The Poker Hall of Fame has announced its 2008 inductees, with Duane "Dewey" Tomko and Henry Orenstein to be the hall's 36th and 37th inductees. The pair will be honored in a special ceremony on November 9th in the Penn & Teller Theater at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, as part of the ceremonies surrounding the resumption of play in the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event.
Tomko, the former Florida school teacher and high-stakes golfer who found a second home on the Vegas tournament scene, is one of the enduring veterans of the World Series of Poker, with three WSOP bracelets and two Main Event runner-up finishes to his credit. Tomko also holds the current record for participation in the WSOP Main Event at 35 years (and running). Two of his three bracelets came in 1984, in $10,000 Deuce-to-Seven and $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha. His third bracelet came in $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em (1979), while his pair of Main Event runner-finishes occurred in 1982 and 2001. 1982 was the year of Jack Straus' legend-creating "chip and a chair" comeback, while Carlos Mortensen won the 2001 title.
Henry Orenstein is famous in poker circles for popularizing the "Hole Card Cam" (a lipstick-sized camera) for American poker television audiences. The cameras – the system for which Orenstein received a US patent — were embedded under a table's outer padding to capture each players' hole-card holdings. The cards could then be added in as broadcasts were edited for airing to allow viewers to experience as never before the interaction between the players. The use of the cameras overcame initial resistance from many players themselves, and is widely credited with driving poker's surge of popularity on TV in the last decade, which in turn spurred poker's global growth. Orenstein himself is an inventor (with over 100 patents) and a Holocaust survivor who also won one WSOP bracelet of his own, in 1996 $5,000 Seven-Card Stud. He's also known as the producer of "High Stakes Poker," which he developed into American television's first popular high-stakes cash-game poker program.
Tomko and Orenstein will join a list of poker's most famous names with their enshrinment. Just a few of those among the Poker Hall of Fame's illustrious roster are Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson, Benny Binion, Jack Binion, Lyle Berman, Johnny Chan, TJ Cloutier, Stuey Ungar and Chip Reese. Phil Hellmuth and Barbara Enright were last year's inductees.