Poker Hall of Fame
The Poker Hall of Fame is the hall of fame of professional poker in the United States. Founded in Las Vegas, it was created in 1979 by Benny Binion, the owner of the Horseshoe Casino, to preserve the names and legacies of the world's greatest poker players and to serve as a tourist attraction to his casino. Binion was known for the creative ways in which he marketed his casino. In 1949, he convinced Johnny Moss and Nick "The Greek" Dandolos to play high-stakes poker heads up 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). When Harrah's Entertainment, now known as Caesars Entertainment, acquired the rights to the WSOP in 2004, it also assumed ownership of the Poker Hall of Fame. Currently, membership in the Poker Hall of Fame is handled directly by the WSOP.
|Jack Binion, Creator|
|Website||Hall of Fame|
Before the 2009 World Series of Poker, then-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 was intended to increase interest in the Hall. Almost immediately after this decision was announced, Party Poker started an online 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 as follows:
- 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.
In 2009, 23-year-old online poker professional Tom Dwan was a finalist for the Poker Hall of Fame because of public balloting. As a result, a new age requirement was added in 2011. This rule, known as the "Chip Reese Rule", established a minimum age of 40 to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. This new requirement eliminated some players who were regular nominees over the previous years, such as Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu (both of whom were eventually inducted upon reaching the age threshold).
Admission into 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 first woman inducted into the Hall, considers her induction to be a "lifetime achievement honor."
Before being acquired by Harrah's Casino, R.S. Owens & Company 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.
|WSOP Winnings||WSOP bracelets||Notes|
The Grand Old Man of Poker
|$834,422||1970 World Series of Poker Championship
1971 $5,000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship
1971 Limit Ace to 5 Draw
|The first World Series of Poker was not a freeze-out tournament, but rather a game with a set start and stop time. Benny Binion took a secret ballot that asked the players who the best player was. According to poker lore, everybody said that they were the best player. Binion then asked who the second-best player was, and Johnny Moss won.|
Nick the Greek
|-$10,000||None||According to poker lore, in the summer of 1949, in Nevada, Nick the Greek and Johnny Moss played in a five-month-long poker marathon at Binion's Horseshoe Casino. Nick the Greek reportedly lost about $2 million to Moss and on losing the final hand stood up and said, "Mr. Moss, I have to let you go." This heads-up match, which became a tourist attraction, is often cited as the earliest inspiration behind the World Series of Poker.|
|$0||None||McCorquodale is credited with introducing the game of Texas Hold'em to Las Vegas in 1963.|
|—||1979||Sid Wyman†||$0||None||Wyman was a noted poker player and owner of several Vegas casinos: Sands, Riviera, Royal Nevada and The Dunes.|
|1979||James Butler Hickok†
Wild Bill Hickok
|$0||None||Hickok was one of the best-known poker players in the world before the 20th century. He is one of three Poker Hall of Famers to die while playing poker (along with Tom Abdo and Jack Straus). Legend has it that when he was shot in the back in 1876, he was holding two aces and two eights. The hand has since been called the dead man's hand.|
|1979||Edmond Hoyle†||$0||None||After writing a book on the game of whist, the phrase "according to Hoyle" become synonymous in card games with following the rules.|
|—||1980||Blondie Forbes†||$0||None||Forbes is credited with creating the game of Texas Hold'em.|
|—||1981||Bill Boyd†||$80,000||1971 $10,000 Limit Five Card Stud
1972 $10,000 Five Card Stud
1973 $10,000 Limit Five Card Stud
1974 $5,000 Five Card Stud
|Boyd was the Director of Operations at the Golden Nugget from 1946 to 1982. Boyd is credited with establishing Robert Turner's game Omaha hold 'em as a casino staple.|
|—||1982||Tom Abdo†||$0||None||Abdo is one of three Poker Hall of Famers to die while playing poker (along with Wild Bill Hickok and Jack Straus). He died from a heart attack. According to legend, after suffering the heart attack, he asked another player to count his chips and to save his seat.|
|—||1983||Joe Bernstein †||$21,000||1973 $10,000 Limit Ace to Five Draw||—|
|1987||Walter Clyde Pearson†
|$265,580||1971 Limit Seven Card Stud
1973 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship
1973 $1,000 No Limit Hold'em
1973 $4,000 Limit Seven Card Stud
|Pearson is credited with coming up with the concept of a freeze-out tournament.|
|$2,994,116||1976 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship
1977 $5,000 Deuce to Seven Draw
1977 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship
1977 $1,000 Seven Card Stud Split
1978 $5,000 Seven Card Stud
1979 $600 Mixed Doubles (with Starla Brodie)
1991 $2,500 No Limit Hold'em
1998 $1,500 Seven Card Razz
2003 $2,000 H.O.R.S.E.
