The World Poker Tour announced that it will award Linda Johnson its inaugural WPT Honors Award Feb. 27.
“Linda played a unique role in helping shape the World Poker Tour and she embodies all that the WPT stands for,” said Adam Pliska, chief executive officer of the World Poker Tour, in a release. “In addition to her time spent with the WPT, Linda’s extraordinary contributions have helped better poker globally and her efforts have left lasting impressions that will forever impact our game.”
Recipients of the award are chosen on the basis of their contributions to the WPT and the greater poker community. This award is considered the WPT’s highest honor and stands to recognize the most important people in the industry and in WPT history.
For Johnson, referred to by many as “The First Lady of Poker,” her contributions came in the form of the ideas she had for the industry and her time as a WPT Studio Commentator for the first six seasons of the WPT.
Johnson utilized her influence and her network to organize meetings with the casinos that would become the first for the World Poker Tour.
Johnson began playing poker in the 1970s and traveled in 1980 to play the World Series of Poker Ladies event. She quit her job to become a full-time poker player. She played poker until 1993 when she purchased CardPlayer Magazine and became the magazine’s publisher, turning the magazine into a 132-page full-color magazine.
She was the second woman to ever win a World Series of Poker open event in 1997 after winning the $1,500 Razz bracelet. She left CardPlayer in 2000 and joined the WPT as its studio commentator shortly after.
The World Poker Tour will present the award to Johnson at a dinner ceremony in Beverly Hills, California, on Feb. 27.
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