Harrah’s Entertainment has announced its Poker Hall of Fame inductees for 2008. Duane “Dewey” Tomko and Henry Orenstein will be honored at the induction ceremony on Sunday, November 9th, just prior to the World Series of Poker Main Event final table event at the Penn & Teller Theater at the Rio in Las Vegas.
The Poker Hall of Fame was established in 1979 to honor members of the poker community who have contributed significantly to the game. There are numerous criteria to be considered when the committee chooses each year’s inductees; for example, a player must have played the game for high stakes against top competitors, achieved some level of success and the respect of the community, been a member of the poker community for a reasonable period of time, and/or contributed to the overall and long-lasting growth and success of poker.
Tomko is a long-time member of the poker community, having played high stakes poker with other well-respected players like Doyle Brunson and Chip Reese for many years. He owns three World Series of Poker bracelets, has cashed in the main event 44 times that the modern databases show, and holds the record for the longest consecutive WSOP main event participation at 35 years running.
Orenstein does possess a World Series of Poker bracelet and numerous other accomplishments at the poker tables, but it was his invention of the hole card camera that solidified his place in poker’s history books. He is an inventor by trade, but it was the hole card cam that made poker an exciting prospect to bring to television, and Orenstein is widely credited with being one of the primary catalysts of poker’s incredible rise in popularity over the past decade.
Tomko and Orenstein will be inducted as the 36th and 37th members of the Poker Hall of Fame alongside names like Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Bobby Baldwin, Chip Reese, Jack Straus, Stu Ungar, Puggy Pearson, Barbara Enright, Phil Hellmuth, T.J. Cloutier, and Johnny Moss. Of the elite group, only 16 members are still alive, though the memories of Poker Hall of Fame inductees live on with the distinction of having been recognized by the poker community.
The November 9th induction ceremony, as well as the WSOP final table, will be open to the public, at no charge, though seating is available on a first come, first serve basis.