By Joss Wood, Rakeback.com Poker News Staff Writer
Linda Johnson started playing poker in the 1970s. She turned professional after finishing 5th in a 7 Card Stud event at the WSOP in 1980. From then until 1993, she was one of very few female professional poker players working the casinos in Las Vegas.
In 1993 she bought Card Player magazine and as the online poker boom took off, she transformed it into a must-read for all regular players. As the editor, she travelled to over 200 card rooms around the world and became a powerful advocate for poker. In promoting and publicising the major events and personalities of the poker world she helped to create a wider poker audience, and inspired thousands of people to take up the game.
She was the driving force behind establishing the World Poker Industry Conference, the World Poker Players Conference, and the Tournament Directors Association. She also helped to launch the World Poker Tour, and was the founding Chair of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA). In order to help poker players contribute to charity she founded PokerGives.org.
As only the second female poker player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, we congratulate Linda on her selection and thank her for the work she has done. She has been an incredibly professional ambassador for poker.
Barry is extremely popular and highly respected in the poker community. From Chicago, Barry studied for a PhD in Mathematics after completing his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. He left the academic path to work as a pioneer in the fledgling PC industry. He went to work in Silicon Valley for a start up company, Symantec, where he was responsible for the word processing application as part of the Q&A program suite. Ahead of the game as always, he started playing poker professionally in 1991.
Barry has won three WSOP bracelets, two WPT titles, and has become a television celebrity following his High Stakes Poker appearances. Known as the “Robin Hood of Poker”, he has donated over $3 million of his poker winnings to charities working with children.
“Ace on the River” is the title of Barry’s account of life as a poker player and he gives away free autographed copies: but if you want one, you have to bust him out of a tournament. As he has over $7.5 million in tournament winnings, that’s not so easy.
We are terrifically pleased that Barry has received this richly deserved honour. Nice guys can finish first!
We made our predictions and gave Barry odds of 3 to 1 and Linda 6 to 1. Our favourites were Tom McEvoy at 5 to 4 and Scotty Nguyen at 3 to 2. OK, we got it wrong, but in such a strong field picking winners isn’t easy. Better luck next year Tom and Scotty.
The Poker Hall of Fame includes poker's most influential players and other important contributors to the game. There are 20 members still alive.
The main criteria for the Poker Hall of Fame are:
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