POKER HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES CLASS OF 2011

October 27, 2011 - 01:13:53 PM EST  | 

POKER HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES CLASS OF 2011

Official Induction Ceremony to be held Tuesday, November 8th at 4:30 pm
Inside Rio’s Penn & Teller Theater Prior to Conclusion of WSOP® Main Event Final Table

LAS VEGAS (October 27, 2011) – One is known as “The Robin Hood of Poker.” The other is “The First Lady of Poker.”  Come November 8, 2011, both can add “Poker Hall of Fame” to their illustrious resumes.

Barry Greenstein and Linda Johnson will become the 41st and 42nd individuals to be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.  The two newest members were initially nominated by the general public and then voted in by a 35-person panel made up of existing Poker Hall of Famers and members of the media.

Johnson becomes just the second female to be bestowed the honor, joining Barbara Enright who was inducted in 2007.

Both Greenstein and Johnson were among the finalists for the honor in 2010.  This year, both players successfully garnered enough votes to become the game’s newest members.

Greenstein and Johnson will be officially inducted on Tuesday, November 8 at the Rio All-Suite® Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas just prior to the start of the final playing session of the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event Championship.

The special induction ceremony and celebration will take place at 4:30 PM inside the Penn & Teller Theater and will immediately precede the three-handed finale. 

It is fitting that these two exemplary individuals will be enshrined together.  Both possess impressive tournament and cash game success, over many years.  But it is perhaps their tireless efforts away from the green felt that have more profoundly impacted the game of poker, fostered the image of the game, and contributed to its growth and good sportsmanship.

"I am extremely proud and humbled to be voted into the Poker Hall of Fame,” said Johnson.  “I feel lucky to have been involved in many facets of poker over the past 35 years.  Being recognized by the industry is a tremendous honor.”

"I'm happy to be inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside my friend Linda Johnson who has been the most fervent ambassador for poker for as long as I can remember,” Greenstein said.

The Poker Hall of Fame Governing Council would sincerely like to congratulate the other 2011 finalists -- all whom remain eligible for future induction: Annie Duke, Jennifer Harman-Traniello, John Juanda, Marcel Luske, Jack McClelland, Tom McEvoy, Scotty Nguyen and Huck Seed.

Greenstein has amassed more than $7.5 million in worldwide poker tournament winnings and for nine consecutive years has won at least six figures on the tournament circuit.  Greenstein possesses three World Series of Poker bracelets, two WPT titles, and also plays in many of the highest stakes cash games in the world.

The 56-year-old Greenstein was born in Chicago, Illinois and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He also studied for his PhD in Mathematics, but never defended his completed dissertation.  He learned poker and other card games from his parents while growing up in the Scottsdale neighborhood of Chicago.

Barry went to work for a start-up company named Symantec in the 1980’s in Silicon Valley, California and was part of the team that developed its first product called Q&A.  The system provided both a word processer and a database and was cited as a significant step in making computers more user-friendly and less intimidating.  Greenstein is credited with developing the word processing component of Q&A. He left Symantec in 1991 at age 36 to play poker full-time.

It was 1992 when Barry entered his first poker tournament, the World Series of Poker Main Event, where he finished in 22nd place.

Barry is also the author of the widely-acclaimed poker book Ace on the River, and as is his personal trademark, Greenstein autographs a copy of the book for players in tournaments that eliminate him. 

Greenstein is a father of six, including four stepchildren, and has made a career of donating to child-focused charities.  He has donated more than $3 million to various charities through his poker winnings, earning him his nickname “The Robin Hood of Poker”. 

He currently resides in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, and can be found in California and Las Vegas card rooms and the world’s largest poker tournaments.

This year’s other inductee – Linda Johnson is a 58-year-old poker player originally from Long Island, New York, now living in Las Vegas who captured her WSOP gold bracelet in 1997 in a Seven-Card Razz event.  Johnson is one of only 15 females to capture a WSOP open event championship, and she has seven WSOP final table appearances on her poker resume.

Nicknamed “The First Lady of Poker” by fellow Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton, Johnson has been a leading force in the poker world for much of her life. She began playing poker in the 1970s after buying some poker books and teaching herself how to play.

