Huck Seed Becomes Sole 2020 Poker Hall of Fame Inductee

Considering that the coronavirus pandemic interrupted nearly everything in the poker world, it was no surprise that the World Series of Poker waiting until the end of the year to start the Poker Hall of Fame nominations. And just two days before 2020 ended, the WSOP announced its 2020 inductee.

Huckleberry Seed is the latest member of the WSOP Poker Hall of Fame.

Annual Nomination Process

The general public determine the people nominated for possible induction to the Poker HOF. Each year, the World Series of Poker opens an online nomination system that allows people to nominate anyone.

You can nominate your mom if you want.

As incredible a poker player as your mom may be, though, she probably doesn’t meet the criteria for nominations to move forward. No offense to your mom’s poker skills.

When the nomination process closes, the Poker Hall of Fame Governing Council – a mysterious band of reviewers – tallies all viable submissions. Viability depends upon several criteria:

  • The player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition.
  • The player must have played for high stakes.
  • The player must be at least 40 years old at the time of his or her nomination.
  • The player must have played consistently well, gaining the respect of his or her peers.
  • The player must have stood the test of time.

There is also a way for non-players to be inducted:

  • He or she must have contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker with indelible positive and lasting results.

The top 10 nominees are then submitted to the living members of the Poker Hall of Fame. Each one of them has 10 votes to distribute among the nominees as they choose.

2020 HOF Voting

Typically, at least in the past few years, the World Series of Poker opens up the voting process in conjunction with the WSOP. It then announces the inductees – typically two per year – at or near the Main Event final table.

This year, the pandemic changed everything. The WSOP announced a unique 2020 Main Event, one that was to culminate in a heads-up finale in Las Vegas on December 30. Therefore, they set up the Hall of Fame process to work its way to an inductee in December, one that would be revealed at the finale.

Oops.

As mentioned around the time of the US Main Event final table, the international winner – Damian Salas – was unable to gain entry into the United States from Argentina by December 30. Therefore, the WSOP had to push the finale to January 3.

To keep the 2020 Poker Hall of Fame revelation within the confines of 2020, the WSOP announced that 2020 name on December 30 online.

With only one induction on the table for 2020, the WSOP tallied the votes of the HOF members. Only 30 of the 31 people voted to determine that the inductee was Huckleberry Seed. The votes among the 10 nominees were allocated as follows:

  • Huck Seed = 76 votes
  • Matt Savage = 51 votes
  • Isai Scheinberg (founder of PokerStars, first-time nominee) = 45 votes
  • Eli Elezra = 30 votes
  • Antonio Esfandiari = 23 votes
  • Lon McEachern and Norman Chad (as a team, first-time nominee) = 20 votes
  • Ted Forrest = 20 votes
  • Mike Matusow = 17 votes
  • Patrik Antonius (first-time nominee) = 15 votes
  • Chris Ferguson = 3 votes

Longtime Poker Player Huck Seed

Some people recognize Huckleberry Seed as one of the tallest players at 6’7”. Others know of his legendary prop bets, which have revolved around everything from not shaving for a year to doing a standing backflip, from golf bets to water and swimming/floating challenges.

Overall, though, everyone in poker knows that Huck Seed was one of the best players in the game.

The California-born and Montana-raised man spent much of his youth on the basketball court, playing a starring role in taking his high school to the state finals. He then attended Caltech in Southern California to study electrical engineering, but he ended up using his math skills more often at the poker tables. He official took a break from school in the late 1990s and never returned.

Seed began recording poker tournament wins in 1990 and began making final tables of World Series of Poker events at Binion’s in Vegas the same year. He won his first WSOP event four years later and accumulated these through the years:

  • 1994 WSOP: $2,500 buy-in Pot Limit Omaha = 1st place for $167K
  • 1996 WSOP: $10K No Limit Hold’em World Championship (Main Event = 1st place for $1M
  • 2000 WSOP: $1,500 Razz = 1st place for $77,400
  • 2003 WSOP: $5K Razz = 1st place for $71,500

Also of note, Seed won the 2010 WSOP NLHE Tournament of Champions for $500K, 1998 Carnivale of Poker Championship for $306K, 2008 Canadian Open Poker Championship for $100K, 2009 NBC National Heads-Up Championship for $500K, and several television shows like Poker After Dark and Late Night Poker.

Seed won a great deal playing online poker and live cash games, though most of this is not public information. The metric that gauges live poker tournaments – Hendon Mob Database – shows him with more than $7.6 million throughout his career.

Now in his early 50s, Seed remains involved in the poker world, though more on the business side and with a special interest in cryptocurrency online gambling.

Hall of Fame Includes 59

The WSOP Poker Hall of Fame now consists of 59 names, including Huck Seed.

The last decade welcomed the following members besides Seed:

  • 2019: Chris Moneymaker and David Oppenheim
  • 2018: John “Johnny World” Hennigan and Mori Eskandani
  • 2017: Phil Ivey and David “Devilfish” Ulliott
  • 2016: Todd Brunson and Carlos Mortensen
  • 2015: Jennifer Harman and John Juanda
  • 2014: Jack McClelland and Daniel Negreanu
  • 2013: Tom McEvoy and Scotty Nguyen
  • 2012: Eric Drache and Brian “Sailor” Roberts
  • 2011: Linda Johnson and Barry Greenstein

From the entire list, the only Canadian-born inductee was Negreanu. Most of the legendary players in the game hailed from the United States, mostly from the southern states and the coasts. As poker has grown, however, the Hall of Fame has continued to be a primarily American-focused list.

Perhaps in the next decade, another Canadian will enter the Poker HOF.

 

 

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell has been writing about poker and gambling since 2004. From her days in the WPT offices to covering summers of WSOP tournament action, she also followed gambling legislation to Washington D.C. and women-only poker to the Bahamas. Meanwhile, she lived in Los Angeles and Las Vegas for many years before moving back to her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Now, Jen travels less, writing about poker and online gambling from her home with her two dogs watching her every move. In her spare time, she follows politics, works on her never-finished novels, and learns Italian in the hopes of retiring to Italy someday.

If you want to know more, you can follow Jen on Twitter @WriterJen

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