In preparations for their induction ceremonies in August, the Women in Poker Hall of Fame recently announced that veteran poker professional Joanne “J. J.” Liu and longtime poker industry professional Kathy Raymond will be the honorees for induction into the Hall.
Back in May, the WiPHoF announced a very qualified list of nominees that were under consideration for election to the Hall. Along with Liu and Raymond, such notables as British poker pro Victoria Coren, three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Nani Dollison, poker pros Annie Duke, Karina Jett and Isabelle Mercier and industry figures Bonnie Leinhos, Deborah Giardina and Debbie Burkhead were considered by the Hall’s voting committee for enshrinement. By the time the final votes were tallied in late June, Liu and Raymond were the figures who garnered enough votes for election.
Liu has been a part of the poker world dating back to the 1990s, terrorizing cash games and making her mark on the tournament poker world. Her first ever cash was at the WSOP, finishing fourth in a $3000 Limit Hold’em event, and she has since gone on to earn 24 more cashes in poker’s most prestigious event. On the World Poker Tour, Liu has been one of the preeminent female players in the game, cashing in ten events over the WPT’s history and making two final tables. She has earned almost $2.6 million in her tournament poker career and untold amounts from her cash game exploits.
Raymond has been a part of the poker community for over a decade, leading some of the biggest poker room operations across the United States. Currently the Director of Poker Operations at the Venetian in Las Vegas, Raymond made her mark in the poker industry through her leadership at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. Leading the rebirth of the poker room at that legendary casino operation, Raymond was at the helm of the Foxwoods room when it became a charter member of the WPT. She is also well-versed in the game of poker as a player, cashing in two H.O.R.S.E. tournaments in her career including one in 2009 at the WSOP.
The ceremonies for the 2012 induction of Liu and Raymond will only be a part of the festivities for the WiPHoF. Set for August 31 at the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas, the evening begins with a “Red Carpet Walk” at 6PM (Pacific Time) featuring many luminaries from the poker world, cocktails for those in attendance and a silent auction that will benefit the charitable outlet Poker Gives. At 7PM, dinner will be served and the induction ceremonies will begin, with a keynote speaker that has yet to be identified but is promised to be a “great surprise” by WiPHoF officials. Tickets are available to the public through the WiPHoF website, www.womenspokerhalloffame.com.
Last year’s ceremonies brought the poker world out on several fronts. Nevada Representative Shelley Berkley was in attendance to discuss the need for regulation of the online poker industry (after the “Black Friday” indictments) and her support of all poker players. As the evening moved onward, poker professional Kristy Gazes and poker industry professionals Phyllis Caro and Margie Heintz were inducted into the Hall.
Along with those three women, Liu and Raymond will join a celebrated list of ladies who have received the honor of being inducted into the Hall. Billie Brown, Jennifer Harman and Kathy Liebert were inducted in 2010, while CardPlayer Magazine founder June Field, Jan Fisher and Cyndy Violette received the honor in 2009. The inaugural class inducted arguably four of the most revered members of the female poker community – Barbara Enright (who had been elected to the Poker Hall of Fame in 2007), Linda Johnson, Marsha Waggoner and Susie Isaacs – when they were enshrined in 2008.