2005 $5,000 No Limit Shorthanded Texas Hold'em
|Brunson wrote Super/System, widely considered to be the most influential book ever written on poker.|
|$597,000||1973 $3,000 Deuce to Seven Draw
1982 $10,000 Championship Event - No Limit Hold'em
|Straus' 1982 WSOP tournament victory is considered to be one of the greatest comebacks in poker history. At one point, Straus had one chip remaining, and came back to win. This victory is considered to be the origin of the poker saying, "A chip and a chair", meaning that as long as a player has not been eliminated from the tournament, he or she still has a chance. Modern lore indicates that this happened at the final table, but the 1983 book The Biggest Game in Town implies this occurred on the first day of the tournament. Straus is one of three Hall of Famers to die while playing poker (along with Wild Bill Hickok and Tom Abdo).|
|$150,000||1980 $10,000 Deuce to Seven Draw||Ferris gained notoriety when the IRS seized $46,000 from him on April 22, 1983 while he was playing high-stakes poker at the Horseshoe.|
|1990||Benny Binion†||$0||None||Founder of the Horseshoe Casino and the WSOP|
|$2,246,089||1978 $1,000 Seven Card Stud Split
1982 $5,000 Limit 7 Card Stud
2006 $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. World Championship
|Despite winning three bracelets, Reese was best known for his cash-game play. At 40 years old, he was the youngest person to be enshirined in the Poker Hall of Fame.|
|$437,958||1972 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship
1974 $1,000 No Limit Hold'em
1985 $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha
1990 $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha
|After winning the WSOP in 1972, Slim sought to change the image of poker by appearing on national television and radio programs. Slim hosted the Super Bowl of Poker, considered the second most prestigious tournament at the time.|
Gentleman Jack Keller
|$1,583,845||1984 $5,000 Seven Card Stud
1984 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship
1993 $1,500 Omaha Limit
|—||1995||Julius Oral Popwell†
|—||1997||Roger Moore†||$372,698||1994 $5,000 Limit 7 Card Stud||—|
|$2,081,478||1980 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship
1981 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship
1981 $10,000 Deuce to Seven Draw
1983 $5,000 Seven Card Stud
1997 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship
|Ungar won back-to-back WSOP Main Event bracelets in 1980 and 1981, and won the event again in 1997. He and Johnny Moss are the only players to have won the main event three times.|
|2002||Lyle Berman||$1,619,407||1989 $1,500 Limit Omaha
1992 $2,500 No Limit Hold'em
1994 $5,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Draw
The Great Wall of China
|$4,635,014||1985 $1,000 Limit Hold'em
1987 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship
1988 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship
1994 $1,500 Seven Card Stud
1997 $5,000 Deuce to Seven Draw
2000 $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha
2002 $2,500 No Limit Hold'em Gold Bracelet Match Play
2003 $5,000 No Limit Hold'em
2003 $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha
2005 $2,500 Pot Limit Hold'em
|Chan (10), Doyle Brunson (10), Phil Ivey (10) and Phil Hellmuth (15) are the only players with ten or more WSOP bracelets.|
|$2,100,311||1977 $5,000 Seven Card Stud
1977 $10,000 Deuce to Seven Draw
1978 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship
1979 $10,000 Deuce to Seven Draw
|Baldwin has worked with several casinos in various capacities due to his poker expertise.|
|2004||Berry Johnston||$2,116,110||1983 $2,500 Match Play
1986 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship
1990 $2,500 Limit Hold'em
1995 $1,500 Limit Omaha
2001 $1,500 Razz
|At the time of his induction into the Hall of Fame, Johnston had the most WSOP cashes of any poker player. Having cashed in at least one event every year from 1982-2010, Berry holds the record for longest streaks at 29 years.|
|2005||Jack Binion||$0||None||Binion was the first host of the WSOP in 1970 and successor to the Horseshoe legacy after the death of his father, Benny Binion.|
|2006||T. J. Cloutier||$4,683,940||1987 $1,000 Limit Omaha Hi
1994 $1,500 Limit Omaha 8 or Better
1994 $2,500 Pot Limit Hold'em
1998 $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha Hi
2004 $1,500 Seven Card Razz
2005 $5,000 No Limit Hold'em
|Cloutier is the only person to have won bracelets in all three types (Pot Limit High, Limit High, and Limit 8-or-Better High-low split) of Omaha.|
