You might not know it, but Minnesota has its very own Poker Hall of Fame devoted to players with a strong connection – either born or currently living – to the "Land of 10,000 Lakes."
On Friday, the Minnesota Poker Hall of Fame, which was established back in 2013, announced that they have selected Blake Bohn and "Minneapolis" Jim Meehan as the Class of 2015.
Bohn, who hails from Savage, Minnesota, has been one of the most recognizable players on the American circuit in recent years, which includes two Mid-States Poker Tour titles — he's also a MSPT Pro — and making a deep run in the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event, ultimately finishing in 23rd place for more than $260,000.
"I'm very excited, very happy," Bohn told PokerNews at the MSPT Canterbury Park, which is happening now. "It's nice to get some validation for all my very hard work. This is something they can never take away from me, so I'm very honored and I appreciate it."
Bohn has been a success as a cash-game player since the 1990s, and it wasn't until 2005 that he discovered tournaments, which included cashing in two events at Canterbury Park’s Fall Poker Classic. Bohn notched some small cashes in the years that followed, but it wasn't until 2013 that he broke through by topping a field of 392 to win the Chicago Poker Classic Main Event, winning $288,171. He went on to amass $800,000 that year including a second-place finish in a $1,500 WSOP no-limit hold'em event, 15th in the $111,111 WSOP One Drop High Roller Event, and winning the Ante Up $1,100 event at Running Aces Casino.
A year later, Bohn won $50,000 for second place in the MSPT event at Running Aces, made another WSOP final table, and notched two big final-table paydays including a Borgata World Poker Tour event and a seventh-place finish in the $5,300 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open.
As if things couldn't get any better, Bohn finds himself very much in contention for the MSPT Season 6 Player of the Year with the season-ending event at Canterbury Park this weekend. You can follow live updates from that event right here.
"Since 2010, Blake's name has been commonplace in the Minnesota poker scene. There is no denying the poker skill he has, and his results prove it," said Tristan Wilberg, Casino Shift Manager/Casino Marketing Advisor for Running Aces Casino.
Michael Hochman, Vice President of Casino Operations for Canterbury Park, echoed those sentiments: "Blake played his first live poker at Canterbury Park back in 2000. It’s always very exciting to see our local heroes have success nationally or internationally. Blake’s dedication to the game is very apparent and his success is well-deserved."
Meanwhile, Meehan is a legend of the game who has been playing poker since the 1960s. According to a press release, he attended law school in St. Paul before working for 20 years as a lawyer. He then went into “semi-retirement” as a professional poker player, hitting the poker tournament scene in the early 1990s and scoring big in both Los Angeles and Las Vegas, including a second-place finish in a 1997 WSOP $3,000 hold'em event, cashing for $115,800.
Then, in the 2003 WSOP $2,000 No-Limit Hold'em event, Meehan navigated a tough final table of that included Antonio Esfandiari, Mike Sexton, and Kathy Liebert to win a gold bracelet and a $280,000 first-place prize. A year later, he managed two fifth-place finishes at the WSOP, followed by 17 cashes in 2005. Meehan had total tournament winnings to more than $1.4 million.
"Minneapolis Jim has cashed an astonishing 21 times in WSOP events since 1997," said Hochman. "He’s an absolute character at the table. He’s not afraid to chat a little, and typically keeps the table in stitches."
Wilberg also gave his two cents: "When the poker world thinks of Minnesota, they think of Minneapolis Jim. Numerous times, while traveling, I have been asked if I know him, and I'm happy to say that I do. His entertaining personality and the skill he displays make him unforgettable at the table."
Bohn and Meehan join Lyle Berman, the first inductee in 2013, and Mike Schneider who was inducted last year, as members of the Minnesota Poker Hall of Fame, which is governed by a board consisting of Minnesotan poker industry professionals, poker players, and poker media. Inductees must meet the following criteria:
- The nominee must have a strong Minnesota connection, either by birth or residence.
- The nominee must have played consistently amongst acknowledged competition.
- The nominee must have withstood the test of time.
- The nominee must have played at a high level, consistently well, gaining the respect of peers.
- Or the nominee must have significantly contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker in Minnesota.