The Women's Poker Hall of Fame is a dream that founder Lupe Soto has had for many many years. It only seems logical to any person who knows this driven supporter of women's poker, to realize that she would be the one to start such an institution.
Soto began both the first online women's poker forum, pokerchix.com, and the leading ladies poker tour, the LIPSTour. Soto also brought the first $1,000 buy-in to a women's-only event, outside of the WSOP, over five years ago. The fruition of a dream that will become the Women's Poker Hall of Fame this February is the most rewarding and thrilling project to ever come true for this entrepreneur. Lupe says, "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. We've only begun to scratch the surface in the many venues available today in which to find these women in the poker industry. This organization will exemplify those women and their respective poker industry achievements and titles."
When Lupe first started creating the WPHoF, she knew the most important elements would be the devotion and passion that the committee would bring to the project. In doing so, she drew on some of the most prominent women in poker and invited the to sit on the committee for its first three years. The committee includes Soto, Allyn Jaffrey Shulman, Karina Jett, Suzanne Carter and Maureen Feduniak, and they eagerly set out to choose the first year's four inductees. Subsequent years will see two women elected each year. The qualifying criteria for the WPHoF were determined by the committee to include:
1. Must have been active as a player or industry leader at some time during a period beginning at least 15 years prior to election.
2. Must have contributed to the world of poker in some significant way, either by wins/cashes in major tournaments or by making significant contributions to the poker industry.
3. Must be a proponent of women's poker. Though not required to play in women-only events, she must support their existence.
The first four ladies to be inducted into the Women's Poker Hall of Fame will be:
● Linda Johnson, the 'First Lady of Poker';
● Marsha Waggoner, accomplished poker pro;
● Barbara Enright, poker pro and winner of three WSOP bracelets;
● Susie Isaacs, two-time WSOP winner and author of many poker books.
These ladies will be honored at a ceremony on February 2, 2008 at Binion's in downtown Las Vegas. Mike Sexton is slated to be Master of Ceremonies with Jan Fisher as a special guest speaker for the inaugural luncheon, with an open tournament for a buy-in of $500 at 2 p.m. The members of the WPHoF are invited back on the third to play in a freeroll where a $1,000 prize pool is guaranteed and many gifts provided by sponsors will surely please the players. Among the prizes to be given away will be a pass to a WPT Boot Camp.
Membership to the WPHoF is open to both women and men and costs $75 for one year. 20% of the membership fee is donated to the Halls' favored charity, Breast Cancer Angels Foundation; the organization is supported by its members, donations and sponsors. To become a member or a sponsor of this tremendous effort to build on women's poker, please visit their website at www.womenspokerhalloffame.com.
In the following weeks I will be profiling these honored ladies who are to be inducted in the first ceremony of the Women's Poker Hall of Fame.