Humble poker fan or player, here’s your chance to have your say!
You can nominate a couple of female poker players for induction into the Women In Poker Hall of Fame.
Earlier this week, the WIPHOF began accepting, for the first time, nominations. After the names are in, the HOF will winnow them down to several finalists. The current members of the WIPHOF will make the final cut, deciding the 2016, biennial inductees.
Current members are a bit too numerous to name, but include such superstars as Barbara Enright, Linda Johnson, Cyndi Violette, Kathy Liebert, and Jennifer Harman. The 2014 inductees were Allyn Shulman and Deborah Giardina.
So, who can you scrawl in with your favorite sharpie? Anyone you want, but don’t expect her to get in if she’d not thirty-five. That’s the one hard and fast rule. After that, things are open to interpretation: here are criteria listed by the Hall, stating who, among your crazy nominations, could actually get in:
- The player must have been in the game for ten years.
- She must have “contributed to the world of poker” and must be a proponent of women in poker.
The full list, along with the nomination form, is here.
There are no quantifiable requirements in terms of tournament winnings, awards, etc. There’s no “high stakes” requirement either—but the current members didn’t exactly play at their local American Legion.
You can nominate up to two lady ballas, but you do have to explain what kind of great contribution she’s made. Just saying “she’s better than me” probably won’t work. But it shows that the hall is open to the opinions of the larger poker community, beyond just collecting names and solely using their own judgment.
The induction ceremony is slated for July 5th.
If you’re wondering if certain noted players have reached the age of 35, here’s a list only of those who may be in doubt:
Vanessa Rousso – 32
Vicky Coren Mitchell- 43
Liv Boeree- 31
Maria Ho- 32
Vanessa Selbst- 31
Christina Lindley – 32
The LIPHOF has been in existence since 2008, while the Poker Hall of Fame came into being in 1979. In 2007, Barbara Enright, the only woman to make a WSOP Main Event final table, became the first woman inducted to the hall. Linda Johnson followed in 2011. Jennifer Harman made three in 2015.
Does the existence of a Women’s Hall of Fame diminish the status of the female poker player somehow? Does it indicate the need for special treatment?
Or is it a way to honor the hard work and great success of someone who may or may not make the Poker Hall of Fame, which keeps its ranks small?
Is it a way to call special attention to a minority segment of the poker universe, one often subject to sexism, slights, and prejudice?
Well, we do know this: in 2015, twenty-two dudes exploited a loophole to enter the EPT Deauville Ladies Event, and one of them, Thierry Derkx, took it down. The idea behind the gate-crashing, seems to be that there’s either a “hey, how come they get to have their own tournament?” mentality going on, or worse, that guys think a female tournament is an easy mark.
Some people find this attitude disrespectful, while many shrug their shoulders at guys in a ladies’ field, saying it’s not something they’d do themselves, but it’s a free planet.
These kind of controversies explain why the Hall wants its inductees to be a proponent of women in the game.
Might that exclude fantastic players who don’t think it’s their job to carry a whole gender on their shoulders every time they buy into a game?
It’s hard to say.
It depends on who you nominate, and what you say on her behalf.
I’m Matt “Checkmate” Colletta. I’ve been playing poker professionally since about 2004.
As one of the poker pros on UpswingPoker.com, my goal here is to help transform at least one hobbyist poker player into a self made millionaire.