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Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Updated: September 3, 4:17 PM ET
And the Hall of Fame nominees are …


The World Series of Poker released the names of the final 10 nominees who will be on the ballot for the WSOP Poker Hall of Fame class of 2010. From July 1 until Aug. 31, fans cast their votes on WSOP.com and entered the names of the players they believed should be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Here are the nominees (in alphabetical order): Chris Ferguson, Barry Greenstein, Jennifer Harman-Traniello, Dan Harrington, Phil Ivey, Linda Johnson, Tom McEvoy, Daniel Negreanu, Scotty Nguyen and Erik Seidel.

The ballot, which will be discussed and finalized by the Poker Hall of Fame Governing Council, will then be sent to the 16 living Hall of Fame members and a 17-person media panel. After the votes are calculated, the top two players will be inducted, as long as they receive a majority of the vote. The panel will analyze each nominee based on criteria set by the WSOP:

• A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
• Played for high stakes
• Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers
• Stood the test of time
• Or, for nonplayers, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results.

Last year, Mike Sexton was the only inductee. He was the 38th member of the Poker Hall of Fame, which was established in 1979.

The induction ceremony will take place during the November Nine weekend in Las Vegas, where the final table of the WSOP main event will conclude.

It is a privilege to be part of the committee that will vote on these great players, and I'll be taking my time to think about my decision in the coming weeks. One issue I had trouble with last year and continue to have trouble with this year is a tough internal argument about how old a player needs to be (or how long he or she needs to have played) to have "stood the test of time." After discussing this idea with my colleagues in the fantasy games editorial group, we debated that, just like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (another HOF in which your career can technically be active while you are a member), a certain time frame must be set before potential induction. If players faced some criteria by which, for example, there must have been X years between his first WSOP event and his potential nomination/induction, I think it would be beneficial to this process.

However, since there's no such criteria at the moment, I'm left with a tough decision and a lot of thought. If you have an opinion, feel free to leave it in the Conversation section below.

Blair Hinkle wins WSOP Circuit stop in Council Bluffs

Blair Hinkle
Blair Hinkle won the first main event of the 2010-2011 WSOP Circuit in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The first stop of the 2010-11 WSOP Circuit concluded Wednesday with 24-year-old bracelet winner Blair Hinkle defeating the field of 255. Hinkle earned $88,553 for the victory and locked up his seat into the National Championship, a 100-player freeroll that will have a prize pool of a million dollars and award a WSOP bracelet to the champion.

Hinkle began the final day of play with a below-average stack (ninth place of 13), but the pro quickly turned the tables and, as the final table was reached, was the chip leader. Shiva Dudani took that title courtesy of his elimination of John Wakeen in seventh place, but Hinkle remained resilient and doubled through Dwyte Pilgrim with six to go to put the two as the clear favorites for the title.

Pilgrim battled but finished in third and earned $39,531. Dudani and Hinkle began heads-up play with Hinkle having the edge by approximately 400,000 in chips. A failed bluff by Dudani (when he missed his straight draw) handed over the title to Hinkle, who is one of a few players who own a WSOP Circuit championship and a WSOP bracelet.

ESPN.com's Bernard Lee also put up a fight on the final table and finished in 10th place to earn $6,582.

Here are the results for the final table: 1. Blair Hinkle ($88,555)
2. Shiva Dudani ($54,715)
3. Dwyte Pilgrim ($39,531)
4. Matt Lawrence ($29,092)
5. Charles Moore ($21,795)
6. Jack Do ($16,608)
7. John Wakeen ($12,867)
8. Daniel Biddle ($10,131)
9. Kevin Calenzo ($8,103)

EPT Vilamoura reaches the final table

A quick day was in store for those at EPT Vilamoura, and in less than six hours the field of 24 turned into the final table of eight. Leading the way is Toby Lewis, who holds less than a big blind more in his stack than Sam Trickett in second. The two chip leaders, with 3.3 million apiece, have nearly double the stack of Teddy Sheringham in third place and have more than 12 times the stack of Rob Hollink in eighth.

Action will resume at 7 a.m. ET Thursday with the blinds at 12,000/24,000 with a 2,000 ante. Each of the players at the final table has locked up 37,248 euros, and the champion will be awarded a top prize of 467,835 euros.

Here are the chip counts:

1. Toby Lewis (3.3 million in chips)
2. Sam Trickett (3.3 million in chips)
3. Teddy Sheringham (1.7 million in chips)
4. Jason Lee (1.1 million in chips)
5. Sergio Coutinho (872,000 in chips)
6. Martin Jacobson (441,000 in chips)
7. Frederik Jensen (375,000 in chips)
8. Rob Hollink (259,000 in chips)

Small blinds: Day 2 has concluded at the World Poker Tour stop in London. The stop is down to the final 38 players. Both Erik Seidel and Phil Ivey had a ton of chips to start the day, but neither made it to Day 3. Notables remaining include Huck Seed, Praz Bansi, Richard Ashby and Luke Schwartz. … Players in the U.S. are heading to Oklahoma for the huge guarantee at the WinStar Casino, and players abroad are heading to the Partouche Poker Tour in Cannes, France. Both tournaments begin Thursday. … ABC's "Nightline" featured a segment on online poker. … According to highstakesdb.com, Phil Ivey brought in another $2 million online in August while Gus Hansen lost $2.8 million. Ouch. …