Editor’s Letter … A Little Transparency

The Hall of Fame selections process needs help

In September, when the 10 nominees for the Poker Hall of Fame were announced, the poker community stood united on two things. First, Daniel Negreanu, eligible and nominated for the first time this year, is an absolute lock to get in this year. Second, the process used to nominate and elect members to the Poker Hall of Fame is in need of an extreme makeover and no, Ty Pennington can’t help here.

Lance BradleyThe entire process needs to have more transparency. Nominating players involves the public putting names forward with no real public oversight. From there, a “governing council” vets the nominees to make sure they’re eligible and aren’t already in. Poker fans are left to assume that the “governing council” always puts the 10 most popular names forward for nomination. So who’s on this council? We’re not sure since the names aren’t ever made public.

The 10 nominees are then voted on by the 21 living members of the Hall of Fame and a selected panel of media members bringing the total votes to 41. It’s easy to figure out who the Hall of Famers who vote are, but the names of the other 20 voters aren’t made public. (Full disclosure, I have one of the 20 votes.) Once the votes are in, the two inductees are announced. The results of the vote, which are tabulated by the same governing council, are never made public.

That’s not to say that there has been, or would be, any impropriety on that part of Caesars — the owners of the Poker Hall of Fame — but the complete lack of transparency in the process leaves the door open for people to assume there might be some corporate interests taking precedence here. Clean up the nomination and voting processes by allowing a third party — those guys from Ernst & Young are always looking for work — to control and tabulate the voting process each year.

And oh yeah, congrats Daniel.

Lance Bradley

Editor in Chief

October 2014