After years of whining about the poker Hall of Fame and the politics surrounding it, we at the Twoplustwo Pokercast decided to do something about it.
Each week on the show, Terrence and I will induct a new member to the hallowed drywall of the IPWOF.
What are the qualifications you ask? Good question, except there is only one thing each inductee will have in common.
We want them up on our wall!
That's it. Nothing else. No age limit. No stupid "must have played against Doyle" or "gained the respect of others". It's our wall, we gonna pick who we like, aiight.
In this thread, each post will be an inductee. There will also be a thread in the Pokercast forum for IPWOF suggestions where you can lobby Terrence and I to enshrine the person you think belongs on the wall.
Feels like this should run for a year, which would mean around 50 inductees.
Last edited by AdamSchwartz; 02-04-2016 at 06:27 PM.
Of course not. This is a man that is responsible for much of the poker world that we live in. What would the 2015 poker landscape look like without Pokerstars? Without the EPT? Without the contributions of his employees that were trained in the proper way to run an online poker site? Without the world-wide exposure the game has enjoyed under his watch at the world's largest poker site? Who knows, considerably smaller than it currently is no doubt.
Did he get filthy rich doing it? Absolutely. He deserved every penny.
Isai Scheinberg, welcome to the IPWOF!
Last edited by AdamSchwartz; 08-22-2015 at 12:27 AM.
The second inductee into the Internet Pokers Wall of Fame is:
The very first NLHE player that grinders around world all sat and watched play was Prahlad "Spirit Rock" Friedman. He dominated the first nosebleed online NL games using aggression and plays that other players had never seen.
His legendary battles with the likes of Chip Reese, Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey and Taylor Caby were like appointment television. If you played online NLH, you watched many of those matches that put the internet superstar up against the greatest live cash game players in history. If you were an online player, Prahlad beating those guys vindicated your skill and proved that it was only a matter of time until the online kids made their mark on the game.
The third inductee into the Internet Pokers Wall of Fame is:
The founder of pokerstrategy.com. For those living in North America, pokerstrategy.com is not a huge deal. It’s not even a site that I’m very familiar with. I’m not even a member there, and the most time I’ve spent on this site was researching this induction. But it is a juggernaut of online poker. It has the highest Alexa rank of any poker site that I found. Over a billion page views. Higher than 2+2, higher than PokerStars itself. It is unquestionably the most successful affiliate site/system in the history of poker. They are particularly responsible for the growth of poker in Germany and Russia and producing legions of absurdly good players from those two countries. PokerStrategy has millions of users, and operates in 12 different languages. Their affiliate system was brilliantly different from any other before it. In contrast with the 99.99% of affiliates out there who were just attempting to get as much site traffic as possible with as many bells and whistles trying to churn players through, they actually taught them how to play poker as they provided them with free money to play, and a tremendously high percentage of those signups would end up as lifetime grinders, paying tons of rake, and lining the pockets of Mr. Kofert.
To its detractors, PokerStrategy’s impact is not all positive. It has been a factory of multitabling grinders and superstars alike, while introducing relatively few fish. Some would argue that their lasting impact is its contribution to the accelerating difficulty and overfishing of online poker.
But in the end, PokerStrategy’s impact on the game resonates tremendously, more than most people — including myself, give it credit for. I may not be a member of PokerStrategy, but 7 million others — a number that includes presumably very little multiaccounting — are. Kofert debuted in 2012 on the Bluff Poker 20 in 12th place, and fell to #15 in 2013. That Kofert was listed behind people like Ray Lesniak, and Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta — people who were only relevant in one US state, shows how little this juggernaut was truly appreciated. After all, PokerStrategy has more members than there are in fact adults of legal age to play poker in either Nevada or New Jersey.
Kofert sold the company he built in 2013 for 38.3M Euros ($50M) in 2013, shortly after the aforementioned Poker 20 ranking. The announcement listed its profits at 19.5M Euros. I don’t know if there’s many people out there who have made that kind of money from the internet pokers, but if there are, we likely know their names. When it comes to Dominik Kofert: if you don’t know, now you know.
