Jim "Pocket Bullets" ParisJim “Pocket Bullets” Paris

Since 1979, when the Poker Hall of Fame was established by the owner of  the Horseshoe Casino, Benny Binion, to honor the world’s greatest poker players, 50 world class poker players have been inducted. Johnny “The Grand Old Man of Poker” Moss was the very first inductee and with this announcement, the total is now 52.

Poker Hall of Fame

The Class of 2016 added a couple of new members, Todd Brunson and Carlos Mortensen, to poker’s most exclusive club, the Poker Hall of Fame.

Todd Brunson“It’s a true honor to be inducted by my peers into this prestigious institution,” said Todd Brunson. “I literally grew up attending these ceremonies and have always respected and admired its members. To join their ranks is the honor of a lifetime.”

Carlos MortensenCarlos Mortensen was heard saying, “I have been playing poker professionally for more than 20 years. This game has given me so many things that I have come to cherish. I’ve always wanted to be included among the great players who make up the Poker Hall of Fame. To be included with the legends makes me very happy. I want to thank my friends, the poker fans, and all the people who vote for me. I take this honor very seriously.”

The official induction will occur Oct. 26 at the Binion’s Gambling Hall in Las Vegas, kicking off the November Nine festivities just before the World Series of Poker Main Event final table at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino Oct. 30 through Nov. 1.

The criteria for the Poker Hall of Fame is as follows:

  • A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
  • Be a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination
  • Played for high stakes
  • Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers
  • Stood the test of time
  • Or, for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results.

When Harrah’s Entertainment, now known as Caesars Entertainment, acquired the rights to the WSOP in 2004, it also assumed ownership of the Poker Hall of Fame. Currently, membership in the Poker Hall of Fame is handled directly by the WSOP.

Have any of you ever wanted to be known as a “kick ass” poker player? If you answered yes, then you best sit in on as many poker tables as you can to try to perfect your game. It’s possible, even if only remotely, that you could then be considered among the very best. Of course it’s a lot more likely that you’ll start to win more and, at the very least, have a helluva lot more fun.

Send us your comments!

Lynn "Queen of Hearts" ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

Although I was a huge fan of the Global Poker League’s heads-up matches in the Cube this summer, apparently the matches failed to attract enough viewers or create enough buzz to be considered a success.

Alex Dreyfus, CEO of Mediarex Sports & Entertainment and the GPL postponed dates to begin the second half of the season and changed venues for the long-awaited playoffs and Championship matches. He noted that they were a small team and needed to “re-group” in order to carry out some of the new League’s most crucial initiatives. They weren’t ready to make good on some of the promises made, but Dreyfus was in it for the long haul and didn’t want to make any embarrassing moves.

Poker Stars and Global Poker LeagueThe timing was perfect, therefore, for this week’s surprise announcement that PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker site, has signed on to be the exclusive online poker sponsor of the Global Poker League. The much-needed cash infusion that accompanies the sponsorship deal is already beginning to pay off. It looks like they have begun to revamp the website, GPL-branded team merchandise is finally available and they’ve released the mobile app.

More importantly, the sponsorship deal with PokerStars will see the League through to a second season and provide the marketing/advertising that the GPL so desperately needed. What everyone is counting on is that cross-promotion with the world’s largest online poker site (controlling 70% of the online market) will be just what the GPL needs to attract the attention of casual and grass-roots poker players and a new generation of fans.

In early September, Dreyfus advised all GPL fans to get ready for some “transformative changes and risk taking.” He also said that they would consider possible partnerships with key online poker rooms (social, free-to-play and real money offers). Partnering with the most recognizable brand in the history of online poker sounds like a dream come true for the entrepreneur, who can focus on growing his innovative team poker concept and his vision to make poker “fancentric.”

Hopefully, with the large red PokerStars logo emblazoned on the Cube, the Global Poker League will get closer to achieving what Dreyfus envisioned all along: “developing their twofold strategy of connecting the league to the poker community and genuinely connecting poker to the mainstream entertainment sector on a large scale.”

Send us your thoughts!

Jim "Pocket Bullets" ParisJim “Pocket Bullets” Paris

What do you think? Should poker players stay out of politics?

