The Poker Hall of Fame is a collection of the best poker players in the world. It was founded by Benny Binion in 1979 who also owned the rights to the World Series of Poker. However, when Harrah’s Entertainment acquired the rights to the WSOP in 2004, they also took the reins of the Poker Hall of Fame. A total of 38 people have been officially inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame; fifteen who are still alive. Earlier today, October 19th, 2010, it was announced that Dan Harrington and Erik Seidel will be joining other poker legends in the poker hall of fame.

In 2009, the Poker Hall of Fame underwent a few modifications. As of 2009, nominations were accepted from the public. After nominations are made, the WSOP sent ballots to all living Hall of Fame members and some media personnel. The requirements to enter of the Poker Hall of Fame are:

• A gambler must have played poker against acknowledged top competition,
• Played for high stakes,
• Played consistently well, gained respect of peers,
• And 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.

The finalists that Seidel and Harrington beat out for this year’s top honor included Chris Ferguson, Barry Greenstein, Jennifer Harman, Phil Ivey, Tom McEvoy, Daniel Negreanu, Scotty Nguyen, and Linda Johnson. Both winners join legendary poker players in the Poker Hall of Fame such as Stu “The Kid” Ungar, Amarillo Slim, Doyle Brunson, and Phil Hellmuth. They have definitely proved they deserve this top honor as both players have had a lot of poker success for decades.

Harrington has always excelled in various games. Before entering the world of poker, he was a Backgammon and Chess professional. As a matter of fact, he won the 1971 Massachusetts State Chess Championship. He began playing poker in the world-famous Mayfair Club, an underground poker club in New York City. Harrington his best known for his green Red Sox hat and his tight poker play (garnering him the nickname “Action Dan”). He has been to four WSOP final tables, winning the main event in 1995. Many poker aficionados consider his consecutive final tables in 2003 and 2004 to be the most impressive feats in poker history. On top of his WSOP main event win, he has also won a second WSOP bracelet and a World Poker Tour title. He has made over $6 million in tournament winnings.

Seidel is considered to be one of the best WSOP players of all-time; he has won eight bracelets and has finished in the money 60 times. It is 1988 runner-up finish in the main event that is his most famous tournament finish; the final hand, which he lost to Johnny Chan, was featured in the cult favorite “Rounders.” Like Harrington, he got his start at the Mayfair Club in New York. Seidel is also a member of Team Full Tilt. He released a statement earlier today:

I’m very honored to be elected to the Poker Hall of Fame this year and it’s an extra bonus for me to be going in with Dan Harrington. We have played together and have been great friends for my entire poker career. Both of us refined our games at the Mayfair Club in New York. I have such a high regard for the many members of the Poker Hall of Fame that I have played with over the years and it’s a real privilege to be able to join them.

The induction ceremony will be held on November 8th of 2010 before this year’s World Series of Poker heads-up finale.

It must have been extremely difficult to choose from a field of such talented players. Arguments can be made for all of the ten finalists. Discussion has already started at the FlopTurnRiver forums about who is truly most deserving of this honor. Click here and join the discussion!