The Women In Poker Hall of Fame has announced the names of seven ladies nominated for induction in 2010, of which two will be enshrined during ceremonies in September.
The Women in Poker Hall of Fame, founded by the Ladies International Poker Series and sponsored by CardPlayer Magazine, is designed to honor women who have acquired prominence and made contributions to the poker world. The Hall, which inducted its charter members in 2008, also recognizes those who have contributed significantly to promoting women in poker through their involvement in the gaming industry.
The qualifications for women to be named to the Hall are quite rigorous. Potential candidates must meet three criteria to be considered by voters: a candidate must have been active as a player or industry leader for a minimum of 15 years. The lady, whether a player or an industry leader, must have contributed to the world of poker in some significant way. This person can qualify by either winning major poker tournaments or making significant contributions to the industry. Finally, a person must be a proponent of women’s poker. Even is she does not play in women’s events, she must support them.
With these criteria, popular female players who have made waves recently, including PokerStars’ Vanessa Rousso, Full Tilt Poker’s Annette “Annette_15” Obrestad, Vanessa Selbst, and UB.com’s Liv Boeree, are not eligible for the Hall yet. “They will have their time to shine in the near future,” stated Women in Poker Hall of Fame Board Member Karina Jett. “The criteria set by the Board ensures inductees are well established players or industry professionals.”
The seven women who have been nominated feature representatives from every era in the history of the game. “Some of these candidates are better known than others, but they are all worthy of induction,” said Lupe Soto, the Hall’s Founder. The seven women who have been nominated for induction are led off by Poker News Daily’s guest columnist Annie Duke.
Duke has been one of the top female players in the game for nearly two decades. The current National Heads-Up Poker Championship titleholder, she has earned over $4.2 million dollars in her career. In addition to being an excellent player, Duke has also been at the forefront of the poker community, advocating in the halls of Congress on several key issues.
Duke is joined by Jennifer Harman, the only woman to have won two open World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets and a fixture in some of the biggest cash games in the world. Harman has used her poker success to drive attention to several charitable causes, including the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and has earned over $2.3 million in tournament earnings during her career.
Kathy Liebert is another contemporary of Duke and Harman who has had a successful career in poker. Liebert is the all-time leading money winner among women with well over $5.6 million in earnings. She was the first woman to win a $1 million first prize in a poker tournament when she captured the 2002 PartyPoker Million.
Joanne “J.J.” Liu has quietly made her impact on the poker world. While playing in some of the most difficult cash games around the world, Liu has also been a formidable foe in the tournament arena. A graduate of Bradley University, she has earned over $2.1 million from tournament poker, including a third place finish in a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event and a seventh place finish in a $2,500 Six-Handed Limit Hold’em event at this year’s WSOP.
Involved in poker since 1979, Phyllis Caro has been a part of nearly every aspect of the poker world. Working her way up from being a dealer, Caro has become one of the preeminent women in the gaming industry. Today, she works as the Director of Poker Operations at Hollywood Park in California. She has also assisted her husband Mike Caro with some of his best known works.
Nani Dollison is one of only three women – 2008 Women in Poker Hall of Fame charter members Barbara Enright and Susie Isaacs are the other two – who have won the Ladies’ Championship at the WSOP twice in their career. One of the most aggressive players on the felt, Dollison has earned almost $800,000 in her poker career and has played in venues that span the globe.
One of the pioneers for women in poker is Betty Carey. She was considered one of the most feared players – male or female – in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She consistently battled against some of the legends of the game, including “Amarillo” Slim Preston, Johnny Moss, and Doyle Brunson, and more than held her own. She was one of the first women to play in the WSOP and is someone whom all the nominees above have to thank for blazing the trail.
Out of this exceptional list, only two will earn nominations. The voting process is open to the public at the Women in Poker Hall of Fame website until July 15th, with the two players elected to the Hall announced in August.