Dominik Kofert, welcome to the IPWOF!
Last edited by AdamSchwartz; 09-10-2015 at 02:55 AM.
The fourth inductee into the Internet Pokers Wall of Fame is:
The winningest player in online poker history deserves a spot on this here wall. In a game that top players burn out in a matter of months, Chris has been on top of the online MTT community for a decade.
Over $12M in online cashes, 25 pocket fives triple crowns and multiple online player of the year trophies. The list goes on and on. He's Gretzky, Messi and Jordan if you consider MTT skills as impressive as those other guys were at their respective stupid sport. If he played the exact lifetime events that Hellmuth has, he would have 30 bracelets.
The fifth inductee into the Internet Pokers Wall of Fame is:
The man gave birth to the Internet Poker industry in 1998, when his website Planet Poker dealt the very first first hand of online poker history.
It was a $3/6 limit holdem hand that would eventually lead to the massive growth of the game around the world. Planet Poker was a start up without much funding, so they were in tough against the big boys that would soon come along. Paradise Poker and Party Poker would soon pass them in size, but a loyal player base stuck with them for many years.
Imagine trying to develop an industry without deep pockets and nothing to model your poker client after. It was tough and there were bumps along the way, but Planet Poker and Randy should be recognized for the contributions they made to the game we all love.
The sixth inductee into the Internet Pokers Wall of Fame is:
Jim Moran Jr.
Jim was the hero in arguably the greatest "I'm playing online poker" video ever produced. If you've never seen it before, I envy you. Envy you in the way that I envy people who have never watched an episode of the Sopranos. Their lucky asses have so much enjoyment coming there way.
Here it is, in all it's glory:
Jim's dad, James Moran (not kidding, their real last name is Moran how great is that) was a congressman from Virginia who supported online poker bills back in the mid 2000's.
Jim, a regional manager for Domino's pizza, loved to play poker. His buddy Ryan, was an aspiring filmmaker who thought it would be a good idea to record Jim playing online poker at his desk. Nobody has ever been more right.
"He's probably, IQ-wise, a genius," Ryan said of his friend Jim, "at least on paper."
"I'm really good at math, and I know when people are lying to me," said Moran, explaining his skills as a poker player. He told ABC News that when he first saw Ryan's video he thought, "'That makes me look like an idiot,'" but Ryan assured him when people watched it online, they would think it was "cool."
The seventh inductee into the Internet Pokers Wall of Fame is:
You love that sneer, don't you. How could you not?
You loved it when he gave it to Sammy with bottom two. You know he was giving it to his monitor when you played with Money800 on Pokerstars.
Chris Moneymaker won the most important online satellite tournament in history, when he won his way into the 2003 World Series of Poker on Pokerstars. History would be written and the poker boom was ignited and his induction into the IPWOF from that point was a foregone conclusion.
Where would we be if Chris wouldn't have made it to Vegas and Jason Lester or Sammy Farha took it down? Who knows, but many of us would still be Red Robin waiters if he hadn't.
The eighth inductee into the Internet Pokers Wall of Fame is:
"Pokertracker Pat" Issac
Pat Issac developed the most important internet poker tool in the short history of the industry. For the price of a big blind or two, you could buy software that taught you aspects of the game you didn't know existed.
Pat was very hands on and personally answered every question online grinders would throw at him. The Pokertracker software was constantly evolving, Pat realized that his customers were very intelligent and had a handle on which direction the software product needed to go.
Unfortunately, he sold Pokertracker and has stayed away from the industry he helped mould but that's not going to stop us from giving him his due.
The ninth inductee into the Internet Pokers Wall of Fame is:
What is it with Phils? They are suspiciously overrepresented in the upper echelon of poker players, but only one so far has the honor of making our list.
Former slide owner Phil Galfond is one of only a handful of players to join the 8-digit club in online earnings, at one point crossing the $10 million threshold on Full Tilt Poker alone. He is perhaps best known for his PLO skills, but has made a few million at draw games as well. Fortunately for Phil, he is such a feared player that he was expressly excluded from the Durrrr Challenge.
