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 In 2007, Barbara Enright was the first ever woman elected into the Poker Hall of Fame. In 2008, she will be one of the first women elected into the Women’s Poker Hall of Fame.

The news that the Ladies International Poker Series (LIPS) will be founding this new Hall of Fame came at the start of January 2008. It will be located in downtown Las Vegas at Binion’s Casino, and its first inductions will take place on February 2nd.

The Board of Directors of the Women’s Poker Hall of Fame will be led by Lupe Soto, the founder of LIPS and creator of the first online women’s poker forum, pokerchix.com. “This is an institution that will recognize the many outstanding women who have accomplished so much and have reached the pinnacle of their poker careers,” Soto said. “It’s definitely time for the women in poker to have their own Hall of Fame to recognize their amazing contributions to the poker world.”

Women inducted into this new Hall of Fame must meet three pieces of criteria (as chosen by the Committee of the Women in Poker Hall of Fame):

1) She must have been active as a player or industry leader at some time during a period beginning at least 15 years prior to induction.

2) She must have contributed to the poker world in a significant way, either by winning and/or cashing in major tournaments, or by making significant contributions to the poker industry.

3) She must support women’s poker. She is not required to play in women’s only events, but she must support their existence.

The Committee has chosen four women to be inducted on February 2nd. Already mentioned was Barbara Enright, the first and only women to be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. She was also the first and only woman to make the World Series of Poker Main Event final table, and she has won three WSOP bracelets.

Susie Isaacs, Linda Johnson, and Marsha Waggoner will also be inducted. Isaacs was the first women to win the WSOP Ladies Championship two years consecutively, and she is also an author and poker lecturer. Johnson, the studio announcer for the World Poker Tour, is known as the “First Lady of Poker.” She is currently on the board of directors of the Poker Players Alliance, and she also teaches for the WPT Boot Camp. Waggoner is known as the “Grand Dame of Poker”, with tournament cashes of almost a million dollars. She has cashed several WSOP events.

A ceremony on February 2nd will take place at Binion’s for the four inductions. World Poker Tour’s Mike Sexton will be the Master of Ceremonies, and Industry Leader Jan Fisher will be the special guest speaker. An open $560 tournament is scheduled to take place at 2:00 pm after the inductions, where the public has an opportunity to play with the inductees and other professionals such as Sexton, Fisher, Jeff Shulman, and others.

If you were also interested in attending the induction ceremony, you could do so by becoming a charter member of the Women in Poker Hall of Fame for $75 (of which $15 would be donated to the Breast Cancer Angels Foundation). You will receive a ticket to the ceremony, lunch at the ceremony, a commemorative gift, and also an entry to a special freeroll to take place the next day on February 3rd. This freeroll has a $1000 prize pool and many other prizes including a WPT Boot Camp pass. If this interests you, visit their website: www.womenspokerhalloffame.com

/unbiased article

Alright, now I feel the need to inform the world that as a woman poker player writing this article, I think the introduction of a Women’s Poker Hall of Fame is absolutely unnecessary (I actually have stronger words than ‘unnecessary’ to describe how I feel about it, but I’ll leave them out). Enright’s induction to the regular Poker Hall of Fame proved that women DO have the ability to make the regular Poker Hall of Fame, so why do we need one exclusively for women? I find it ridiculous.

Actually I find ladies events in general pretty pointless, too (even though I’ve played in them because they are SO soft). Why the need for segregation? Are women handicapped in some way? Is there something that gives men advantage over women when it comes to poker, and so women need their own events to put them on level ground?

I just don’t get why certain people can’t understand that the reason women don’t win as often is because there are LESS of them. A woman has never won the World Series of Poker Main Event simply because of numbers. The chances of winning the WSOP ME is so small in the first place, and if most of the field is made of men, who is more likely to win? As more and more women find the game, the chances of a women winning will increase. It will be interesting to see how many years it takes for one to finally win it.

Getting inducted to the Women’s Poker Hall of Fame is just a joke. Why would women be inducted to the Women’s Hall of Fame but not the regular Hall of Fame? Could it be assumed that they just aren’t good enough for the regular version? Then it’s lucky for them that the Women’s Hall of Fame has lower expectations …

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great to encourage women to play poker. And I think that even a couple ladies events here or there are good to lessen any intimidation certain women may feel by being at tables with men. But a Women’s Hall of Fame is just taking it too far. Women will find the game themselves; more and more play every day, and there are increasing numbers playing in tournaments every year. We don’t need a freaking exclusive Hall of Fame to encourage us to play cards.

Oh well. At least Soto is happy. Hopefully the women on pokerchix.com don’t come kill me. Oh and I guess I’m never getting into the Women’s Poker Hall of Fame (thanks to criterium #3). Damn.