Are Bonomo, Holz & Colman Worthy of the Poker Hall of Fame?
Nominations are now open for the Poker Hall of Fame (PHoF) Class of 2018. Established in 1979, the PHoF is currently composed of 54 names, including 25 living members. One of the criteria for nominees is that they be at least 40 years old, meaning most of today’s stars are ineligible, many for at least another decade.
Take Justin Bonomo for example. He’ll turn 33 on September 30, so he’s got more than seven years before he’s eligible. Likewise, Daniel Colman and Fedor Holz, who are just 27 and 24 respectively, have more than a decade before they qualify. Even so, the trio has all experienced incredible successes in recent years and have storied careers.
We recently highlighted the incredible years of Holz and Bonomo, who currently sit sixth ($26,550,884) and third ($32,787,759) respectively on the all-time money list. As for Colman, he sits in fourth place with $28,925,059 in earnings.
We decided to ask some folks around the Rio for their thoughts on whether or not what Bonomo, Holz, and Colman have accomplished thus far is enough to get them in the PHoF when they’re eligible.
“I’d say Fedor and Bonomo likely, Colman definitely not,” said Daniel Negreanu, who was inducted into the PHoF in 2014. “Part of the PHoF is standing the test of time.
Negeanu: "Imagine 15 years from now, would people think of him and think he deserves to be in?”
Daniel Colman clearly came out in force but I don’t think you can say a three-year career is standing the test of time. Not that he couldn’t be successful now, but when someone walks away from the game for the most part, I think that would be hard. Imagine 15 years from now, would people think of him and think he deserves to be in?”
He continued: “It feels like Fedor and Bonomo likely, although the way in which the poker world has changed so much with all the high rollers, there’s gonna be someone every year who does that. Maybe not at that level in terms of numbers, but it’s just standard deviation, it’s supposed to happen. The question is; will they continue to do it? If so, for sure. If they never win another thing in their life, they probably won’t.”
Scott Seiver, who sits tenth on poker’s all-time money list with $23,187,244 in earnings, echoed those sentiments.
“I would say the people you’ve named would if they continue to play until they’re eligible,” he said on a break from the $1,500 Eight Game Mix. “Right now, I would guess Dan Colman should not, given it seems he’s out of the game.
Seiver: "I would say talent wise and results wise 100% yes, but I think longevity is important.”
I think a major aspect of the game should be longevity. There’s always going to be someone that the greatest of their time, of the year, or of their era even. But there’s something about still being able to play, to ante up, for 10-15 years that’s a real lynchpin of what the PHoF means. I would say talent wise and results wise 100% yes, but I think longevity is important.”
In order to be inducted into the PHoF, the list of nominees is sent to existing members and a blue-ribbon media panel who then cast votes to determine that year’s class. One man who has been a member of the panel for the past 15 years, is poker author Jim McManus.
“I think they are still in their primes, just in their mid to late twenties,” he said when asked about the triumvirate. “If they maintain anything resembling their current pace they do. They’re among the greatest players of their generations. The people who are beating cash and tournaments at high stakes, when they turn 40 and have done it for a decade and a half, they’re definitely the kind of people you’d want to vote for.”
McManus: "I also feel strongly that we need a physical place to display plaques and others items."
McManus’ books, Positively Fifth Street and Cowboys Full, are among the most popular poker books ever written and make him an expert of sorts on poker history. McManus, who has hinted at a follow up to Positively Fifth Street (his chapter contribution in Anthony Holden’s recently-released book, He Played for His Wife and Other Stories, is a preview of said sequel), also shares his thoughts on this year’s Poker Hall of Fame.
“I feel that poker writer, like David Sklansky, Herbert O. Yardley, and Al Alvarez should be considered. Baseball has writers in its Hall of Fame. Obviously, I have a personal interest. Poker wouldn’t be the only Hall that has people who narrate the game on tv and in books and articles. I also feel strongly that we need a physical place to display plaques and others items. I don’t know where it would go, but it’s a natural thing for a Hall of Fame where people can go and visit it.”
Public nominations for the Poker Hall of Fame are now open. Ten nominees will be selected from among the submitted names, and ultimately either one or two people will be enshrined in the Class of 2018, which will take place during the WSOP Main Event final table.