The world's biggest nit is also a prolific instructor, first serving as the face of Bluefire Poker, and now as owner of video training site RunItOnce.
While this is the Internet Pokers Wall of Fame, it's worth nothing that Phil also has two bracelets to his name and over $2 million in live tournament earnings.
The tenth inductee into the Internet Pokers Wall of Fame is:
Shaun “****ing” Deeb
Three SCOOP titles. Five WCOOP titles. 128 1st place cashes. $6.2 million in online tournament earnings. Deeb is one of the original end-bosses in online MTTs, leaving only crushed dreams and sentence fragments in his wake.
Deeb was 30-tabling back when Nanonoko was still maining E-Honda. He seems to retire from the game periodically just to give other players a chance. Even in cash games, his infuriatingly exceptional skills make Mike Matusow want to punch him in the face.
After Black Friday, Deeb moved to Mexico to stay on the grind, where he continues to post big scores.
He is now a family man with a wife and child, but that hasn't slowed him down. He also has a WSOP bracelet, $2.1 million in live tournament earnings, changed his son's diaper a total of three times and will likely be a first ballot inductee to the OFC Hall of Fame if that ever becomes a thing.
Shaun Deeb, welcome to the IPWOF!
Last edited by AdamSchwartz; 01-26-2016 at 04:36 AM.
The eleventh inductee into the Internet Pokers Wall of Fame is:
Some of you may not remember this e-wallet, in which case you may kindly get off our lawn, but at one time it processed payments for 80% of the world's gambling websites. It was pretty much the only game in town. Your choices were either sketchy golf ball checks by snail mail or having Neteller instantly shipping funds to your bank. It was a beautiful thing.
For years, Neteller was the oil that kept the great online poker machine running. Then, in 2007, it all came crashing down. The founders were arrested, player accounts were frozen, and 65% of Neteller's business was eliminated overnight as the US Department of Justice dropped the hammer. The poker world held its collective breath, along with Isaac Haxton, who had $800,000 in limbo at the time.
Several months later, everyone (including Ike) got their money back, and Neteller quietly exited the US market. They continued operating in other countries and still do to this day. Recently, with regulated poker in some states, Neteller made a return to the US, but the glory days remain a distant memory.
Without the convenience and ease of making deposits and withdrawals in online poker's formative years, who knows how the boom would have progressed? Neteller's contribution was immeasurable and for that, it deserves recognition.
Neteller, welcome to the IPWOF!
Last edited by AdamSchwartz; 01-26-2016 at 04:45 AM.
The thirteenth inductee into the Internet Pokers Wall of Fame is:
Does this inductee really need any introduction? You're most likely reading this post on his website.
Mason Malmuth is a statistician, poker player, and the founder of Two Plus Two Publishing. He has sold millions of strategy books and runs the largest internet discussion forum for poker. We don't mean to brag, but he's kind of a big deal.
At the time of this writing, the 2+2 forum has over 430,000 members, 1.4 million threads and 48 million posts. Not only is it the premiere site for poker discussion, it's one of the largest message boards of any kind on the entire internet.
It's hard to argue that anyone has had more influence on the game in terms of education. If you're under the age of 35 and have spent any significant time playing poker, chances are you've read Theory of Poker or browsed the strategy subforum. Players such as Tom Dwan, Phil Galfond, and Dan Cates have thousands of posts on the site and at one time openly shared their strategies and thought processes.
Greg Raymer sold pieces to his 2004 Main Event at the 2+2 marketplace. It's here that a generation of players learned the game.
Frankly, it's a travesty that he's not the “real” hall of fame, but for now this will have to do.
The fourteenth inductee into the Internet Pokers Wall of Fame is:
As far as we can tell without the assistance of sketchy Russian tracking sites, nobody has won more money in online cash games than Patrik Antonius. Conservative estimates put his lifetime earnings at $17 million. He even claims to have done it without the assistance of HUDs or tracking software.
For most of his career, he has specialized in heads up NLHE and PLO. His battles with Isildur are the stuff of legend. One of these blood matches resulted in a $1.3 million pot, the largest in history at the time, which Antonius won. Perhaps his success is owed to some sort of aura that strikes fear into the hearts of his opponents, as he seems to have the power to make them check back full houses.