Linda was immediately enthralled with poker and had a special ability for the game. She entered the World Series of Poker Ladies seven-card stud tournament in 1980, deciding in advance that if she performed well, she would quit her high-level job at the United States Post Office and move to Las Vegas to become a professional poker player. As fate would have it, Linda finished fifth in the tournament and promptly gave her two-week notice. She moved to Las Vegas and played poker full time from 1980-1993, one of just a handful of women who played the game professionally during those years.

These days, Linda enjoys teaching WPT Boot Camp and regularly hosts poker seminars and tournaments at many cardrooms around the country. She is a partner in Card Player Cruises and has hosted more than 90 poker cruises to destinations around the world.

But Johnson really made her mark and blazed a trail for other poker players by parlaying her poker acumen into ventures off the felt.

In 1993, Linda purchased Card Player magazine. Over the next eight years, the magazine grew from a 68-page, black and white newsprint publication into a 132-page, full-color, glossy magazine. As publisher, Linda became an ambassador for the poker world, traveling to more than 200 cardrooms around the world, always personifying class and professionalism and consistently setting new standards of excellence.

She has co-written three poker books and was instrumental in helping to establish many influential poker projects -- including the World Poker Industry Conference, the World Poker Players Conference, and the Tournament Directors Association. Her next project was helping to establish the World Poker Tour for which she had the role of studio announcer during its first six seasons. Her involvement in promoting poker led to being chosen as the original chairperson for the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), a leading lobbying group in Washington, DC. 

Linda is currently on the Board of Directors for the PPA and the Ladies International Poker Series (LIPS).
Already a member of the Women’s Poker Hall of Fame (inducted in 2008), Johnson co-founded PokerGives.org as a way to assist poker players to donate to worthwhile charitable causes using the game of poker as the platform.

The Poker Hall of Fame Governing Council is delighted with these two fine choices and congratulates both Barry Greenstein and Linda Johnson on their well-deserved selection and induction.

The Poker Hall of Fame, established in 1979, was acquired by Harrah’s Entertainment (now Caesars) 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.  There are now 20 living members.

The main criteria for the Poker Hall of Fame are as follows:
• A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
• Be a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination [to be known as the “Chip Reese” rule, adopted in 2011, 20 years after Reese’s induction at age 40]
• Played for high stakes
• Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers
• 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 entire list of 42 Poker Hall of Fame members includes (alphabetical with year of induction in parenthesis):
 
o Tom Abdo (1982)
o Crandell Addington (2005)
o Bobby Baldwin (2003)
o Billy Baxter (2006)
o Lyle Berman (2002)
o Joe Bernstein (1983)
o Benny Binion (1990)
o Jack Binion (2005)
o Bill Boyd (1981)
o Doyle Brunson (1988)
o Johnny Chan (2002)
o T.J. Cloutier (2006)
o Nick Dandolos  (1979)
o Barbara Enright (2007)
o Fred “Sarge” Ferris (1989)
o T “Blondie” Forbes (1980)
o Henry Green (1986)
o Barry Greenstein (2011)
o Dan Harrington (2010)
o Murph Harrold (1984)
o Phil Hellmuth (2007)
o James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok (1979)
o Red Hodges (1985)
o Edmond Hoyle (1979)
o Linda Johnson (2011)
o Berry Johnston (2004)
o Jack Keller (1993)
o Felton McCorquodale (1979)
o Roger Moore (1997)
o Johnny Moss (1979)
o Henry Orenstein (2008)
o Walter Clyde “Puggy” Pearson (1987)
o Julius Oral Popwell (1996)
o Thomas Austin “Amarillo Slim” Preston (1992)
o David “Chip” Reese (1991)
o Erik Seidel (2010)
o Mike Sexton (2009) 
o Jack “Treetop” Straus (1988)
o Duane “Dewey” Tomko (2008)
o Stu “The Kid” Ungar (2001)
o Red Winn (1979)
o Sid Wyman (1979) 

For more information on the Poker Hall of Fame, visit www.WSOP.com

ABOUT THE POKER HALL OF FAME
The Poker Hall of Fame, established in 1979, was acquired by Harrah’s 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. There are now 20 living members, and 42 members have been bestowed the honor of Poker Hall of Famer.  The Poker Hall of Fame traditionally elects one or two members annually.  The enshrinement ceremony is now held in concert with the final table of the Main Event of the WSOP, held each November in Las Vegas.

 
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