Many were convinced that Carlos Mortensen, a WSOP Main Event winner and 3-time WPT champion, was a shoo-in for the 2016 Poker Hall of Fame class. But the second spot…nobody was really sure about this.
We now know that it will be Todd Brunson joining Mortensen as a 2016 Poker Hall of Fame inductee. Both players were voted into the Poker HOF by a 44-member panel consisting of media members and current HOF members.
“It’s a true honor to be inducted by my peers into this prestigious institution,” said Brunson. “I literally grew up attending these ceremonies and have always respected and admired its members. To join their ranks is the honor of a lifetime.”
The 51st and 52nd players voted into the Poker Hall of Fame, Brunson and Mortensen are interesting selections for their own reasons.
Todd joins his dad, Doyle Brunson, as the first father-son combo in the HOF. Mortensen is the first European and international player to earn this prestigious honor.
“I have been playing poker professionally for more than 20 years,” Mortensen said. “This game has given me so many things that I have come to cherish. I’ve always wanted to be included among the great players who make up the Poker Hall of Fame. To be included with the legends makes me very happy. I want to thank my friends, the poker fans, and all the people who vote for me. I take this honor very seriously.”
Other nominees for the 2016 Poker Hall of Fame class included Chris Bjorin, Humberto Brenes, Eli Elezra, Bruno Fitoussi, Chris Moneymaker, Max Pescatori, Matt Savage, and David “Devilfish” Ulliott.
This year featured lots of debate on whether player-contributor hybrids like Moneymaker and Fitoussi should be considered for the HOF.
Daniel Negreanu believes that players should only be judged on their poker accomplishments and not ambassadorship. Negreanu wrote that Bjorin, Brunson, Mortensen, and Devilfish were the only ones who met all the criteria for a player entry into the Hall of Fame.
Mike “The Mouth” Matusow was disappointed that he wasn’t a nominee. He also discussed why Chris Moneymaker – a player/ambassador – has no business in the HOF.
Aside from Brunson, Moneymaker and Ulliott were often in the conversation for this year’s second Hall of Fame slot. But Brunson, with his noted high stakes play and $4.1 million in tournament winnings, got the nod.