Patrik left behind a promising modelling career for this humble profession. Sometimes there's more to life than money, after all. He settled down in Monte Carlo with his wife and two children, one of whom is not at all amused by ducks according to this true story that definitely happened.
The fifteenth inductee into the Internet Pokers Wall of Fame is:
Unlike most poker players with the word entrepreneur in their Twitter bio, Taylor Caby has actually earned a few dollars off the felt. If Chris Moorman is the Michael Jordan of online MTTs, Caby could be said to be a Mark Cuban in his own right.
Of course, Caby has had great success on the virtual felt as well. He deposited $35 on Ultimate Bet in 2003 and never looked back, quickly working his way up to the nosebleeds against players such as fellow IPWOF inductee Prahlad Friedman.
In 2005 he co-founded CardRunners, a site where students of the game could watch training videos for a subscription fee. Before long, it was the largest such site in the industry. CardRunners generated millions of dollars in revenue and reshaped the online poker landscape. Many people complained about training sites making the games tougher, but that didn't stop customers from pouring in.
Other successful ventures include the acquisition of Hold'em Manager, production of the documentary Bet Raise Fold, and the founding of daily fantasy sports site Draft Day, which he later sold it in 2014.
Taylor Caby, welcome to the IPWOF!
Last edited by AdamSchwartz; 02-23-2016 at 12:09 AM.
The sixteenth inductee into the Internet Pokers Wall of Fame is:
If you had one dollar for every minute that has passed since the founding of Rome, you'd still be a few millenia away from catching Guy Laliberte. Co-founder of Cirque du Soleil, he is one of the wealthiest men in the world. Take that into consideration, and maybe ponder what you're doing with your life, before commiserating his inclusion on this list.
Guy starting playing online poker some time around early 2009 under a multitude of screen names. The deception was hardly necessary. The moment he sat down, players like Tom Dwan and Phil Galfond could smell blood in the water. He proceeded to chunk off unprecedented sums of money. It is estimated that he lost $26 million during his brief foray into online poker.
The story goes that it was tracking sites like PTR that chased away the largest whale the game has ever seen. Presumably Laliberte was embarrassed to have his results under so much public scrutiny. Though the primary beneficiaries were a handful of high stakes players, the matches were a spectacle for all to behold and historic moments in online poker.
It may seem mean to induct him for losing millions of dollars, but you need not feel sorry for this man. We are talking about a billionaire that can breathe fire. He has taken selfies in outer space. He probably has more than $26 million lost under his couch cushions. In addition to donating at the tables, he has also dedicated a great deal of resources to providing access to clean water via his One Drop foundation.
The seventeenth inductee into the Internet Pokers Wall of Fame is:
Viktor “Isildur1” Blom
The legend of Isildur1 is the manifestation of every low stakes grinder's fantasy. It's almost too absurd to believe. His biopic could be Jack Gleeson bankrupting team FTP after a 30-second training montage, and it wouldn't be much of a stretch.
Blom did not slowly grind his way up the ranks, or so it seemed. He suddenly appeared out of nowhere, facing down a murderer's row of high stakes pros and crushing them all. His legacy could be summed up in one picture:
The mysterious Swede had no chill. He would play anyone, for any amount, often against multiple opponents simultaneously. The stakes quickly ballooned out of control.
In a single month, 8 pots larger than any before in online poker history transpired, and all involved Isildur. His battles with Tom Dwan were particularly notable, resulting in a $5 million
deficit favoring the anonymous phenom.
The crash back to earth was even faster than his meteoric rise. On December 2009, in just five hours, fan favorite Brian Hastings felted Isildur, winning $4.2 million with completely legitimate and ethical tactics.
Shortly thereafter, Isildur joined Team Pokerstars Pro and revealed his identity as Viktor Blom. The coming years would be nearly as tumultuous. Legend has it that whenever Isildur's candle fades, he is always destined to return after rolling up a stake on untracked Euro sites. Unlike many of his fellow inductees, he is still crushing skulls to this day.