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Oppenheim and Moneymaker Join Poker Hall of Fame
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) has announced the two newest members of the coveted Poker Hall of Fame, David Oppenheim and Chris Moneymaker, taking the total number of inductees to 58.
A panel consisting of 21 industry experts and the 30 living members of the Poker Hall of Fame, cast their votes over a list of 10 individuals who would have all been worthy of becoming part of the class of 2019. Those 10 final nominees were:
- Chris Bjorin
- David Chiu
- Eli Elezra
- Antonio Esfandiari
- Chris Ferguson
- Ted Forrest
- Mike Matusow
- Chris Moneymaker
- David Oppenheim
- Huck Seed
Nominees need to tick several boxes if they are to be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.
- Must have played against acknowledged competition
- Be at least 40-years-old
- Played for high stakes
- Played consistently well, gaining the respect of their peers
- Stood the test of time
- For non-players, contributed to the growth and success of the game of poker with lasting and indelible positive results
One of the best cash game players ever
David Oppenheim is probably the best poker player you have never heard of, unless you are an expert in live cash games that is. Oppenheim has amassed live poker tournament winnings of almost $2 million, although he has never managed to secure a WSOP bracelet.
Oppenheim finished seventh in this year’s $50,000 Poker Players Championship, won by Philip Hui, for $124,410, with his largest-ever live score being worth $603,348, his reward for a third-place finish in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship at the 2010 WSOP.
The reason for a lack of tournament prowess is Oppenheim is one of the biggest cash game players on the planet. A regular winner in the biggest games in Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio, Oppenheim has been at the top of his game for almost 25-years and is recognized as being a pro’s pro.
“Being recognized as one of the all-time greats by my peers is truly humbling and I am honored to have been selected to the Poker Hall of Fame” said Oppenheim. “I have been so fortunate to be able to do what I love for a living. I never planned to be a professional poker player, rather it was a passion that became my job. People often ask me, how does one become a professional poker player? The answer is hard work and that goes for everyone that plays at the highest level. From the time I began playing I was incredibly passionate about poker and it led to me being able to travel this road that has been traveled by very few. Again, I am extremely grateful to be receiving this honor. Thank you.
Responsible for the online poker boom
Moneymaker may not have been as successful as Oppenheim or the other nominees, but he could claim to be one of the most influential figures on that list. We discussed the merits of Moneymaker being inducted in the Poker Hall of Fame on these very pages and it seems the panel agreed with our thoughts.
While he may not always play against elite competition, Moneymaker has proven to be a fantastic ambassador for the game of poker and he fulfills his role as a Team PokerStars Pro to the letter. Including his $2.5 million haul from winning the 2003 WSOP Main Event, Moneymaker has now more than $3.8 million in winnings from more than 100 cashes across four continents.
“I’m very honored, very happy,” says Moneymaker upon receiving the news. “It’s great for my kids, it’ll be a cool thing for them to see when they grow up.” Indeed, it will.
Full Poker Hall of Fame Listing
Moneymaker and Oppenheim were the 57th and 58th people to be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame, with 32 of those greats still being with us today. The Poker Hall of Fame was created in 1979 to celebrate notable poker players and industry personnel.
Who would get your vote for the 2020 Poker Hall of Fame?
|Julius Oral Popwell