After two weeks of nominations followed by votes from members, Layne Flack was named as the latest inductee of the Poker Hall of Fame on Sunday.
The poker pro, who passed away in July 2021, was remembered by many in the poker world for his skills at the table and fun personality. In a career stretching back more than two decades, Flack accrued $5.1 million in live tournament winnings, six WSOP bracelets, and one World Poker Tour title.
Longtime friend and WSOP bracelet winner John “Tex” Barch met Flack during the 1990s at the Orleans casino in Las Vegas. Barch remembers Flack as much more than a poker player, but as someone who was always smiling and there for those he cared about.
“He was an amazing friend, more like a brother,” Barch said. “Through good, bad. and all his mischief – Layne had your back. Layne was close to my children. He would come and spend weeks at our house. Always entertaining them, taking them places and making sure it was all about them.
“When my daughter died this past January, one thing that brought comfort to me was to know that Layne would be there to greet her, and they could laugh together, in eternity.”
A life in poker
Flack passed away at age 52 and was nicknamed “Back-to-Back” for winning consecutive Legends of Poker tournaments in 1999. He found success at the tables before and after the poker boom of the 2000s.
Born in Rapid City, South Dakota, Flack grew up in Miles City, Montana. His grandmother taught him how to play poker at an early age. Later in life he began working at a casino and then headed to the poker room after his shift. He eventually took up the game full time by the mid-1990s.
By 1999, Flack won his first WSOP bracelet. He then became one of the few players to win two bracelets in one year twice – in 2002 and 2003. He added his last bracelet in 2009.
The poker boom of the 2000s saw Flack as a regular in televised poker events. His fun personality came across well with viewers and he was quick to chat and joke with other players.
“He would make you laugh about anything, even serious matters,” Phil Hellmuth told USPoker after Flack’s passing. “He was lightning quick, and so fun to be around.”
Skills at the poker table
Beyond his WSOP bracelets, Flack also found considerable success on the WPT. That was highlighted by winning the WPT Invitational in 2003 for $125,300.
In the tour’s first season in 2002, Flack took runner-up in the World Poker Finals at Foxwoods for $186,900. He scored another runner-up finish in 2004 at the WPT Aruba Classic for $500,000 with his total tour winnings reaching more than $1 million.
Fellow players were pleased to see Flack honored for his career in the game. Many remember the poker pro as bringing an aggressive style and a keen ability to read other players.
Congratulations to my good friend and 6 time bracelet winner on his poker Hall of Fame induction today. Well deserved. RIP. Miss you brother
— Scott Clements (@BigRiskky) July 10, 2022
WPT executive tour director Matt Savage was also a nominee for the Hall of Fame again this year. He became friends with Flack and remains impressed at just how skilled he was at the poker table.
“Layne had such an amazing ability to read other players at the table, it was the best I had ever seen,” he says. “He was able to talk players out of their chips but always within the rules.
“He always made it fun to play poker and we need characters in the game like Layne. Congratulations to the Flack family, his legacy is now secure.”
Four-time bracelet winner and 2009 Main Event winner Joe Cada spoke for many fellow players in his reaction to the Hall of Fame honor going to Flack.
“I got the chance to play and hang out with Layne away from the table, and not only is he a hell of a poker player, he was a great guy and friend,” he said. “No one deserved it more than him. It made me happy to see him make it in, it’s a no-brainer in my opinion.”