On Monday, WSOP officials announced the newest members of the Poker Hall of Fame. Jennifer Harman and John Juanda received the required number of votes needed for induction this year and will become part of the prestigious hall on November 6.
Harman and Juanda were the top picks from a list of finalists that included the late David “DevilFish” Ulliott as well as Carlos Mortensen, Matt Savage, Bruno Fitoussi and Chris Bjorin.
Harman Was Trailblazer for Women’s Poker
Jennifer Harman’s induction to the Poker Hall of Fame has been long overdue. She has been on the ballot each year since sine at least 2010 and each year she has come up short. Some felt that she might get passed over again this year but with supporters such as best friend Daniel Negreanu and Doyle Brunson, this ended up finally being her year.
Harman may not have the tournament stats of some of the other players in the Hall of Fame but she was still a monumental force in the tournament world after the Poker Boom. She has two open-field WSOP bracelets and several high profile final table appearances.
She is also one of the only women to regularly compete in high stakes games around the world on a regular basis. Harman was also part of the famous “Corporation” that took on Billionaire Andy Beale in high stakes games in the years following the Boom.
Harman was an inspiration to women following the Boom as she proved that women can play the game at a high level. She helped inspire the current generation of top pros such as Liv Boeree, Vanessa Selbst and Loni Harwood.
Juanda Simply Did it All
There have been few candidates that have come through the Hall of Fame voting process in the last decade with better qualifications than John Juanda. Start by looking at his live tournament performances. He has $17.25 million in lifetime earnings along with five WSOP bracelets and an EPT title.
What’s perhaps most amazing about Juanda is his consistency over the years. He has been a part of the live tournament world since the late 1990’s and has only experienced one year where he didn’t make at least $100,000 or more in a year. Since the Poker Boom, his worst year was 2007 where he made just $340,537. He has seven years where he’s made at least $1 million with 2012 being his best year with earnings of over $3.16 million.
Juanda was also a major part of the high stakes poker world and has been a regular fixture in high stakes games in California, Las Vegas and other parts of the world. While he’s not the most outspoken of poker pros, his performance at the table over the years has spoken volumes.
First Year This Decade a Contributor Not Inducted
You may notice that this is the first time this decade that a contributor or a hybrid player-contributor wasn’t inducted into the Hall of Fame. Matt Savage and Bruno Fitoussi were the only two on the finalist list that had any chance of being inducted under that category. This was Savage’s first year on the ballot and while he is considered worthy by many, he many not have enough time under his belt to deserve induction in the eyes of some voters.
Fitoussi is more of a player-contributor as he doesn’t really have enough on either side of the coin to deserve induction. A solid on-felt resume couple with being the person responsible for the growth of poker in France makes him a solid hybrid candidate. However, this is one of the years that the committee decided to induct the two most deserving candidates and Fitoussi had to be pushed to another year. He will eventually get in, but it will have to be in a year where he is the strongest “second choice.”