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A Look at the Finalists for the 2012 Poker HOF

The ballots have been cast (well the e-ballots anyway) and the 10 leading vote-getters chosen by the fans have been tallied to create the short-list of 10 finalists for the Poker Hall of Fame Class of 2012. The finalists announced on Thursday had to meet the Poker Hall of Fame eligibility criteria and now will be voted on by the living Poker HOF members and a selected panel of poker media, where two people will likely get the nod.

Here is a look at the 10 players who made the final cut (in alphabetical order) and how I feel they will fare when the final votes are tallied:

  1. Chris Bjorin
  2. David Chiu
  3. Eric Drache
  4. Thor Hansen
  5. George Hardie
  6. Jennifer Harman-Traniello
  7. John Juanda
  8. Tom Mcevoy
  9. Scotty Nguyen
  10. Brian “Sailor” Roberts

In recent years the panel is allowed to vote for three players and can dole out up to 10 points total amongst the three.

The Front-Runners:

  • Jennifer Harman-Traniello

By far the most accomplished player in this year’s class, Harman is perhaps the best female player the game has ever seen.

  • John Juanda

Juanda is a surefire Hall of Famer, the question is; is it going to happen this year?

  • Brian “Sailor” Roberts

Roberts was a “write-in” nomination by a current Hall of Famed member according to the WSOP.com website, and it’s highly likely he will be honored and inducted posthumously by his longtime friend and poker partner Doyle Brunson.

Dark-Horses:

  • Eric Drache

Drache is on my short-list of industry people who deserve to be in the Poker Hall of Fame, and hopefully this won’t be a one-time nomination for him.

  • Thor Hansen

Hansen’s poker resume is borderline, but considering his standing in the poker world, being one of the first big-time European players, and his current battle against cancer, Hansen has a puncher’s chance of getting in this year.

  • Tom McEvoy

McEvoy is a perennial finalist and this may very well be his year.

Wait Until Next Year:

  • George Hardie

Hardie was one of the people responsible for the California poker scene, but in the grand scheme of poker California is far behind Las Vegas and there are plenty of Las Vegas poker industry-types that are still waiting for a HOF slot (see Eric Drache above).

  • David Chiu

Looking at Chiu’s stats you can see why he was nominated, but as a still-active player in his first year as a finalist he is unlikely to get the nod in 2012 –although he is a deserving addition in the future.

  • Chris Bjorin

Bjorin is in the unenviable position of being the “Not Thor Hansen Euro” on the nominee list. If a Euro player is getting in this year it will be Hansen due to his failing health.

  • Scotty Nguyen

2008 $50k HORSE Championship; enough said. The memory of this moment is still too fresh for an otherwise deserving player.

For more information on the Poker Hall of Fame and this year’s list of nominees you can go to: http://www.wsop.com/news/2012/Sep/4010/TEN-FINALISTS-FOR-THE-2012-POKER-HALL-OF-FAME-UNVEILED.html

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