Founded in 2008 by Lupe Soto, the Women in Poker Hall of Fame has spent the last 10 years honoring the many talented women who have persevered and succeeded in the male-dominated world of poker.
Whether they’re poker practitioners or work in the industry, the WiPHoF shines a spotlight on the accomplishments of these women.
2018 is an induction year, and as a WiPHoF voter, I have the privilege to play a small part in shaping the Women in Poker Hall of Fame Class of 2018.
The 10 finalists were announced on Tuesday.
“The Women in Poker Hall of Fame (WiPHoF) is proud to announce the candidates for the Women in Poker Hall of Fame, Class of 2018,” a press release from the organization states. “This list of women are heavy hitters in the industry and deserve a nod for their hard work and accomplishments in poker.
Before I get to this year’s group of finalists and my choices, here’s a look at the current members of the Women in Poker Hall of Fame.
Current WiPHoF members
The inaugural class of 2008 featured four inductees.
From 2009-2011, three more women were inducted each year.
And since 2012, the WiPHoF has inducted two women every other year.
Class of 2008
- Barbara Enright
- Susie Isaacs
- Linda Johnson
- Marsha Waggoner
Class of 2009
- June Field
- Jan Fisher
- Cyndy Violette
Class of 2010
- Billie Brown
- Jennifer Harman
- Kathy Liebert
Class of 2011
- Kristy Gazes
- Margie Heintz
- Phyllis Caro Yazbek
Class of 2012
- JJ Liu
- Kathy Raymond
Class of 2014
- Deborah Giardina
- Allyn Shulman
Class of 2016
- Debbie Burkhead
- Victoria Coren Mitchell
This year’s Women In Poker Hall Of Fame nominees
After a round of public voting, 10 women have been chosen as this year’s finalists.
- Hermance Blum – The current general manager of WPT Europe, Hermance is one of the most respected individuals in European poker, having worked for PokerStars, partypoker, and the WPT.
- Mandy Glogow – Mandy has been with the WPT since 2005, and is now the show’s supervising producer, responsible for mixing the strategy of poker with the storylines of the players.
- Angelica Hael – Following stints with the Crown Casino and partypoker, Angelica now serves as the vice president of WPT Enterprises, as well as running her own consulting company for online and land-based gaming companies.
- Haley Hintze – A longtime writer and editor, Haley is best known for her exhaustive work on the Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker cheating scandals.
- Maria Ho – Maria is one of the most successful female tournament players of all time, and has added on-air personality to her resume in recent years.
- Karina Jett – Karina was playing poker before poker was even popular, and in addition to a successful career as a player, she’s worked behind the scenes to improve the live poker environment, as well as on charity poker events.
- Terry King – Terry was a true trailblazer. After moving to Las Vegas in the early 70’s she began to play poker professionally and later gained recognition dealing, running tournaments, and working the floor. The WSOP bracelet winner now acts as an admin for the poker community site RealGrinders on Facebook.
- Shirley Rosario – A successful cash game player, Shirley has excelled in many areas of the industry, be it running websites and blogs, or in her role as a consultant with PokerStars.
- Kara Scott –For more than a decade, Kara has been one of the hardest working people in poker, and a wearer of many hats: TV personality, broadcaster, commentator, ambassador, and poker player.
- Lupe Soto – Lupe has spent the last 20 years devoting her time to poker, and specifically women in poker. She created the first online poker forum for women called Poker Chix and is the current CEO of the Poker Gives charity. She also founded Ladies International Poker Series (LIPS Tour); the Seniors Poker Tour; the Women in Poker Hall of Fame; and the soon-to-launch Women’s Poker Association (WPA).
- Jennifer Tilly – The Academy Awarding winning actress is the most recognizable name on this list, and unlike other celebrity players, poker wasn’t a hobby. Her fame coupled with her passion for the game led to many TV appearances; appearances that have helped promote the game to new audiences.
How I’ll divvy up my votes and why
The list of finalists is overflowing with worthy candidates, and I have little doubt that most of these women will eventually be inducted into the WiPHoF.
As one of the voters I can split a total of 10 votes between one or more finalists.
Here’s how I will be splitting up my votes:
- Karina Jett – 4 votes
- Lupe Soto – 2 votes
- Terry King – 2 vote
- Shirley Rosario – 2 vote
Karina Jett is my top choice. She’s a professional in every sense of the word. Whether it’s being tasked with drumming up players for a local tournament, understanding how to make a cash game inviting for recreational players, or simply discussing the industry, you’ll find few people who can compete with Karina and that’s why she’s getting four of my 10 votes.
Lupe, Terry, and Shirley are all very deserving candidates who belong in the WiPHoF, and I split my remaining six votes equally between them.
Down the road, Maria Ho, Hermance Blum, and Kara Scott will be getting some of my votes, but before they do I want to see their forerunners honored.