Posts Tagged ‘Jennifer Harman’

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

A new documentary entitled Poker Queens, from director Sandra Mohr and executive producer Christine Beatty, traces the history of women in the game of poker, from the days of “Poker Alice” Ivers, to MuskanSethi, who made waves at this year’s World Series of Poker Championship Event and is one of India’s top professional poker players.

Featured in the documentary are Poker Hall of Fame members Barbara Enright, Linda Johnson and Jennifer Harman, Women in Poker Hall of Fame members Jan Fisher and Maria Ho, and current Female Player of the Year Kristen Bicknell, (who notes in the trailer that “boys don’t like to be beat by girls!”) among others, as they all seek their place at the poker table in what remains, even in the 21st century, a heavily male-dominated game.

Stories and anecdotes are also contributed by players such as Liv Boeree, Kelly Minkin, two-time WSOP bracelet winner Loni Harwood, Esther Taylor and the World Poker Tour’s Angelica Hael. They are all extremely entertaining, but what is still left unclear is what direction the documentary will take.

Will it be bold and have a point of view with regard to why there are so few female poker players? (approximately 10% of the participants in the game and, even worse, at the WSOP Championship Event this year, 4.1%, or 350 women out of the 8569-player field). If this documentary addresses the disparity issue head on, it will be far more provocative than simply a series of highly enjoyable anecdotes.

Poker Queens will premiere on Amazon Prime Video, but there is no information if there will be a charge for outside viewers or if it will be included with the Amazon Prime subscription for members and offered for free. It could be a worthy addition to the list of poker documentaries that have been presented, but we’ll have to wait for a look at the finished product before we can be sure.

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Texas Poker StoreBy: Pocket Bullets Paris

I was debating with someone the other day about what it took to get into the Poker Hall of Fame when my wife walked by and said, “You mean, there’s actually a Poker Hall of Fame?” She seemed just skeptical enough to make me want to prove it to her; after all, why wouldn‘t there be a Hall of Fame for great poker players? So then she asked if getting in was based on total earnings or  longevity or popularity or what, and since I had to look it up, I figured I’d share it with any of you who might have the same question.

Jen Harman and John JuandaThe two latest players inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015 were Jennifer Harman and John Juanda, who became the 49th and 50th members. The public nominated 10 potential inductees, and then Harman and Juanda were officially selected by a 39-person panel of existing Poker Hall of Famers. Their induction ceremony took place on November 6 at 7:00 pm in the former Benny’s Bullpen inside Binion’s Gambling Hall, which hosted the first final table of the WSOP in 1970. Both Harman and Juanda have played high stakes poker for more than 20 years with great success. (Incidentally, there has not yet been a European player who has garnered enough votes to get in yet.) But what, exactly, did it take for Harman and Juanda to make it?

Daniel Negreanu - Poker Hall of Fame 2014To answer that question I turned to Hall of Famer and my personal favorite player, Daniel “The Kid” Negreanu. Before this year’s voting, he posted a list of the criteria that must be met in order to be considered a true Hall of Fame contender. I have “borrowed” his list to share with you: A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition; they must have played for high stakes; they must be a minimum of 40-years-old at time of nomination; they must have played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers and they must have stood the test of time. In addition, there is also a category for non-players, who “must have contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results.”

So there it is. No flash-in-the-pans. No overnight successes.  And no 22-year-olds! And my wife was satisfied because the answer came from Negreanu, who happens to be her favorite, too. Now I can get back to the tables and practicing my game.

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Vinny the GrinderBy The Grinder

I spent Thanksgiving at my friend Kenny’s house for a home-cooked delicious Thanksgiving meal. Initially, I was getting ready to reach his house in the evening, because that is exactly how I used to spend Thanksgiving in Texas, at Paul ‘My House My Rules’ Marvin’s house. We all gathered to watch the Big 12 Longhorns vs Aggies game, warmed up near Paul’s backyard fireplace, drinking and eating till we could eat no more. However, I guess it’s a little different here in the Midwest. In any case, I am looking forward to a day of, or should I say, another day of indulgence. Today, however, I decided to pay a tribute to some really charitable poker players.

Charitable Poker Players

Let’s start with Daniel ‘Kid Poker’ Negreanu who donated 20 poker tables, 40 decks of cards and 200,000 poker chips to a tournament in the name of Adam Pulling, who died of cancer in 2004. Adam was a Michigan State University student, and this was great gesture by the Kid. He did win the WSOP Player of The Year in 2004, and this was indeed a great way to give back. Our next Poker Robin Hood is Jennifer Harman, who has had both her kidneys replaced by way of organ donation. Jen is heavily involved in charitable causes related to organ donation, and formed Creating Organ Donation Awareness (CODA) in 2004.

Phil Ivey raised $260,000 to support underprivileged children in 2008 organizing and playing in a tournament. Let’s face it—if you have world-class poker celebrities playing in your tournaments then everyone wants to be in. This is a great way to raise funds and I think a lot of casinos should do this more often. The best part about Ivey’s charity is that he likes to keep it hush, and never publicizes it. In fact, Victor Ramdin, who was Ivey’s Protege, donates a lot of his prize winnings to his home country Guyana, providing dental and educational services and funds for underprivileged Africans.

Lastly, we have our most famous Poker Robin Hood, Mr. Barry Greenstein, who donates both his poker winnings and losses to charity. It’s hard to imagine how spiritual one can be. He has a PhD in Mathematics, and who knows, maybe being intelligent has got something to do with being charitable. If you want to start your poker charity, today is a good day to begin! www.pokergives.org, is a site started by Lisa Tenner, and you can find a lot of ways to be involved in poker charity through this website.

Have a great Thanksgiving weekend!

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