The Poker Hall of Fame

When it comes to recognizing the best players in the world of casino card games, the Poker Hall of Fame is the top honor a gambler can receive. Located in Las Vegas, the Hall of Fame was created in 1979 by Benny Binion, the legendary owner of the Horseshoe Casino. Since its creation, ownership has passed to Caesars Entertainment, although the Poker Hall of Fame still retains all its prestige.

Requirements for Nomination

  1. In order to be eligible for the Poker Hall of Fame, a player must meet the following requirements:
  2. The player must be at least 40 years old. This requirement was added in 2011 when it looked as though 23-year-old online poker player Tom Dwan might be elected to the HOF.
  3. The player must have competed against the top competition that the poker world has to offer.
  4. They must maintain a high level of play and be highly regarded by their peers.
  5. They must have participated in high stakes games.
  6. If the nominee isn’t a player, their actions and efforts must have advanced the game of poker or its popularity.
  7. Their level of play must stand the test of time.

The HOF Inaugural Class

The inaugural class of the Poker Hall of Fame included seven individuals. They are as follows:

James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok – Known as the most dangerous gunfighter in the Old West, Wild Bill Hickok was shot in the back and killed while playing poker in Deadwood, South Dakota.

Red Winn – Respected for his all-around skills at the game of poker, Winn is not as well-known as many of his HOF counterparts. Despite this, he’s still regarded as a legend of the game.

Johnny Moss – Winner of nine World Series of Poker bracelets during his career, the legendary Moss also captured main event titles in 1970, 1971, and 1974. The 1970 win was the first-ever WSOP event.

Felton “Corky” McCorquodale – A respected gambler whose biggest contribution to poker came when he introduced Texas hold ‘em to Las Vegas in 1963.

Edmond Hoyle – Even though he died before poker was invented, this author of numerous books on card games and their rules was still added to the inaugural class. He was viewed as such an expert on the subject of cards that the term “according to Hoyle” is now used to indicate any ultimate authority. 

Sid Wyman – Besides being a gambler, Wyman was also the co-owner of several Vegas casinos such as the Dunes, Sands, and Riviera.

Nick Dandolos – A high-rolling gambler who was estimated to have won and lost over $500 million during his career. His five-month poker showdown against Johnny Moss is the stuff of gambling legends.

There were 44 members of the Poker Hall of Fame in 2012, and under half their ranks were still alive. But whether they’re living or dead, the men and women inducted into this prestigious group have made an indelible mark on the game. With their immortality secured, they can now concentrate on doing what they love best…playing cards.