Following the 2015 Poker Hall of Fame selections of John Juanda and Jennifer Harman, most of the conversation afterward has centered on how non-Americans have very little chance to make the PHOF. Specifically, the only non-American in the Hall is Edmund Hoyle, who died in 1769 and was selected in 1980. With all the talk about how the HOF voting needs to be less biased, it seems like a European player/contributor could make it in next year. That said, let’s discuss three Europeans who could potentially land in the 2016 Poker Hall of Fame class.
1. Carlos Mortensen
Purely from a tournament perspective, Carlos Mortensen is a shoo-in for the Poker Hall of Fame. He has $11.91 million in live tournament winnings along with two WSOP gold bracelets and three WPT titles. Furthermore, “El Matador” won the 2001 WSOP Main Event and the 2007 WPT Championship. About the only thing that Mortensen can’t claim on his resume is a successful high stakes career. However, there are other players who don’t quite satisfy this requirement either.
2. Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott
There was an emotional aspect involved in Ulliott’s 2015 bid for the PHOF, given that he passed away this year. So when Ulliott didn’t make it in, there were some cries from fellow European players who questioned the all-American voting panel for the HOF. Will Devilfish make it in next year as a result of the outcry? Ulliott’s resume is borderline, with $6 million in tournament winnings and a gold bracelet. However, his entertaining personality adds something to his bid for the PHOF.
3. Bruno Fitoussi
Based purely on his playing career, Bruno Fitoussi falls short of the Hall. He has $2.79 million in tourney earnings, but has never had a major victory. However, what pushes Fitoussi’s resume over the top is that he’s perhaps the most-instrumental person in the history of French poker. Fitoussi brought poker to Aviation Club de France and also influenced many French citizens to take up the game.