Poker Hall of Fame
The Poker Hall of Fame adds another player's name to its list of poker
legends every year.
Since its inception in 1979, the Hall of Fame has honored 37 gamblers, one
for each year, with the exception of 1993 and the year 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007
& 2008. All but two, Hoyle and Hickok, were twentieth-century card players,
and many of them road gamblers who followed the game wherever it would take
Hall of Fame Standards
Selection Criteria for the Hall of Fame is straightforward and the
standards are high:
- 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.
The Poker Hall of Fame, established in 1979, was acquired by Harrahs
Entertainment along with the World Series of Poker in 2004. Though the Hall
of Fame is virtual in nature, its membership includes poker's most influential
players and other important contributors to the game. With Orenstein and Tomko,
there are 16 living members.
Felton "Corky" McCorquodale, 1979
A noted no-limit gambler, Corky introduced Texas hold 'em to Las Vegas in 1963.
He was enshrined in 1979 as a charter member. Deceased.
Johnny Moss, 1979
Ageless patriarch of the game, Johnny Moss was a three-time world no-limit Texas
hold 'em champion (1970, 1971, and 1974). He lived in Las Vegas until his death
in 1997. In 1979 he was enshrined as a charter member.
Red Winn, 1979
Known as a quintessential all-around player, Red Winn was enshrined in 1979 as
a charter member. Deceased.
Sid Wyman, 1979
From the early 1950's to the late 1970s, Sid was co-owner of several gaming properties,
including the Sands, Riviera, and the old Dunes. The Missouri-born Wyman was a
noted high-stakes gambler who excelled at poker. He died in June 1978. Casino
play was halted for two minutes at the Dunes at the hour of his funeral. He was
enshrined in 1979 as a charter member.
"Nick the Greek" Dandolos, 1979
Known for making astronomical wagers in Las Vegas casinos, Nick became a household
name. Late in his career, Dandolos was near broke and playing low-limit poker
in Southern California. Asked how he could bet millions of dollars once and now
play for $5 chips, Dandolos was purported to have said "Hey, it's action." He
was enshrined in 1979 as a charter member. Deceased.
Edmond Hoyle, 1979
For more than two centuries, card players have played "according to Hoyle", which
has become synonymous with conformity to rules. Born circa 1672 in England, Hoyle
wrote his first book, A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist in 1742. The book,
a classic, was used to settle differences during games played by London society.
Hoyle died August 30, 1769, at age ninety-seven. The eighteenth-century author
was enshrined in 1979 as a charter member.
"Wild Bill" Hickok, 1979
James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok, a nineteenth-century gambler and lawman, was
killed while playing poker. He held aces and eights, which became known as "The
Dead Man's Hand." Hickok is perhaps the most recognizable name in the shrine at
least to those outside of poker circles. He was a scout in the Civil War, a marshal
in Kansas, and later toured with Buffalo Bill's Wild West show as a sharpshooter.
His shoot-out with the McCanles gang -- he killed three of them -- made Hickok
a legend in his own time. While playing in a poker game in a saloon at Deadwood
in the Dakota Territory (now South Dakota), he was shot in the back by "Crooked
Nose" McCall and died on August 2, 1876, at age thirty-nine. He was enshrined
in 1979 as a charter member.
T. "Blondie" Forbes, 1980
A master road gambler, Blondie was enshrined in 1980. Deceased.
Bill Boyd, 1981
Regarded as one of the best five-card stud players of all time, Bill was several
times champion of the event at the World Series of Poker. He was ceremonially
dealt the first poker hands at both the Golden Nugget and Mirage cardrooms. Retired
from professional poker, Boyd was selected to be a Hall-of-Famer in 1981, and
lived in Las Vegas until his death on Nov. 21, 1997.
Tom Abdo, 1982
After suffering a heart attack at the poker table, Tom turned to another player
and asked him to count his chips down and save his seat. He died that night, intending
to return to the game. He was enshrined in 1982.
Joe Bernstein, 1983
A sharp road gambler; Joe was known as a dapper dresser at the poker table. He
was enshrined in 1983. Deceased.
Murph Harrold, 1984
Regarded as one of the best deuce-to-seven draw (Kansas City lowball) players
of all time, Murph was enshrined in 1984. Deceased.
Red Hodges, 1985
Considered one of the best seven-card stud players of all time, Red was selected
for the Hall of Fame in 1985. Deceased.
Henry Green, 1986
A road gambler from Alabama, Henry Green was an even tempered player who was skilled
at all forms of poker. He was selected for the Hall of Fame in 1986. Deceased.
A husky, cigar-chomping Tennessee born gambler, Walter Clyde "Puggy" Pearson won
the world title in 1973. Considered a great seven-card stud player, he is noted
for his aggressive style, an erratic temper, and homespun philosophy. He was made
a Hall-of-Famer in 1987 at age 58. A professional gambler, that lived in Las Vegas.
Deceased on April 12, 2006 at the age of 77.
