Nguyen, Juanda Headline 2012 Poker Hall of Fame Nominations

Scotty Nguyen
1998 world champion Scotty Nguyen picks up a nomination.

The list of nominations has been released for the 2012 Poker Hall of Fame and has a seat on the blue-ribbon voting panel.

After a public nomination process on and a thorough vetting by the Poker Hall of Fame Governing Council the group of nominees has been trimmed down to just ten names.

Headlining the list are world champions Scotty Nguyen and Tom McEvoy plus elite players like Jennifer Harman-Traniello and John Juanda.

Europe is well represented with Sweden’s Chris Bjorin and Norway’s Thor Hansen both receiving nods.

And while Eric Drache and George Hardie have both had success at the poker table, it’s their managerial contributions to the game that have earned them nominations.

Drache was the tournament director for the WSOP in the 1970s and is credited with the invention of tournament satellites. Drache went on to manage cardrooms all over Las Vegas including Bellagio, Mirage and the Golden Nugget.

George Hardie finds himself on the list for leading poker’s explosive popularity in California, building the Bicycle Casino into the biggest card room in the world.

Thor Hansen
Norway's Thor Hansen survived a brush with cancer this year and is now nominated for the Hall of Fame.

And there is one posthumous nomination in legendary road gambler and former world champion Brian “Sailor” Roberts.

Here is the full list of nominations for the 2012 class of the Poker Hall of Fame:

  • Chris Bjorin
  • David Chiu
  • Eric Drache
  • Thor Hansen
  • George Hardie
  • Jennifer Harman-Traniello
  • John Juanda
  • Tom McEvoy
  • Scotty Nguyen
  • Brian “Sailor” Roberts

Brian “Sailor” Roberts was not originally nominated via the public voting system on but, in keeping with Hall of Fame rules, existing HOF members used their option of “writing in” a candidate that wasn’t submitted by the public.

John Juanda, Jennifer Harman-Traniello, Scotty Nguyen and Tom McEvoy were also all nominated in 2011. Annie Duke, whose 2011 nomination was poorly received by some, was not nominated this time around. Takes Seat on 2012 HOF Voting Panel

Jennifer Harman
Jennifer Harman-Traniello is the only woman on this year's list of nominees.

Of the 42 individuals who have been inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame since it was created in 1979, only 18 are still alive.

Those 18 poker legends will be joined by 18 members of the poker media, included, to decide who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012.

Typically either one or two people are inducted into the Hall of Fame each year.

Voting hinges on the following criteria:

  • 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.

Voting closes September 30 and the inductees will be announced during the WSOP Main Event final table at the Rio Hotel in October.

We invite you to express your opinions on who belongs in the Poker Hall of Fame using the comments below. We will take all comments into consideration when casting our votes.

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