December 31 2020
The lone 2020 inductee into the Poker Hall of Fame is none other than 1996 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event champ Huckleberry Seed.
“Hearing the news that I am being inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame this year brought back memories of my early poker days, walking into the Binion’s Horseshoe, about to start a poker session, admiring all the Poker Hall of Famers on the wall,” Seed said. “It feels good to be included with all the poker legends that I once idolized and competed against over the years. Thank you everyone.”
After an open-nomination process, Seed was ultimately chosen from 10 nominees that included the likes of PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg and first-time nominee Patrik Antonius. Seed has been a familiar name on the nominee list for many years, and now his time has come. The 31 living Hall of Fame members who voted welcomed him into their ranks.
In total, 30 ballots were cast with one abstention. Out of a potential 300 votes — each voter got 10 points to distribute — the final tally was as follows.
Huckleberry Seed – 76 VotesMatt Savage – 51 VotesIsai Scheinberg – 45 VotesEli Elezra – 30 VotesAntonio Esfandiari – 23 VotesLon McEachern and Norman Chad – 20 VotesTed Forrest – 20 VotesMike Matusow – 17 VotesPatrik Antonius – 15 VotesChris Ferguson – 3 Votes
Seed becomes the 59th individual inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame and follows in the footsteps of Chris Moneymaker and David Oppenheim, who comprised the class of 2019.
In order to be eligible for the Poker Hall of Fame, Seed had to meet the following criteria:
A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competitionBe a minimum of 40-years-old at time of nominationPlayed for high stakesPlayed consistently well, gaining the respect of peersStood the test of timeOr, for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indeliblepositive and lasting results
Seed’s Poker Résumé
Seed was born on Jan. 15, 1969, and grew up in Corvallis, Montana. Given his 6-foot-7 height, Seed had a knack for basketball and was a member of both the 1987 Montana All-State and Caltech basketball teams. In 1989, he took a leave of absence from college and started playing poker becoming a “young gun” of the game at the time.
According to The Hendon Mob, he earned his first tournament cash in 1990 and has since amassed more than $7.6 million in tournament earnings. A four-time bracelet winner, Seed won his first in the 1994 WSOP when he took down Event #3: $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha for $167,000.
In 1996, he made history by taking down the WSOP Main Event for a career-high $1 million.
In 1999, Seed made another run at the Main Event title but ultimately fell in sixth place after being eliminated by eventual champ Noel Furlong.
In 2000, he won Event #17: $1,500 Limit Razz for his third bracelet, and follow that up with a win in the 2003 WSOP Event #27: $5,000 Limit Razz for his fourth, in which he defeated Phil Ivey heads-up. That same year, he also won the WSOP Tournament of Champions for $550,000. Toss in a pair of 50K Poker Players Championship final table appearances and a win in the 2009 NBC Heads-Up Championship, and Seed’s résumé ranks among the best in the game.
Huck Seed in WSOP action.
Long History of Prop Bets
In addition to his poker accomplishments, Seed is also well-known for his prop bets. Some infamous ones: he bet (it’s been reported both $10,000 and $50,000 against Phil Hellmuth) he could float in the ocean for either 18 or 24 hours (he lost that one); he booked a six-figure bet he could break 100 four times in a single day playing on a desert golf course using a five iron, sand wedge, and putter (he won); and that he could go a year without shaving (a funeral obligation forced him to give up).
He also once bet he could do a standing backflip against Howard Lederer despite having never done one. He had two days to learn and won the $10,000 bet. Speaking of Lederer, Seed once bet him he could beat him in a 50-yard dash while hopping on one leg. Lederer’s two-legged test run went so well that Seed conceded and paid out $5,000.
Another time, he bet Doyle Brunson he could run a mile in 4 minutes and 40 seconds. Seed gave it a valiant attempt clocking in at 4:47.
Fellow long-time pro Erik Seidel tweeted an enthusiastic endorsement of Seed’s candidacy in the days leading up to the vote:
Reasons Huck is my top HOF pick:— Erik Seidel (@Erik_Seidel)