Doyle Brunson, 1988
A hulking-Texas-born gambler who won the 1976 and 1977 world titles, Doyle was
the first player to win $1 million in tournament play. His book Super/System
is an acclaimed study of his high stakes poker. Brunson got his nickname "Texas
Dolly" when Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder misread "Doyle" as "Dolly." Enshrined in
1988 at age fifty-four, he's an active professional gambler who lives in Las Vegas.
Jack Straus, 1988
- An aggressive gambler noted for imaginative
play, Jack won the 1982 world title.The salt-and-pepper-bearded, Texas-born gambler
was noted for spinning poker yarns. Nicknamed "Treetop," Straus stood six-foot-six.
He died in August 1988 at age 58 after suffering a heart attack during a high-stakes
poker game at the Bicycle Club in Bell Gardens, California. He was enshrined at
the first Hall of Fame Classic that year.
Fred "Sarge" Ferris, 1989
A New England-born son of Lebanese immigrants, Sarge became a professional gambler
to escape the poverty of his youth. He won the 1980 deuce-to-seven draw world
title. He gained notoriety when, on April 22, 1983, the Internal Revenue Service
seized $46,000 worth of chips from him during a high-stakes game at the Horseshoe.
He died of a heart attack in March 1989, the year he was enshrined.
Benny Binion, 1990
A colorful cowboy and gambler. Benny Binion founded the Horseshoe casino in downtown
Las Vegas. In 1970, he inaugurated the World Series of Poker as a gambler's convention
at the resort. He died on Christmas Day 1989, at age 85. He was enshrined in 1990.
A tempered player who was skilled at all forms of poker, he was selected for the
Hall of Fame in 1986. Deceased.
David "Chip" Reese,
David Edward "Chip" Reese came to Las Vegas in 1974 with $400 in his pocket and
started at the $10 limit tables. He quickly rose to become one of the game's best
all-around high-stakes players. The Ohio-born gambler who began playing poker
for baseball cards at age six, is a Dartmouth graduate. He was enshrined in 1991
at age 40, the youngest Hall-of-Famer ever. A professional gambler who lived in
Las Vegas. Deceased on December 04, 2007 at the age of 56.
"Amarillo Slim" Preston, 1992
A fast-talking, flamboyant Texas gambler and poker tournament promoter, Thomas
Austin "Amarillo Slim" Preston won the world title in 1972. Unlike many gamblers
of his era, he sought out publicity by going on national talk shows after winning
the World Series. He was enshrined in 1992 at age 62. Preston has not competed
in major Las Vegas tournaments in recent years. He resides in Texas.
Jack Keller, 1993
"Gentleman Jack" has been one of the most consistent players since arriving in
Las Vegas from Philadelphia in the early 1980s and is the 1984 World Champion.
Enshrined in 1994 at age 51, he is an active professional gambler who lives in
Julius Oral "Little Man" Popwell, 1996
Popwell was a gambler of near-mythical stature. He was posthumously inducted into
the Poker Hall of Fame in 1996. His road games were five-card stud. He played
against Johnny Moss, Henry Green and others in the '40s and '50s. Deceased.
Roger Moore, 1997
In 1974 Moore entered his first World Series of Poker and hasn't missed one since.
Born into adversity as the son of a sharecropper, Moore has earned the reputation
as one of pokers most determined and formidable practitioners. He has preformed
admirably against most of the giants of the game, including fellow Hall of Famers
Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson, Chip Reese, Amarillo Slim, Jack Straus, Puggy Pearson
and Jack Keller. Moore is the 1994 World Series of Poker $5000 Seven Card Stud
World Champion and has placed in the money 15 times. Along with his three runner-up
finishes, he has been in the money in the championship event three times. WSOP
lifetime money earnings: $400,378.
When anyone talks about the greatest poker players of all time, Stu Ungar's name
will surface immediately. He is considered by many to have been the greatest No
Limit Hold'em player of all time.
Ungar was a three-time World Champion (with five WSOP bracelets). He won ten
major No Limit Hold'em championship events (in which the buy-ins were $5,000
or higher). Amazingly, Ungar only played in about 30 of these championship events
in his lifetime.
Berman prefers high-stakes cash games to tournaments, although he has played in
a few. He is a three-time winner at the World Series of Poker: Limit Omaha in
'89, no-limit hold’em in '92, and deuce-to-seven draw in '94). He finished second
at the WSOP four times. In 1991, he won the $5,000 buy-in no-limit hold'em championship
at the Hall of Fame Poker Classic
. Berman doesn't play many tournaments
and yet considering the number of events he has played, his record is worthy of
the Hall of Fame.
Johnny Chan, 2002
Johnny Chan is used to being first. The winner of back-to-back World Championships
in 1987 and 1988, Johnny was also first in money won all-time at the World Series
of Poker in 2002.
He's also the first poker-playing movie star. It was Chan, shown trapping
Erik Seidel, that Matt Damon idolized in the movie, Rounders.
