The 2022 Poker Hall of Fame announced the ballot for induction this year, which included seven finalists from last year plus three new names. Kathy Liebert, Josh Arieh, and Brian Rast are the three additions to the ballot along with the late Layne Flack, Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier, Isai Scheinberg, Michael 'The Grinder' Mizrachi, Mike Matusow, Matt Savage, Lon McEachern & Norman Chad. The induction ceremony is slated for July 10.
It's that time of year when the poker community gets to have a spirited debate about induction into the Poker Hall of Fame with the other egends of poker, and which nominees deserve to be honored among the greats of the game and biggest influencers. This year will be extra spicy as per usual with PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg on the list of nominees. As a former Poker Hall of Fame media voter, I would vote to include Scheinberg. His massive contributions to the game of poker and online gambling far outweigh any legal issues with the backwards and hypocritical American justice system.
Okay, let's get down to the nitty gritty. There's three names on this year's list of nominees that make a first-time appearance and all three have a strong argument for inclusion into the Poker Hall of Fame. Firstly, how the heck is Kathy Liebert not already in the Poker Hall of Fame? She's second on the all-time women's money list according to Hendon Mob with nearly $6.5 million and only trails Vanessa Selbst. It's a shame Liebert hasn't already been nominated, and she should garner a significant amount of votes this year.
Josh Arieh and Brian Rast are also first-timers on the 2022 Poker Hall of Fame ballot. Arieh made a splash at the 2004 World Series of Poker when he went deep and final tabled the Main Event. Greg Raymer eventually defeated David Williams heads-up for the title, but Arieh became a focal point of ESPN's coverage. Arieh got the "bad guy edit" for dramatic reasons. The four-time bracelet winner banked over $10 million in tournament earnings over his career, not to mention all the cash he raked in during high-stakes cash games in Atlanta.
Brian Rast won five bracelets and accumulated over $22 million in tournaments, but he's also known for the crazy prop bet when he rode a bicycle from Las Vegas to Los Angeles.
The rest of the nominees for the 2022 Poker Hall of Fame were on the ballot in previous years including Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier, Layne Flack, The Grinder, Isai Scheinberg, Mike 'The Mouth' Matusow, tournament director extraordinaire Matt Savage, and the broadcasting team of Lon McEachern and Norman Chad.
The induction panel includes 32 living current members of the Poker Hall of Fame. Last year's class included Eli Elezra.
Jesus Ferguson, Antoni Esfandiari, and Ted Forrest were on last year's ballot but did not make the cut this year. McEachern and Chad were on previous ballots but missed the cut in 2021, however the dynamic duo returned in 2022.
Stay tuned and find out who gets the nod with the induction ceremony set for July 10 to coincide with the 2022 WSOP Main Event final table.
2022 Poker Hall of Fame Nominees
- Brian Rast
- Josh Arieh
- Kathy Liebert
- Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier
- Isai Scheinberg
- Layne Flack
- Michael 'The Grinder' Mizrachi
- Mike Matusow
- Matt Savage
- Lon McEachern and Norman Chad