Daniel Negreanu and renowned poker tournament director Jack McClelland are the newest members of the Poker Hall of Fame.
The pair have become the 47th and 48th poker people to receive the prestigious nomination, and will be inducted at a ceremony on November 9th at Binion’s Horseshoe, the original home of the World Series of Poker (WSOP), prior to the conclusion of this year’s Main Event.
Negreanu and McClelland were picked from a group of 10 nominees, which this year included popular players like Jennifer Harman, Mike Matusow, Ted Forrest and Huck Seed. Nominees were chosen by public vote, with the winners then selected by a 20-person panel comprised of influential figures from the poker media, as well as living Hall of Famers, including Doyle Brunson, Mike Sexton, Phil Hellmuth, and Barry Greenstein.
Negreanu was a popular choice: a perennial fan favorite, the Canadian has had an extraordinary 2014, cashing in an amazing nine events at the WSOP, including that second-place in the Big One for One Drop, which netted him $8 million. That result made him the biggest live tournament winner of all time, with more than $30 million to his name.
With his indefatigable and garrulous good humor, few people have done more to popularize the game of poker and paint it in a positive light through the media. This was Negreanu’s first nomination for the Hall of Fame, having only just turned 40, a nomination requirement.
“It’s an honor to be inducted alongside so many great players that have come before me,” Negreanu said. “An even bigger honor to be recognized at age 40, the same age as the legend Chip Reese. Thank you to the living members of the Poker Hall of Fame and those on the Blue Ribbon Media Panel that voted for me.”
Tournament Director to the Stars
McClelland, meanwhile, is one of poker’s legendary hosts and tournament directors. He presided over the World Series of Poker in 1984, and from there he devoted himself to spreading tournament poker across the world. Retiring in 2013, he spent the last 11 years of his professional years as TD at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, where he helped launch some of the early events of the World Poker Tour (WPT).
“Being inducted into the Class of 2014 Poker Hall of Fame is a very exciting prospect and I am sure it will be a very humbling experience,” said McClelland. “I thank everyone involved in this process and to the WSOP, WPT and all of the great people I have met and the wonderful people I have worked with throughout the years. Thank you for bestowing this honor upon me. I am very grateful.”
History of The Poker Hall of Fame
The Poker Hall of Fame was created in 1979 by godfather of the WSOP, Benny Binion. That year there were seven inductees, including legendary grinder Johnny Moss and flamboyant gambler Nick “The Greek” Dandalos, who in 1949 fought an epic heads-up battle at The Horseshoe.
The publicity the match garnered was said to have given Binion the idea to stage the first ever World Series of Poker. Binion himself was inducted in 1990, one year after his death.