It may come as a surprise to some that Johnny Chan wasn't in the Poker Hall
of Fame sooner. It's not an oversight. It's because Johnny is still so young.
Not yet 50 years old, Chan had unusual success very early. Always known as one
of the finest No-Limit Hold'em players who ever lived, Johnny Chan qualified
for the Hall of Fame because he is willing to take on all comers. Chan has played
in the biggest games going for the last quarter century. Nicknamed by the pundits
as "The Great Wall of China" and "The Orient Express" Johnny Chan is also one
of the most approachable and well-liked of former World Champions.
Lyle Berman, fellow Hall of Fame 2002 Inductee, introduced Johnny before the
start of the Championship Event. He reminded the audience that Chan started
playing poker at the $2/$4 level. He cautioned all players that if they couldn't
beat that game, they wouldn't be able to beat $10/$20 and above. So don’t ask
him for a stake.
Johnny thanked Lyle for the introduction and the Hall of Fame for the "honor."
Then he told the dealers, "Shuffle up and deal."
Bobby Baldwin, 2003
Recognized as the man who helped bring class to poker, Bobby Baldwin is one of
Vegas's top Chief Executive Officers and poker's biggest friend. The 1978 WSOP
of Poker Champion, Bobby is also honored for is his world class playing skills,
willingness to take enormous risks, and his ability to come out on top time after
Berry Johnston, 2004
The 1986 World Series of Poker Champion, Berry Johnston is also recognized for
being the man with the most all time cashes in 2004. He's made at least one cash
every year since 1982.
Jack Binion, 2005
For over 50 years, the innovations and style of Jack Binion has led to unparalled
success in the casino industry. Inherting the Horseshoe legacy from his father,
Benny Binion, Jack developed the downtown Horseshoe Casino into a Las Vegas icon
renowned for its high limits and generous odds - and hosted the first World Series
of Poker in 1970.
Crandell Addington, 2005
World-Famous poker ambassador and consistant high stakes winner. Crandell Addington
enjoyed an extremely successful poker career from 1963 until he retired in the
Mid 80's after playing against the games's biggest names. Described by Doyle Brunson
as a "No Limit Hold'em Legend" and "one of the most colorful and greatest players
of poker history."
T.J. Cloutier, 2006
Cloutier specializes in playing tournament poker, especially No Limit and Pot
Limit Hold'em. He is the only person in the history of the World Series of Poker
(WSOP) to have won events in all three types of Omaha played at the World Series
- (Pot Limit High, Limit High, and Limit 8-or-Better High-low split). Despite
winning dozens of tournaments, he has never won the main event of the World Series
of Poker, although he has placed four times in the top 5, including two 2nd place
finishes in 1985 and 2000.
Billy Baxter, 2006
Though his most well known contribution to poker is that he staked Stu Ungar from
1990 on, Baxter has won 7 of his own World Series of Poker bracelets. As of 2006,
he ranks just behind Johnny Moss (8), Phil Hellmuth, Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson
(10 each). All of Baxter's bracelets are in lowball games.
Phil "Poker Brat" Hellmuth , 2007
Phillip J. Hellmuth, Jr. (born July 16, 1964) is an American professional poker
player. He is best known for holding a record eleven World Series of Poker bracelets,
for winning the Main Event of the 1989 World Series of Poker and for his "poker
At the 2007 World Series of Poker, Hellmuth won his record-breaking 11th bracelet
in the $1,500 No Limit Hold'em Event. Hellmuth also holds the records for most
WSOP cashes (68) and most WSOP final tables (41), recently overtaking TJ Cloutier.
Barbara Enright , 2007
Barbara Enright is best known as the only woman to have reached the final table
of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) $10,000 no limit hold'em main event. She achieved
this in 1995, finishing in 5th place after her pocket eights were outdrawn by
a suited 6-3. She also finished in the money in the 2005 main event, having qualified
through a $10 online satellite. Barbara was the first woman to win two WSOP Bracelets,
the first woman to win three bracelets and the first woman to win an open event
at the World Series of Poker.
Duane "Dewey" Tomko, 2008
Tomko began playing poker profitably as a 16-year-old in Pittsburgh pool halls
which allowed him to finance his education. He worked as a kindergarten teacher,
but often played poker through the night. Tomko realised that poker was more profitable
than his job and invested a sum of his winnings into businesses while choosing
to play poker full-time.
Tomko has played every WSOP Main Event since 1974 which is currently the longest
Henry Orenstein , 2008
Orenstein is successful outside of his poker playing, both in poker and other
pursuits. A Holocaust survivor who spent much of the end of World War II in various
concentration camps, Orenstein became a toymaker who, decades later, convinced
Hasbro to start producing Transformers. He holds over 100 other patents, and aside
from Transformers, the best-known of these inventions is U.S. Patent 5,451,054
which gave Orenstein the exclusive right in the United States to detect and display
hole cards in poker games. The ability to show a player's hidden cards to an audience
is one of the principal reasons that poker is so popular today.