|2006||Billy Baxter||$1,210,920||1975 $1,000 Deuce to Seven
1978 $10,000 Deuce to Seven Draw
1982 $10,000 Deuce to Seven Draw
1982 $2,500 Ace to Five Draw
1987 $5,000 Deuce to Seven Draw
1993 $5,000 Deuce to Seven Draw
2002 $1,500 Razz
|In the case of Baxter v. United States, Baxter fought the Internal Revenue Service and won the right to count poker winnings as earned income. Because of the ruling, poker winnings are taxed at a lower rate than other forms of gambling.|
|2007||Barbara Enright||$457,544||1986 $500 Women's Seven Card Stud
1994 $1,000 Women's Seven Card Stud
1996 $2,500 Pot Limit Hold'em
|Enright is the only woman to have advanced to the final table of the WSOP Main Event. She was the first woman to win three WSOP bracelets and the first to win an open event.|
The Poker Brat
|$14,046,072||1989 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship
1992 $5,000 Limit Hold'em
1993 $1,500 No Limit Hold'em
1993 $2,500 No Limit Hold'em
1993 $5,000 Limit Hold'em
1997 $3,000 Pot Limit Hold'em
2001 $2,000 No Limit Hold'em
2003 $2,500 Limit Hold'em
2003 $3,000 No Limit Hold'em
2006 $1,000 No Limit Hold'em with rebuys
2007 $1,500 No Limit Hold'em
2012 $2,500 Seven Card Razz
2012 $10,400 WSOPE Main Event
2015 $10,000 Seven-Card Razz
2018 $5,000 No Limit Hold'em
|In 1989, at age 24, Hellmuth became the youngest person to win the WSOP main event. He held this distinction until 2008, when 22-year-old Peter Eastgate captured the title, and subsequently by 21-year-old Joe Cada in 2009. Hellmuth won his record-breaking 11th bracelet in the 2007 $1,500 No Limit Hold'em Event. He won his 12th bracelet in the 2012 $2,500 Seven-Card Razz Event. He then won his 13th bracelet in the 2012 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event, with his 14th bracelet coming in the 2015 $10,000 Seven-Card Razz Event. Hellmuth then won his 15th bracelet at the 2018 World Series of Poker in the $5,000 No Limit Hold'em Event. Hellmuth holds the records for most WSOP cashes (138) and most WSOP final tables (49).|
|2008||Dewey Tomko||$2,725,128||1979 $1,000 No Limit Hold'em
1984 $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha
1984 $10,000 Deuce to Seven Draw
|Tomko has won over $4.9 million in tournament poker. Tomko has played in every WSOP since 1974, the longest streak ever.|
|—||2008||Henry Orenstein||$232,519||1996 $5,000 Seven Card Stud||Orenstein is the patent holder of the hole cam, which allows audiences to see player's hole cards. At the time of his induction, he was a producer of Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament and High Stakes Poker.|
|2009||Mike Sexton||$2,613,457||1989 $1,500 Seven Card Stud 8/0B||Sexton has live tournament winnings in excess of $3 million. He has made 21 final tables at the WSOP, including a bracelet in Seven Card Stud 8/OB in 1989. Sexton has been a commentator on the World Poker Tour since season one.|
|$3,534,237||1995 $2,500 No Limit Hold'em
1995 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship
|Harrington has co-authored the Harrington on Hold 'em and Harrington on Cash Games series of books. He is also the 1995 WSOP Main Event champion.|
|$5,352,474||1992 $2,500 Limit Hold'em
1993 $2,500 Omaha 8 or better
1994 $5,000 Limit Hold'em
1998 $5,000 Deuce to Seven Draw
2001 $3,000 No Limit Hold'em
2003 $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha
2005 $2,000 No Limit Hold'em
2007 $5,000 World Championship No-Limit Deuce to Seven Draw Lowball w/rebuys
|Seidel has captured eight WSOP bracelets. Seidel was runner-up in the 1988 World Series of Poker main event to Johnny Chan. The final hand was featured in the 1998 film, Rounders.|
The Robin Hood of Poker
|$3,159,631||2004 $5,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Draw
2005 $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha
2008 $1,500 Razz
|"The Robin Hood of Poker" is known for giving his tournament winnings to charities.|
The First Lady of Poker
|$169,508||1997 $1,500 Seven Card Razz||"The First Lady of Poker" was a publisher of Card Player Magazine and was instrumental in the formation of the Tournament Director's Association (TDA). At the time of her election, she served on the TDA Board of Directors and was heavily involved with the World Poker Tour as both a public relations director and tournament announcer.|
|—||2012||Eric Drache||$289,513||None||Drache was the World Series of Poker’s tournament director (1973 to 1988). He is also credited with the concept of satellite tournaments.|
|$266,650||1974 $5,000 No-Limit Deuce to Seven Draw
1975 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship.
