WSOP bracelets; 2 WPT final tables; first female to win multiple WSOP bracelets; uses poker to raise money for worthy charitable organizations.

Bob Hooks
Age: 85
Country: United States
Achievements: One of the original Texas Rounders; first casino manager of Horseshoe Las Vegas (1970, same year of inaugural WSOP); career earnings unknown after 6 decades as a poker pro; retired in 2013.

Mike “The Mouth” Matusow
Age: 46
Country: United States
Achievements: 43 WSOP cashes; 15 WSOP final tables; 4 WSOP bracelets; 5 WPT final tables; 2013 NBC Heads-Up Champion; $9 million career earnings; known for his lash-tongue comments at the tables.

Jack McClelland
Age: 62
Country: United States
Achievements: Was involved in bringing the WPT to the Bellagio; director of WSOP in the 1980’s; went from lowly poker dealer to running the Bellagio Poker Room from 2002-2013; has directed poker events worldwide.

Daniel “Kid Poker” Negreanu
Age: 40
Country: Canada
Achievements: Poker’s all-time highest earning player ($29.6 million); 79 WSOP cashes; 32 WSOP final tables; 4 WSOP bracelets; only 2x WSOP Player of the Year (2004, 2013); 2 WPT Titles; ranked 2nd WPT all-time money earner; ranked 3rd WSOP all-time money earner; has greatly contributed to the spread and innovation of poker games and tournaments; commonly plays poker for charitable causes; friendly demeanor is beloved by poker fans worldwide.

Huck Seed
Age: 45
Country: United States
Achievements: 51 WSOP cashes; 24 WSOP final tables; 5 WSOP bracelets; 1996 WSOP Main Event Champion; $7.6 million career earnings; former NBC Heads-Up Champion; known for his versatility in dominating multiple poker variants.

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