Jim “Pocket Bullets” Paris
There seems to be a slight dispute regarding the election of Chris Moneymaker into the Poker Hall of Fame. The argument is that in reality he never really achieved poker legend status, certainly not as a champion of the felt in the same league as Negreanu or Hellmuth.
After all, Chris has pocketed only about 3.5 million dollars, and although that makes for a nice nest egg for most, it cannot be compared to the $30,600,000 in prize money that Negreanu has amassed, or Hellmuth’s 14 bracelets and winnings that exceed $20,900,000, to say nothing of their enormous contributions to the poker world.
I say, yeah so? Every Hall of Fame has had lots of inductees that might seem questionable to some, but for whatever reasons, they were inducted into their respective Halls of Fame. It might be timing, or a unique style or something that was revolutionary at the time, but there were reasons.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland has, for the most part, awarded their choices to the best of Rock and Roll, like the Beatles, the Stones and Stevie Wonder. Yet they also inducted Joan Jett, who wrote only two hit songs, “I Hate Myself For Loving You” and “Little Liar.” Nevertheless, while her over all sales have only amounted to 10 million records worldwide, she still got her name into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That’s a far cry from the 600,000,000 by the Beatles.
The Baseball Hall of Fame inducted Mike Piazza with an amazing 427 home runs, 396 of which were hit as catcher, along with a .308 batting average and 1,335 runs batted in (RBIs). But it has also had a few controversial choices, such as NY Yankees’ Phil Rizzuto, who only has 1,588 career hits and barely a .273 batting average and only 38 homers, again a far cry from the 427 homers by Piazza.
And now we have this argument about Moneymaker. C’mon give me a break. If you can put people into national Halls of Fame for their respective contributions in their chosen fields, then I say that Chris Moneymaker, a 27-year-old who defied the odds and beat the pros at their own game, getting into the World Series of Poker Main Event through a $39 online satellite and winning it all has certainly, in my most humble opinion, earned his place into the Poker Hall of Fame. He certainly changed the face of poker and taught the world that anyone could cash in big resulting in thousands of new players trying to be Moneymakers.
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