Induction Ceremony to be Held as Part of Poker’s Biggest Night At Rio’s Penn & Teller Theater Prior To World Series of Poker® Main Event Final Table

The Poker Hall of Fame has announced its 2008 Class, and what a class it is.

Duane “Dewey” Tomko, a three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, a two-time Main Event runner-up, and the holder of the longest consecutive Main Event participation record (35 years) will become poker’s newest Hall of Fame member.

Tomko will enter alongside Henry Orenstein, a Holocaust survivor who won the 1996 World Series of Poker Seven-Card Stud Championship and also cashed twice in the Main Event, including a final table finish at the 1995 World Series of Poker Main Event.

Orenstein perhaps is better known for his real occupation – an inventor – holding more than 100 patents, including those for Sesame Street toys, Snoopy toys, the Transformers and U.S. Patent  5,451,054, which gave Orenstein the exclusive right to detect and display hole cards in poker games.

It was this patent, known today as the “Hole Card Cam” or “Hole Cam” which made poker a made-for-TV attraction, creating an estimated 150,000 jobs worldwide, spurring the meteoric rise of poker and helping popularize the game to heights never before seen in its long history.

Orenstein and Tomko will be enshrined on Sunday, November 9 at the Penn & Teller Theater at the Rio All-Suites® Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas during the finale of the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event championship.  ESPN will show portions of the ceremony during their November 11 telecast.

The enshrinement and WSOP final table play are open and free to the public.  Seating is available on a first come, first serve basis.

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. With Orenstein and Tomko, there are 16 living members.

  • The main criteria for the Poker Hall of Fame is as follows:
  • A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
  • 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 37 Poker Hall of Fame members includes (alphabetical with year of induction in parenthesis):

  • Tom Abdo (1982)
  • Crandell Addington (2005)
  • Bobby Baldwin (2003)
  • Billy Baxter (2006)
  • Lyle Berman (2002)
  • Joe Bernstein (1983)
  • Benny Binion (1990)
  • Jack Binion (2005)
  • Bill Boyd (1981)
  • Doyle Brunson (1988)
  • Johnny Chan (2002)
  • T.J. Cloutier (2006)
  • Nick “The Greek” Dandolos (1979)
  • Barbara Enright (2007)
  • Fred “Sarge” Ferris (1989)
  • T “Blondie” Forbes (1980)
  • Henry Green (1986)
  • Murph Harrold (1984)
  • Phil “Poker Brat” Hellmuth (2007)
  • James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok (1979)
  • Red Hodges (1985)
  • Edmond Hoyle (1979)
  • Berry Johnston (2004)
  • Jack Keller (1993)
  • Felton “Corky” McCorquodale (1979)
  • Roger Moore (1997)
  • Johnny Moss (1979)
  • Henry Orenstein (2008)
  • Walter Clyde “Puggy” Pearson (1987)
  • Julius Oral “Little Man” Popwell (1996)
  • Thomas Austin “Amarillo Slim” Preston (1992)
  • David “Chip” Reese (1991)      
  • Jack “Treetop” Straus (1988)
  • Duane “Dewey” Tomko (2008)
  • Stu “The Kid” Ungar (2001)
  • Red Winn (1979)
  • Sid Wyman (1979)