If you’re like me, then you believe that poker players, just like actors, well-known athletes and others in the public eye, have just as much right to express their political opinions as any other citizens. Still, I have met Kid Poker and the Poker Brat on a few occasions at the WSOP over the last few years and neither  gave me the impression that they might be in the slightest bit interested in politics. But I was as wrong about that as I would be trying to beat either of them at their own game. In fact, DNegs has been very vocal, especially on Twitter, about his progressive leanings.

So I wasn’t surprised to see that Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu both have their opinions about the current race for the White House, and they are not shy about expressing them.

Daniel Negreanu and PoliticsDaniel “Kid Poker” Negreanu, a Clinton supporter, was quick to state “The key is, she has to hit him where it hurts so he gets off-track and reckless,” Negreanu said to Wired. “Then she can just sit back and say, ‘See?'” .

“The first debate should be a feeler debate, a chance for both candidates to see how it goes, look at the polling and pundits and adjust for the second debate,” Negreanu continued. “If you’re doing poorly after both of the first debates, then number three is the time to go all in.”

You can read the full article at Wired.com right here.

Phil Hellmuth PoliticsPhil “Poker Brat” Hellmuth gave both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump high grades in their first heads-up debate.

“Trump played the outsider card really well,” said Hellmuth to TheStreet. “He kept highlighting the fact that we made a lot of deals that cost us a lot of money. People are sensitive to money issues. It’s like their cousin who screwed them in a deal or their friend or the cable company.”

“I think she did a great job — attacking was smart for her. I think she highlighted Trump’s lack of experience and the temperament stuff was effective. She did a really good job of attacking those two things. Trump is going to attack her much more heavily in the next debate.

You can read the full article from TheStreet.com.

Now, while I believe that politics has no place at the poker tables, it’s refreshing to see that both of these Poker Superstars are paying attention to much more than the cards they’re dealt.

Send us your thoughts!

Jim "Pocket Bullets" ParisJim “Pocket Bullets” Paris

There seems to be a slight dispute regarding the election of Chris Moneymaker into the Poker Hall of Fame. The argument is that in reality he never really achieved poker legend status, certainly not as a champion of the felt in the same league as Negreanu or Hellmuth.

Chris MoneymakerAfter all, Chris has pocketed only about 3.5 million dollars, and although that makes for a nice nest egg for most, it cannot be compared to the $30,600,000 in prize money that Negreanu has amassed, or Hellmuth’s 14 bracelets and winnings that exceed $20,900,000, to say nothing of their enormous contributions to the poker world.

I say, yeah so? Every Hall of Fame has had lots of inductees that might seem questionable to some, but for whatever reasons, they were inducted into their respective Halls of Fame. It might be timing, or a unique style or something that was revolutionary at the time, but there were reasons.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland has, for the most part, awarded their choices to the best of Rock and Roll, like the Beatles, the Stones and Stevie Wonder.  Yet they also inducted Joan Jett, who wrote only two hit songs, “I Hate Myself For Loving You” and “Little Liar.” Nevertheless,  while her over all sales have only amounted to 10 million records worldwide, she still got her name into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That’s a far cry from the 600,000,000 by the Beatles.

The Baseball Hall of Fame inducted Mike Piazza with an amazing 427 home runs, 396 of which were hit as catcher, along with a .308 batting average and 1,335 runs batted in (RBIs). But it has also had a few controversial choices, such as NY Yankees’ Phil Rizzuto, who only has 1,588 career hits and barely a .273 batting average and only 38 homers, again a far cry from the 427 homers by Piazza.

Poker Hall of FameAnd now we have this argument about Moneymaker. C’mon give me a break. If you can put people into national Halls of Fame for their respective contributions in their chosen fields, then I say that Chris Moneymaker, a 27-year-old who defied the odds and beat the pros at their own game, getting into the World Series of Poker Main Event through a $39 online satellite and winning it all has certainly, in my most humble opinion, earned his place into the Poker Hall of Fame. He certainly changed the face of poker and taught the world that anyone could cash in big resulting in thousands of new players trying to be Moneymakers.

Send us your thoughts!