Welcome to the Poker Hall of Fame Carlos Mortensen and Todd Brunson! Out of ten initial nominees this year, only two will get the actual nod into the Hall of Fame: Todd Brunson and Carlos Mortensen. Both will officially be inducted during a special ceremony at Binions in downtown Las Vegas on October 26.
The original list of 2016 Hall of Fame inductees included Humberto Brenes, Chris Bjorin, Bruno Fitoussi, Carlos Mortensen, Max Pescatori, Matt Savage, Devilfish, Chris Moneymaker, Todd Brunson, and Eli Elezra. Out of those ten, three names were nominated for the first time: Chris Moneymaker, Todd Brunson, and Eli Elezra. Yes, Todd Brunson got the nod for the first time he was eligible.
Todd Brunson dropped out of college against his father's wishes. He ended a potential career as a lawyer in order to focus on no-limit hold'em…which irked his father even more so. The legendary Doyle Brunson finally caved and supported his son's wishes to follow in his (massive) footsteps. Todd is only 47 years old but he has one WSOP bracelet and shipped over $4 million in career tournament earnings. But that's peanuts compared to what Todd raked in playing high-stakes cash games. Todd Brunson's big moment came during the infamous cash games against Texas banker and billionaire Andy Beal. Brunson had a great read on Beal, who seemed unbeatable until he sat down to play against Todd Brunson. Todd won $13.5 million during a two-day stint playing Beal heads-up. It is considered one of the greatest scores of all time.
Carlos Mortensen is 44-years old and one of the youngest members to be inducted. Originally from Spain, Mortensen made a splash at the 2001 WSOP Main Event when he defeated Dewey Tomko heads-up for the victory. Since then, the Vegas resident has won another WSOP bracelet and almost $10 million combined on the WPT and the WSOP. Mortensen won three events on the WPT including the 2007 WPT Championship at the Bellagio for a $3.9 million score. He's also the only player to win both the WPT Championship and the WSOP Main Event. Mortensen is the career all-time money leader in the WPT, which is even more amazing considering how few events he actually played.
Poker Hall of Fame Criteria
- A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
- Be a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination
- Played for high stakes
- Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers
- Stood the test of time
- Or, for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results