2011 Entries to the Poker Hall of Fame

The creation of the Poker Hall of Fame has allowed many of the game's best players over the course of history to be awarded with their own eternal place in the legend and lore of the game. Each year, new entries are voted on by members of the poker industry, including players, event organisers, and others related to the game, with two players gaining acceptance. For the 2011 year, there are several new possible nominees, including www.pokerstars.com pros that may see their way into the hallowed halls of poker. All told, there were ten names on the shortlist for entry, representing both the past, present, and future of poker.

As always, a large part of last year's entries were devoted to players that have exemplified the level of skill needed to prevail at the most difficult tables and tournaments of the game. In 2010, two players from this group, Dan Harrington and Erik Seidel, were selected both for their outstanding achievements as well as their overall contribution to the integrity of the game. This year, a number of other exceptional players have had their names listed on the ballot. World Series of Poker Main Event champions Scotty Nguyen, Huck Seed, and Tom McEvoy are recognisable names that have made the list. Other top notch players like Barry Greenstein, Marcel Luske, and John Juanda have also seen their hat tossed into the ring.

Women were also represented well in the 2011 shortlist of nominees, with Annie Duke, Jennifer Harman, and Linda Johnson all up for joining the cast of elite poker players. All three of these women have had impressive results across the game. Harman has long been considered one of the top cash game players in the world and routinely plays in the Big Game, the highest regular poker game that brings the most fierce of competitors together at Bobby's Room in the Bellagio Casino to play an 8 game mix. Johnson was one of the first to spearhead the movement towards more rights for women in the game as well as bringing a positive appearance to the game. Jack McClelland, one of the main organisers of poker in the last decades rounds out the full listing of poker professionals that were allowed the chance to join the Poker Hall of Fame.

In the end, the two people selected for entry into the Poker Hall of Fame were players Barry Greenstein and Linda Johnson, both of whom certainly deserved the award. In addition to his huge cash game winnings, Greenstein has also been a constant giver to charity, donating all of his net tournament winnings to various organizations. Johnson is known as the "First Lady of Poker," a title that indicates her integrity and commitment to the bettering of the game. With these two professionals earning their place in the history of the game, it will be interesting to see which new players are listed next year and which ones will take their eternal place on the walls of the Poker Hall of Fame.