|Roberts was the winner of the 1975 WSOP Main Event.|
|2013||Tom McEvoy||$1,347,328||1983 $1,000 Limit Hold'em
1983 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship
1986 $1,000 Limit Razz
1992 $1,500 Limit Omaha
|McEvoy has won 4 WSOP bracelets, including the 1983 Main Event. He was the first player to win that event after earning a seat through a satellite. He has also written over a dozen books on poker. McEvoy was instrumental in the effort to have smoking banned in card rooms|
The Prince of Poker
|$5,355,271||1997 $2,000 Limit Omaha Hi-Lo
1998 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship
2001 $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha
2001 $5,000 Limit Omaha Hi-Lo
2008 $50,000 World Championship H.O.R.S.E.
|Nguyen was the winner of the 1998 WSOP Main Event and the 2008 $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship, the only player to win both titles. He has made 9 World Poker Tour final tables with one title, making him one of four players to have a WPT title and WSOP Main Event bracelet. Altogether, Nguyen has accumulated over $11,000,000 in tournament winnings.|
|—||2014||Jack McClelland||$34,056||None||McClelland has had a career in poker operations for more than forty years. He was the WSOP tournament director in the 1980s, and was the manager of the Bellagio poker room from 2002 to 2013.|
|$17,039,564||1998 $2,000 Pot Limit Hold'em
2003 $2,000 Limit S.H.O.E.
2004 $2,000 Limit Hold'em
2008 $2,000 Limit Hold'em
2013 WSOP APAC $10,000 No Limit Hold'em Main Event
2013 WSOPE €25,600 High Roller No Limit Hold'em
|Since turning professional at the age of 22, Negreanu has become one of the most successful and recognizable players in poker. He has won 6 WSOP bracelets, is 2nd on the all-time WSOP money list, and is the only 2-time WSOP Player of the Year winner. He has also won 2 WPT titles, was player of the year in season 3, and is 2nd on the WPT career money list. With total live tournament earnings of almost $40 million, Negreanu has the second most career winnings in poker history. Global Poker Index named Negreanu the player of the decade from 2004-2013.|
|2015||Jennifer Harman||$1,477,156||2000 $5,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Lowball
2002 $5,000 Limit Hold'em
|Harman was the first woman to win two WSOP bracelets in open events. She has made 12 WSOP final tables, two WPT final tables, and has nearly $2.5 million in live tournament winnings. A fixture at high stakes cash games, Harman is the only woman who regularly plays in the Big Game at the Bellagio.|
|$5,714,127||2002 $1,500 Limit Triple Draw
2003 $2,500 Limit Seven Card Stud
2003 $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha w/Rebuys
2008 WSOPE £10,000 WSOP Europe Main Event
2011 $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship
|Juanda has over $16.7 million in tournament winnings, including 5 WSOP bracelets, an EPT title, and 6 WPT final tables.|
|2016||Todd Brunson||$1,827,862||2005 $2,500 Omaha Hi/Lo
|$3,242,868||2001 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship
2003 $5,000 Limit Hold'em
|Mortensen was the winner of the 2001 WSOP Main Event.|
|$1,708,075||1997 $2,000 Pot Limit Hold'em||—|
The Tiger Woods of Poker, No Home Jerome
|$6,547,112||2000 $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha
2002 $1,500 Limit Seven Card Stud
2002 $2,500 Limit Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo
2002 $2,000 Limit S.H.O.E.
2005 $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha
2009 $2,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw
2009 $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better
2010 $3,000 H.O.R.S.E.
2013 WSOP APAC $2,200 Mixed Event (8-Game)
2014 $1,500 8-Game Mix
|Ivey is tied with Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan for the second most WSOP bracelet wins with 10, behind Phil Hellmuth (15).|
|2018||Mori Eskandani||$239,047||Eskandani is a television producer who has produced programs such as the World Series of Poker, Poker After Dark and High Stakes Poker.|
|$5,532,732||2002 $2,000 Limit Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo
2004 $5,000 Limit Hold'em
2014 $50,000 Poker Players Championship
2016 $10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship
2018 $10,000 H.O.R.S.E.
|Hennigan has won five World Series of Poker bracelets, including the Poker Players Championship in 2014. He also won a World Poker Tour title in 2007. He has more than $8 million in tournament winnings, including $5.5 million at the WSOP.|
||$2,552,930||2003 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em Main Event||Moneymaker's win at the 2003 WSOP Main Event, after earning his seat in an $86 online sateliite, is often credited with beginning the poker boom.|
|†||Denotes player who is deceased.|
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