Hall of Fame Nominations

Canterbury Park announced this week that they are going to host the Minnesota Poker Hall of Fame. I won’t even go into whether there should even be a Minnesota Hall of Fame, I have heard that discussion enough at the poker tables this week. There is going to be one, and it makes for an interesting blog post, so I am going to post my thoughts on the people that should be in it.  Let me preface this by saying that I am not part of the hall of fame committee, I have no idea who is part of the hall of fame committee, and I have zero sway or influence at Canterbury Park. A few people at Canterbury aren’t big fans of yours truly, but they run a good card room and I’m sure the hall of fame will be done well.

If I were in charge, I would nominate (in no particular order) –

“Minneapolis” Jim Meehan 

Love him or hate him, Jim was the face of Minnesota poker for many years. When I first started going to Las Vegas, everyone that heard I was from Minnesota asked me if I knew Jim. He has a WSoP bracelet, Minnesota’s first, and he has been a figure both locally and nationally since before Canterbury brought legitimate poker to Minnesota. Jim is definitely a first ballot hall of fame inductee.

Lyle Berman 

Lyle is an excellent player and has some accomplishments under his belt at the poker tables, but more important than those accomplishments is his role in the creation of the World Poker Tour. Lyle helped start the poker boom by broadcasting poker the right way, with hole card cams and announcers who knew what they were talking about. Lyle might be the most important figure in the poker world that has come out of Minnesota, and I think he’s a lock to get into the hall.

Danielle Anderson

You may not have played with her in your local weekly tournament, but dmoongirl was a big deal online and more recently was the star of Bet Raise Fold, a documentary about the online poker world and Black Friday. Between her poker accomplishments and her starring role in an important poker documentary that the whole country is watching, Danielle belongs in the hall of fame.

Jason ‘pbjaxx’ Senti

Jason is a figure in the local poker scene on occasion, but he is most widely know for making the November Nine at the WSoP main event in 2010 where he won 1.3 million dollars. He’s also a great guy, a well known high stakes online player, and a world class pot-limit Omaha player. Jason belongs in the hall of fame, no doubt about it.

John ‘JohnnyGStacks’ Hayes

As far as I can tell, Johnny is the biggest winner in Minnesota history, with over 2.5 million in tournament winnings online, strong live tournament results including an MSPT bracelet and a 3rd place finish in a WSoP event, Johnny has proven that he is a world class player and that he belongs in the hall of fame.

The five names above seem like slam dunk first ballot hall of famers to me, and I think Bryan Mileski, Everett Carlton, and Blake Bohn should be in the running as well. None of them would be a bad choice, and all three show no signs of slowing down. Mileski will continue to grow the MSPT, and Carlton and Bohn will continue to win tournaments, so if we don’t put them in now, we’ll be doing it in a few years anyway.

Watch for players like Kou Vang, Matt Kirby, Jarred Koppel, and Erick Wright as well. With a little more longevity all of those names could end up in the hall. My apologies to anyone I missed, these were just the names I came up with off the top of my head. It’s a blog, not an article in the New York Times. For an NYT article, I would probably actually do some research.

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