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As part of the World Series of Poker main event final table festivities, up to two players will take center stage and take their place in the Poker Hall of Fame. On Tuesday, the WSOP announced the nominees for the class of 2011, which includes some of the true icons of the industry. The final list of 10 players was determined after a public nomination process on WSOP.com and a vetting of those nominations by the newly established Poker Hall of Fame Governing Council.
In order to be considered for induction, each player must satisfy the following 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.
Here's the list of the 10 players and a quick note about what makes each one stand out:
Annie Duke: Third on the women's all-time money list with $4.2 million in earnings. Her career highlights include a WSOP bracelet in 2004, a victory in the Tournament of Champions that same year and the National Heads-Up Poker title in 2010. The current commissioner of the Epic Poker League also attracted mainstream recognition through her appearance on "Celebrity Apprentice."
Barry Greenstein: For the last few decades ,Greenstein's name has always been mentioned among poker's most elite. The "Robin Hood of Poker," Greenstein made his name on a national level by donating money to charity. He has participated in the biggest cash games around, earned more than $7.5 million on the tournament felt, won three WSOP bracelets, attained 52 WSOP cashes and won a World Poker Tour title.
Jennifer Harman-Traniello: Whether it's cash games to tournaments, Harman-Traniello is always in the center of the action. The two-time WSOP bracelet winner has 26 WSOP cashes and $2.6 million in tournament earnings. Beyond that, she's considered by many to be the best female cash-game player of all time.
Linda Johnson: The "First Lady of Poker" has been incredibly influential on the growth of the industry since her introduction to the game nearly 30 years ago. She played professionally, grinding the tables in Las Vegas; won a WSOP bracelet in 1997; was the publisher of CardPlayer magazine, turning it into one of poker's most authoritative sources; was a co-founder of the Tournament Directors Association; co-wrote books; shared her knowledge around the world through seminars; and was inducted into the Women's Poker Hall of Fame in 2008.
John Juanda: Often found in the top 10 of ESPN.com's poker rankings, Juanda is still among the best in the world. The five-time WSOP bracelet winner has 57 WSOP cashes, $11.8 million in tournament earnings and a reputation as one of the toughest cash game competitors in the world. He won a bracelet this year when he stopped Phil Hellmuth in the 2-7 Lowball event.
Marcel Luske: Yes, he's more than just the guy who sang on the 2004 WSOP broadcasts on ESPN. Luske has nearly $4 million in tournament earnings including 21 cashes and seven final tables at the WSOP. He finished 10th in the 2004 WSOP main event, stole the show and became a European poker icon who helped to create the International Poker Rules, which help to standardize tournament procedures and guidelines.
Jack McClelland: There are few people who can say that they've been at more final tables than McClelland. The iconic tournament director has spent time working with the WSOP, WPT and numerous other casinos around the country. Now he calls the Bellagio his home, where he's continued to be a builder of the game and community in Las Vegas.
Tom McEvoy: The 1983 WSOP main event champion has been a nominee for the past few years. The first-ever satellite main event champion has four WSOP bracelets, 42 WSOP cashes and $2.9 in lifetime tournament earnings. He's the author of many poker books and the winner of the 2009 WSOP Champions Invitational.
Scotty Nguyen: One of the most charismatic players in the game is up for induction for a second year in a row. The 1998 WSOP main event champion, 2008 $50,000 HORSE champion, World Poker Tour champion and owner of five WSOP bracelets has $11.4 million in tournament earnings. He's provided the poker world with many memorable moments and is positioned for many more in the future.
Huckleberry Seed: Quiet, unassuming and incredibly skilled, Seed remains one of the world's best poker players to this day. The 1996 WSOP main event champion, 2010 Tournament of Champions winner, 2009 National Heads-Up Poker champion and four-time bracelet winner has accumulated $7.2 million through tournament play. He excels at all games and given his tendency to prop bet, probably has something on the line regarding his induction into the Hall of Fame.
The list of nominees is now submitted to the 18 living members of the Hall of Fame and a 17-person media panel. Depending on the results, one or two nominees will be named for induction later this month.