After tabulation of the voting by the eighteen living members of the Poker Hall of Fame and seventeen poker media representatives, World Series of Poker officials announced on Thursday that two venerable members of the poker community, poker champion Barry Greenstein and poker entrepreneur/player Linda Johnson, will be enshrined in the Poker Hall of Fame during ceremonies next month.
Greenstein and Johnson – along with fellow nominees Annie Duke, Jennifer Harman, John Juanda, Marcel Luske, Jack McClelland, Tom McEvoy, Scotty Nguyen and Huck Seed – were nominated by a fan vote earlier this year. The 35 member panel of media and Hall members then had the difficult decision to give ten votes out to those nominees whom they felt were worthy of inclusion in the Hall. Although everyone among the nominees were well qualified for the honor, Greenstein and Johnson garnered the most votes and will be the 2011 inductees.
Johnson, who will become only the second woman enshrined in the Hall (alongside Barbara Enright), stated after the announcement, “I am extremely proud and humbled to be voted into the Poker Hall of Fame. 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.”
Greenstein echoed Johnson’s sentiments in commenting, “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.”
Both of the 2011 Hall inductees’ resumes demonstrate what they have done for the game. Greenstein has been at the forefront of the tournament and cash game poker arenas for well over two decades, winning three World Series of Poker bracelets, two World Poker Tour championships and earning over $7.5 million in his tournament poker career. For nine consecutive years, Barry has earned at least six figures from tournament poker alone and untold amounts in some of the biggest cash games around.
What Barry is best known for perhaps is his philanthropy. For years he donated his tournament winnings to charity, earning him the nickname “The Robin Hood of poker,” and he continues to donate a large chunk of his winnings to philanthropic causes.
For her part, Johnson has done virtually everything in the world of poker. She won a WSOP bracelet in 1997 (one of only fifteen women to have done so) and has earned over $340,000 from tournament poker. She has competed in cash games around the world in every discipline of the game, but her true gift to the poker world has been away from the tables.
The onetime owner of CardPlayer Magazine, Linda was one of the founding members of the Tournament Directors Association, which has helped to streamline tournament poker rules worldwide. Linda was the original Tournament Director for the World Poker Tour, helping to get the then-fledgling enterprise off the ground. She has gone on to help promote the charitable aspects of the game through her co-founding of Poker Gives alongside fellow Hall of Fame member Mike Sexton, Jan Fisher and Lisa Tenner.
Given the moniker of the “First Lady of Poker” by Sexton, Linda continues to teach the game through her involvement with the WPT Boot Camps and scores of seminars that she hosts across the country.
The induction of Linda Johnson and Barry Greenstein will be part of the festivities surrounding the “November Nine” conclusion to this year’s World Series of Poker Championship Event. On Tuesday, November 8, prior to the start of three handed play in the tournament, Linda and Barry will officially receive an honor that is richly deserved.