(CNBNews)(December 29, 2020)--2020 posed some very unique challenges for online gamblers, and the poker industry felt the heat too. While many punters had to alter their plans as live events were canceled or postponed at the last minute, others adjusted to the shifting timeline. Even the World Series of Poker will be online this year.
If you need more proof of how drastically things changed in 2020, look no further than the Poker Hall of Fame. The nominations for Hall of Fame weren’t announced for the first time since 2001. However, WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart later revealed that there will be a single honorable inductee during this year’s event.
On that note, here’s our list of potential Hall of Famers who could be inducted this year. If you’d like to begin your poker journey with a nice online casino, here’s a Casino Room review to help you get started.
Top 5 Nominees for Poker Hall of Fame 2021
- Patrik Antonius – It might come as a surprise to some that Patrik Antonius hasn’t yet found his way into the Hall of Fame. However, the Finn will turn 40-years-old in December 2020, finally making him eligible for nomination. Antonius is undoubtedly one of the most talented players in the game right now, despite winning “only” $12,000,000 in tournament earnings and not a single WSOP title to his name. The Finn dominated most live and online competitions and is just a step away from being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
- Antonio Esfandiari – One of the most colorful characters in the world of poker, Esfandiari rightfully deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame. The Magician meets the minimum age requirements for the nomination and speaking of records; there aren’t many punters out there who can match his track record. With nearly $28,000,000 in tournament winnings and three WSOP titles to his credit, Antonio has managed to hold his own for quite some time now. Moreover, the Magician is an ambassador of the game.
- Joe Hachem – The 2005 WSOP Main Event winner and the first Australian punter to receive the honor deserves a spot in the Poker Hall of Fame. But, despite winning $12,500,000 in prize money, Joe is yet to receive the honor. Hachem has been a PokerStars Team Pro for a while now, and that increased his popularity among the enthusiasts. Joe has been an eligible candidate for the past decade, and hopefully, 2021 will work in his favor.
- Gus Hansen – The Great Dane is one of the most amicable characters in the poker world. Hansen shot to fame in the early 2000s with a series of wins at notable tournaments. His passive-aggressive gameplay is novel, helping him dominate the competition from an early stage. The Dane has won $10,278,000 to date and has one WSOP title under his belt.
5. Phil Laak – Laak might be a surprising entry in our list, but he has the caliber to pull it off. There are tons of deserving candidates, and The Unabomber sure finds his name on that list. Laak has $3.8 million in poker winnings to his name, one WPT title, and one BSOP bracelet. Even though Laak qualifies for the role, it’s unlikely that he’ll be inducted this year.