Will Seventh Time Be the Charm for Poker Hall of Fame Nominee Matt Savage?

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:

LAS VEGAS — The Poker Hall of Fame here will add a new member on July 10, during the playing of the World Series of Poker Main Event. 


Ten poker personalities have been nominated for entry into the Hall this year, but only one will be selected, by the Hall’s current membership, who do the voting.

One of this year’s Poker Hall of Fame nominees, Matt Savage, has been nominated in six previous years and failed to make it every time.

He’s hoping his seventh nomination this year will be a Lucky Seven and he will finally be admitted into the hallowed halls of the Hall.

He has been nominated not as a highly-successful professional poker player, as most nominees are, but as a so-called “builder”— someone who has contributed in a major way to the proliferation of the game.

As a longtime poker tournament director for many card rooms and casinos throughout the U.S. and around the world, including a stint as Tournament Director of the World Series of Poker, Savage, 53, currently serves as the Executive Tournament Director of the World Poker Tour.


He was also instrumental in the creation of a poker tournament directors trade association, which has successfully sought to standardize poker tournament rules for tourneys around the world.

In addition, his contributions to poker include promotion of the game in various media and broadcasting poker tournament action for multiple television networks.

He also appeared in the 2007 poker movie “Lucky You” with Drew Barrymore and Robert Duvall.

Gambling 911 sat down with Savage earlier this week for an exclusive interview about how he sees his chances of making the Poker Hall of Fame this year.

Here is a transcript of that interview:

Gambling 911: How do you feel about being nominated again for the Poker Hall of Fame?

Matt Savage: It feels great to be nominated again. This is the seventh time I’ve been nominated, which is the most for anyone since the public started doing the nominating. It’s an honor to be up against great players and industry leaders.

G9: How do you like your chances of getting in this year?

MS: I’ve been told that I was “stone bubble” the last three years, so I think I will finish once again in the top two or three.

G9: Forgive our ignorance, but what does “stone bubble” mean?

MS: That’s a poker term. It means you were one from the money.

G9: Besides yourself, what other nominees do you think have a good chance of getting into the Poker Hall of Fame this year?

MS: I would say (poker pro) Layne Flack and (broadcasters) Lon McEachern and Norman Chad.

G9: Anyone else?

MS: Yes. I think (Poker Stars founder) Isai Schoenberg will get some votes.

G9: Layne Flack tragically died from a drug overdose last year and some people are saying putting him in the Poker Hall of Fame would be a fitting tribute. Could you share some thoughts about Flack, who you knew well?

MS: There was a time in the early 2000s when I was running the World Series of Poker that no one was better at reading other players. He was likely the best I’ve ever seen in any time period.

By Tom Somach

Gambling 911 Chief Correspondent

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