The Poker Hall of Fame

Like any sport or game, poker has developed its own Hall of Fame to honor the most skilled players and other people that have been important in bringing the game to where it is today. The Poker Hall of Fame was started in the year 1979 and still exists at the Horseshoe Casino in downtown Las Vegas, the same place where the World Series of Poker was held until the 2005 event. This location has remained one of the hallowed halls of poker, where new and old players alike can walk through the rooms and see the people who brought poker from its dark origins into the popular game that it is today. All told, there are 42 members that have been inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame, with 18 of these entrants still being alive.

The election process of future Poker Hall of Fame nominations is done by Harrah's Entertainment, the current owner of the Horseshoe Casino as well as the World Series of Poker brand. Each year, a shortlist of potential entrants is created, with certain criteria determining the selection of the list as well as the final two people that will make it into the Poker Hall of Fame. For a person to be considered for inclusion into the museum, they need to have played the game at a high stakes level against the best competition of their times. In addition, they will have needed to have good results in these games and earned the respect of fellow poker players over the course of their career. For members of the Poker Hall of Fame that were not active players, they must have had direct contributions to the positive growth and success of high stakes poker.

In 1979, the establishing year of the Poker Hall of Fame, seven names were admitted to start the honorary lifetime achievements. This group of people came from a wide range of backgrounds and included poker players Johnny Moss, Red Winn, Corky McCorquodale, and Nick Dandalos. Another of the initial members of the Poker Hall of fame were casino owner Sid Wyman, who operated poker rooms at the Sands Casino, Dunes Casino, and the still-standing Riviera Casino. Wyman was joined by famed Wild West personality "Wild Bill" Hickock, who was famously shot to death while playing poker as well as Edmond Hoyle, who literally wrote the book on playing card-based games.

For many of the poker professionals, like the PokerStars pros, that have been accepted into the Poker Hall of Fame, it is considered more important than any of their achievements at the tables and is a testament to their contributions to the game. Recent years have seen legends of the game like Chip Reese, Barry Greenstein, and Phil Hellmuth be inducted. The Poker Hall of Fame in Las Vegas is an essential stop on any player's pilgrimage to the city and the true origins of the game can be seen as well as the players who have shaped its evolution into the current popular form with more players than ever before.