Barry Greenstein and Linda Johnson are this year’s inductees into the Poker Hall of Fame. The 41st and 42nd members of the Hall will be properly fêted Nov. 8 at the Rio in Las Vegas (amidst all the World Series of Poker November Nine hoopla). Greenstein’s path to the podium will be greased by none other than Doyle Brunson, who tweeted: “I’ve got the honor of being Barry Greenstein’s presenter at the Poker Hall Of Fame. This induction is well deserved.”
With Greenstein having notched over $7.5m in career tournament earnings ($3m of which Greenstein donated to various charities, earning him the nickname “the Robin Hood of Poker”), we don’t dare disagree with TexDolly on this one. While Johnson earned a WSOP bracelet in 1997, her induction into the Hall is more a reflection of her success off the felt. The “first lady of poker” has written three poker books, did an eight-year stint as publisher of Card Player Magazine, had a hand in establishing several poker conferences and served on the board of the Poker Players Alliance. Congrats to both Greenstein and Johnson.
This year’s WSOP November Nine will go ‘live’ (on a 15-min. delay, with hole cards visible) on ESPN this Sunday starting at 12:30pm PST, and will continue until the nine are reduced to three. The remaining trio will reconvene Tuesday at 9pm EST to do battle until someone claims the $8.7m grand prize. (International poker fans can follow live coverage online via espnplay.com.) In case you’d forgotten where the final nine players stood in terms of chip counts, here’s how things will look once play gets underway: Martin Staszko (40.175m); Eoghan O’Dea (33.925m); Matt Giannetti (24.75m); Phil Collins (23.875m); Ben Lamb (20.875m); Badih Bounahra (19.7m); Pius Heinz (16.425m); Anton Makiievskyi (13.825m) and Sam Holden (12.375m).
The 2011 November Nine may be the last final table to bear that nickname, as the WSOP has publicly mused about ending the traditional three-months-and-change hiatus between the summer tourney and the overall champ picking up his paycheck. WSOP communications director Seth Palansky told PokerNewsReport.com that the company would “revisit the concept after this November” with the idea of possibly “tweaking” the format. “If you’re doing something live, do you really need to delay it four months and try to build this anticipation to get people to watch?” Wise words, but Palansky’s musings may be purely rhetorical at this point, as much would depend on ESPN’s willingness to go along with the ‘tweaking’.