Todd Brunson and Carlos Mortensen become the 51st and 52nd inductees to the Poker Hall of Fame.
The Brunson’s join the Binion’s as the only families with two members in the Poker Hall of Fame.
Carlos Mortensen inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in the same room he won the 2001 WSOP Main Event.
LAS VEGAS (October 27, 2016) - - It was a celebration for the poker community Wednesday night at Binion’s Gambling Hall and Saloon in downtown Las Vegas. Todd Brunson and Carlos Mortensen turned from poker greats to poker legends by receiving one of poker’s highest honors. Together, the two became the 51st and 52nd players inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. They were awarded Poker Hall of Fame trophies and formally inducted in front of family, friends and their Hall of Fame peers, many of whom were on hand to honor and celebrate these two card sharps.
Nolan Dalla took to the stage first to highlight Mortensen’s life and amazing poker career. He shared Mortensen’s life journey from his birthplace of Ecuador, to his move to Spain where he first got into poker and all the way up until his 2001 WSOP Main Event victory. Dalla welcomed Mortensen to the stage to accept his Hall of Fame trophy and say a few words.
“I am so happy to be sharing this night with my buddy Todd,” said Mortensen.
He went on to thank his wife and children. He also thanked the Hall of Fame voters who voted for him and he expressed how grateful he was to be part of the Poker Hall of Fame. He finished his speech talking about his father.
“I want to dedicate this honor to my father who shaped me into the man I am today. I will be forever grateful for all of his wise words and he always will be my example to follow,” said Mortensen.
He posed with his trophy for a few photos just steps away from where he posed with his first WSOP gold bracelet in 2001 after winning the Main Event.
It was on to honoring Brunson next. Brunson was presented his Hall of Fame trophy by two Poker Hall of Famers - his father Doyle Brunson and friend Daniel Negreanu. Doyle shared how he never pushed Todd into poker. Todd found the game himself at Texas Tech University. He returned home after his junior year of college to announce he would be dropping out to pursue poker full-time.
“I took him to a casino and we played in the same game. I was pleasantly surprised as I watched him do things it took me years to learn,” said Doyle.
Doyle finished his short speech by saying how proud he was of his son Todd and then gave the floor to Negreanu. Negreanu hammered home Doyle’s point that Todd made it on his own. He didn’t get any extra help at home from Doyle and he grew his bankroll up the old fashion way. Negreanu spoke on behalf of all of Todd’s peers that he had their respect and then welcomed him to the stage.
The first person Todd thanked was his mother. Along with thanking her, he shared a funny story about her being a frugal person.
“My mother had a big impact on me, not only as a person, but as a poker player,” said Todd.
He thanked his siblings, wife, mother-in-law and father. Then he finished his speech sharing about how great poker is.
“Poker is just the greatest game in the world and I love it, absolutely love it,” said Todd. “I’ll play poker until the day I die.”
The night finished with two new great additions to the Poker Hall of Fame and a group photo of the Poker Hall of Famers in attendance.
From left to right: Scotty Nguyen, Jack McClelland, Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Jennifer Harman, Todd Brunson,Tom McEvoy, Carlos Mortensen, Barbara Enright
Carlos Mortensen's Poker Accomplishments:
- 2x WSOP gold bracelet winner
- 2001 WSOP Main Event champion
- 3x WPT Champion
- $11,976,160 in live tournament earnings
- First on Spain's all-time money list
Todd Brunson's Poker Accomplishments:
- Plays in the biggest cash games
- $2,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better gold bracelet winner (2005)
- 52 WSOP cashes
- $4,291,671 in live tournament earnings
We extend our congratulations to Carlos and Todd, and for the other eight finalists in this year's Class.