The Poker Hall of Fame announced Thursday that first ballot inductee Daniel Negreanu and Jack McClelland are the Class of 2014 with a ceremony on November 9 – the eve of the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event final table. Negreanu is arguably the world’s most recognizable poker player and McClelland spent four decades in the industry, most notably as one of the best tournament directors of his time.
The Hall of Fame ceremony takes places at the birthplace of poker – Binion’s Gambling Hall in Downtown Las Vegas on Freemont Street – in the Longhorn Room, known to the old guard as Benny’s Bullpen. McClelland served as the WSOP Tournament Director when the event was held at Binion’s and Negreanu’s first bracelet, in 1998, came under Binion’s roof.
“It’s an honor to inducted alongside so many great players that have come before me,” said Negreanu. “An even bigger honor to recognized at age 40, the same age as the legend Chip Reese. Thank you to the living members of the Poker Hall of Fame and those on the Blue Ribbon Media Panel that voted for me.”
Negreanu has six WSOP bracelets, almost $28 million in live earnings and is the only player to win multiple WSOP Player of the Year titles. He won his first POY title in 2004 at the 11th hour and ten years later he clinched the title again at the final event at WSOP Europe; Negreanu also was the 2013 BLUFF Player of the Year. His career resume also includes 95 final tables, 20 wins – including two WPT titles.
“Being inducted into the Class of 2014 Poker Hall of Fame is a very exciting prospect and I am sure it will be a very humbling experience,” said McClelland. “I thank everyone involved in this process and to the WSOP, WPT and all of the great people I have met and the wonderful people I have worked with throughout the years. Thank you for bestowing this honor upon me. I am very grateful.”
McClelland first joined the WSOP in the mid-80s and advanced quickly through the ranks. He worked his way up to tournament director and branched out to running events in California. McClelland joined the Bellagio at the same time the World Poker Tour was gaining popularity and played a key role in running high profile, televised events in Las Vegas. He is the first from the “Builder” category to earn a nomination since Eric Drache in 2012, Linda Johnson in 1011 and Henry Orenstein in 2008. McClelland retired from the Bellagio at the end of 2013.
Negreanu and McClelland were part of a ballot that included Chris Bjorin, Humberto Brenes, Bruno Fitoussi, Ted Forrest, Jennifer Harman, Bob Hooks, Mike Matusow and Huck Seed.
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