Finalists for the Women in Poker Hall of Fame announced
On Thursday the Women in Poker Hall of Fame announced the finalists for the 2012 Class. As in past years, the list runs the gamut of the poker world, with poker players, industry leaders, and contributors among the final 10 nominees.
The finalists were chosen by poker fans, who were able to nominate potential candidates at the wiphof.com website. These nominees were then pared down to insure the finalists met all of the criteria necessary for induction. Now the process is in its final stage as:
“Each current member of the Women in Poker Hall of Fame, the Board and selected members of the media board will now cast 10 votes each. They may give all of their votes to one candidate, or cast them over several candidates in any number until they reach their allotted 10 votes. The voting process is open until June 20th and the announcement will be forthcoming by the end of the month. Two of the candidates are on the WiPHoF board. They are not eligible to vote in this year’s election.”
Here is a look at the final 10 nominees for the 2012 Class for the Women in Poker Hall of Fame (short bios are courtesy of the WiPHOF):
- Debbie Burkhead – Poker Player /Industry Professional
Debbie has a long list of cashes totally more $170,000 including several WSOP cashes. She has worked for Poker Digest and is now the National Sales Director of Poker Player Newspaper and a columnist.
- Victoria Coren – Poker Player /Journalist
Coren made her mark winning the European Poker Championships, London in 2006 and has had an impressive career since then. She won the € 5,000 No Limit Hold’em – Heads-Up at Monte-Carlo Casino EPT Grand Final, Monte Carlo this last April 2012.
- Nani Dollison – Player / Industry Professional
Altogether Kun Nan Dollison Number has a total of 5 first place finishes, 18 cashes from tournaments, 3 WOSP bracelets and total earnings that come up to $770,000. She currently deals poker in Tunica Mississippi.
- Annie Duke – Poker Player / Author
With a WSOP bracelet, a Tournament of Champions title, a National Heads Up Challenge title, she has certainly made her mark in poker. She has also added Author and Teacher to her list of many accomplishments.
- Deborah Giardina – Industry Professional
Debra started her career over 25 years ago and has held many different positions in poker. Most notably, she was the Director of Poker Operations at Cantebury Park, MN, Wynn Las Vegas, and now, she is in Florida at BestBet Jacksonville BestBet St. Johns and Orange Park Kennel Club.
- Karina Jett – Poker Player / Industry Professional
Having grown up in Las Vegas, Karina has been in poker most of her life since her parents are avid poker players. She won the He Said, She Said – Poker After Dark VI and last year, she took 2nd place in the WSOP Ladies Championship. She is currently the Ambassador for the MGM Grand Poker Room in Las Vegas and sits on the WiPHoF Board.
- Bonnie Leinhos – Poker Player / Industry Professional
Longtime event producer who created the Desert Poker Classic and 4 Queens Poker Classic. She has held positions as Assistant Tournament Director for the WSOP and Hall of Fame, Coordinator for the World Poker Players Conference and World Poker Industry Conference in Las Vegas. She has consulted for many online poker rooms and currently works with FaceUpGaming.com.
- JJ Liu – Poker Player
JJ has nine WSOP cashes, including three final tables. She has five WPT cashes, including a fourth-place finish in the 2005 Five Diamond WPT main Event. She is currently ranked 7th in the all time female poker player list with over $2.5 million in winnings.
- Isabel Mercier – Poker Player/ Industry Professional
Mercier’s total live tournament winnings exceeded $1,200,000 as of 2012. She has held positions as Poker Room Manager at the Aviation Club de France, won the WPT Ladies Night, 2nd in the Masters Classic of Poker, and several large cashes in the EPT Circuit. She currently works for gambling giant BetClic as a consultant for their online poker site.
- Kathy Raymond – Industry Professional
Kathy held every position that there is in poker during her 14 years at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. As Director of Poker Operations, she brought the WPT to Foxwoods. She left there and came to the Venetian Casino in Las Vegas and has turned that poker room into one of the premier rooms in poker. She is also an avid cash game poker player with her favorite game being HORSE.
The three most deserving names on the above list in my opinion are Nani Dollison, a three-time WSOP bracelet winner and considered one of the toughest female players of her era; Karina Jett, who has been a leading figure on the poker scene for many years both as a player and ambassador of the game; and Kathy Raymond, who presided over Foxwoods during its heyday and since moved on to turn around the Venetian’s Poker Room.