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Matusow, Flack and Grospelier among 2021 Poker Hall of Fame Finalists

October 21, 2021
13,990 Views

Mike “the Mouth” Matusow, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospelier, and the late, great Layne “Back to Back” Flack are among the 10 finalists for this year’s Poker Hall of Fame induction, with only one player able to grab the 60th spot up for grabs among poker’s most-celebrated legends.

The WSOP and Caesars Entertainment announced the finalists this week for the annual induction process, and there are three new names among the ten candidates.

Six-time WSOP bracelet winner, Layne Flack, who tragically passed away at the age of 52 earlier this year, is joined by Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospelier, the latter two having turned 40 and thus eligible for the highly-esteemed nomination.

The other seven nominees have all been in the mix previously, legendary players Eli Elezra, Antonio Esfandiari, Chris Ferguson, Ted Forrest, and Mike Matusow joined by WPT tournament director Matt Savage, and PokerStars founder, Isai Scheinberg.

As can be seen by the list of players, particularly Elezra, Ferguson, and even Scheinberg, controversy is no barrier to a place in the Poker Hall of Fame.

The requirements for nomination are fairly straightforward;

  • A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
  • Be a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination
  • 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.

The first members of the Poker Hall of Fame were inducted in 1979, with Nick “The Greek” Dandalos and Johnny Moss among the magnificent seven originals.

Among the 52 who followed them over the next four decades were:

  • 2019 Chris Moneymaker
  • 2017 Phil Ivey
  • 2015 Jennifer Harman
  • 2014 Daniel Negreanu
  • 2009 Mike Sexton
  • 2002 Johnny Chan
  • 2001 Stu Ungar
  • 1991 David “Chip” Reese
  • 1990 Benny Binion
  • 1988 Doyle Brunson

The induction ceremony for the lucky person will be held on November 17, designed to coincide with the final table of the 2021 WSOP Main Event.

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