Phil Galfond, Shaun Deeb and Neteller Inducted Into Internet Wall of Fame
Last week, TwoPlusTwo Pokercast hosts Adam Schwartz and Terrence Chan added Phil Galfond, Shaun Deeb, and Neteller as its ninth, tenth, and eleventh inductees to their Internet Pokers Wall of Fame (IPWOF).
The IPWOF was created by the Pokercast duo in August 2015 in response to "years of whining about the poker Hall of Fame and the politics surrounding it," according to the first post in the TwoPlusTwo thread where the inductees are announced. Schwartz further commented that there is only one requirement to be eligible for the IPWOF in that, "the person must have played at least one hand of poker on the internet."
The announcement in August stated that the IPWOF should run for a year and eventually Schwartz and Chan will choose around 50 inductees. All the nominees to date, including the latest three, appear to be well deserving based off their accomplishments and/or impact on the world of Internet poker. The first eight inductees were PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg (Aug. 22), Prahlad "Spirit Rock" Friedman (Sept. 2), PokerStrategy.com founder Dominik Kofert (Sept. 10), Chris "moorman1" Moorman (Sept. 19), Planet Poker founder Randy Blumer (Sept. 25), Congressman's son Jim Moran Jr. (Oct. 22), 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event champion Chris Moneymaker (Nov. 19), and PokerTracker creator Pat Issac (Nov. 19).
It wasn't a matter of if Galfond made the IPWOF, but when. Galfond, known as "OMGClayAiken" on Full Tilt and "MrSweets28" on PokerStars, was one of the first players to surpass the $10 million profit mark in ring games tracked by HighStakesDB. While he has dipped under that mark now, there is little doubt that this accomplishment alone makes him a worthy selection to the IPWOF.
Another factor mentioned during his induction was that he was once the face of the poker training site Bluefire Poker before more recently launching his own successful site RunItOnce, where he is also featured as one of the top instructors.
However, perhaps the icing on the cake is that he was the only player that was prohibited by Tom Dwan (who we wouldn't be surprised to be eventually inducted on his own right) to be excluded from the infamous "Durrr Challenge".
Not a consideration since it involves live poker, but also mentioned by Schwartz were Galfond's two World Series of Poker bracelets and his over $2 million in live tournament winnings.
Shaun Deeb, who plays under the screen names "shaundeeb" on PokerStars and "tedsfishfry" on Full Tilt, should also be of little surprise to anyone he was inducted this early into the IPWOF. He has amassed three Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) titles and five World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) titles on PokerStars. He shares the record of eight COOP titles with fellow American Calvin "cal42688" Anderson.
Additionally, according to According to PocketFives his $6.3 million in online tournament cashes include 128 first-place cashes.
For many years, Deeb was well-known for the huge amount of volume he put in on the virtual poker felts. This helped propel him to become the first player to win the PokerStars Tournament Leaderboard (TLB) in back-to-back years in 2007 and 2008. He was also the former No. 1 ranked internet poker tournament player in the world on four separate occasions between 2008 and 2009 according to PocketFives. It appears he would have likely made the IPWOF even if not for these accomplishments consider neither were mentioned by Schwartz as part of the induction.
Like Galfond, Deeb also has had some success in the live poker arena with over $2 million in live tournament cashes. He alsowon his first WSOP bracelet this summer in the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship.
Online payment provider Neteller might be a surprise induction to those that haven't been around online poker for a long period of time, however, their impact on the world of Internet poker cannot be denied. Neteller was huge before the enforcement of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act shook the world of internet gaming up.
Schwartz summarizes how important they were to the initial growth of the game in his opening remarks in the IPWOF induction.
"Some of you may not remember this e-wallet, in which case you may kindly get off our lawn, but at one time it processed payments for 80% of the world's gambling websites," Schwartz posted. "It was pretty much the only game in town. Your choices were either sketchy golf ball checks by snail mail or having Neteller instantly shipping funds to your bank. It was a beautiful thing."
Times were not always good, however, for both Neteller and its customers. The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) cracked down on Neteller in 2007, detaining its co-founders, John David Lefebvre and Stephen Eric Lawrence, and seizing millions of dollars in customer funds. Adding to the concerns was that the company suspended trading of its company's shares on the London Stock Market.
About half a year later, the company admitted some wrongdoing, paid a huge $136 million fine to the U.S. government, and unfroze customer accounts. This was a huge relief to many, including Ike Haxton who reportedly had $800,000 locked up in his the e-wallet.
Despite the troubling times for Neteller, they are still to this day a payment solution for many poker players. The induction, however, is related to how they helped grow poker in its early days with Schwartz stating that, "Without the convenience and ease of making deposits and withdrawals in online poker's formative years, who knows how the boom would have progressed? Neteller's contribution was immeasurable and for that, it deserves recognition."