Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Poker Hall of Fame

In 1979, Benny Binion, the owner of the Horseshoe Casino, created the the Poker Hall of Fame to preserve the names and legacies of the world's greatest poker players.

Binion was known for the creative ways in which he marketed his Casino. In 1949, he convinced Johnny Moss and Nick the Greek to play high stakes poker where the public could watch them.

In 1970, he invited a group of poker players to compete in what would be the first World Series of Poker (WSOP).

In 1979, he created the Poker Hall of Fame to honor poker's greatest players and to serve as a tourist attraction to his casino.

When Harrah's Entertainment acquired the rights to the WSOP in 2004, they also assumed ownership of the Poker Hall of Fame. Today, membership to the Poker Hall of Fame is handled directly by the WSOP.

Although many of the best known poker players in the world are part of the Hall of Fame, very little is known about some of the earlier members. Many of the earliest pioneers in poker were road gamblers that developed reputations at the cash game before the advent of tournaments. As of 2009, 37 people have been inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. Fifteen of those people are still living.

Although the original Hall of Fame was created by the Horseshoe Casino as a tourist attraction, the Hall no longer has a physical location; it only exists on paper.


Before starting the 2009 WSOP, the WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack announced that the process for becoming a member into the Poker Hall of Fame would undergo a slight modification. Starting in 2009, the Poker Hall of Fame started accepting nominations from the public. This move is intended to increase interest in the Hall. Almost immediately after this decision was announced, Party Poker started an on-line campaign to get its representative and World Poker Tour commentator Mike Sexton elected to the Hall.

Other poker sites, namely PokerStars' Tom McEvoy, followed suit by pushing their own poker professionals.

The requirements for the Poker Hall of Fame are:

A gambler must have played poker against acknowledged top competition,
Played for high stakes,
Played consistently well, gained the 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.

After receiving the nominations, the WSOP will announce a list of ten candidates eligible for the 2009 class at the WSOP Main Event. The ten players announced were, Phil Ivey, Tom McEvoy, Mike Sexton, Erik Seidel, Dan Harrington, Scotty Nguyen, Tom Dwan, Barry Greenstein, Men Nguyen, and Daniel Negreanu. When Chip Reese was inducted at the age of 40, he was the youngest person to join the Hall. Three of the finalists, Ivey, Negreanu, and Dwan, threaten that distinction. In August, the WSOP will review the nominations from the general public and add any that it deems necessary. Finally, the WSOP will send out ballots to each of the living Hall of Famers and a limited number of people in the media to vote for the 2009 class. The number of media ballots will not exceed the number of voting members from the Hall of Fame. Any person who receives at least 75% of the vote will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Main Event Final Table in November 2009.

The award

Being admitted to the Poker Hall of Fame is considered one of the biggest honors in poker. In his acceptance speech, T. J. Cloutier declared, "It's one of two things I've always wanted to win." Barbara Enright, the only woman in the Hall, considers her induction to be a "lifetime achievement honor".

Before being acquired by Harrah's Casino, R.S. Owens and Co was commissioned to design an award for Poker Hall of Famers. The award was an 8-inch-tall piece of glass with a hand of cards sandblasted at the bottom, the winner's name, and the words "Poker Hall of Fame" in a circle. The circle had a gold emblem bonded to the glass and had the Binion's Horseshoe Casino logo in it. There was a gold plated base with three gold-plated stacks of chips.

(Credit: Wikipedia)

Website Network

Global Gaming Directory

Casino News Media

Poker News Media

Media Man Australia