WiPHoF Announces Seven Finalists for 2016 Induction
[Update: Due to unspecified technical issues, possibly including online ballot-box stuffing, the WiPHoF has suspended the public-voting portion of this years process. — hh]
The Women in Poker Hall of Fame (WiPHoF) has announced a list of seven finalists for possible induction into its roll of honorees in 2016. Following the voting process, this year’s honorees will be announced in a few weeks, then honored at a ceremony in Las Vegas in early July.
Debbie Burkhead — Burkhead has been a well-known figure for a couple of decades, and if I had a vote for enshrinement (I don’t), she or Vicki Coren Mitchell would get it. Burkhead, an avid poker player herself, has filled important roles for several prominent poker publications and has been an organizational mainstay throughout her career.
Victoria Coren Mitchell — It’s great to see Coren Mitchell be nominated. It would be greater to see her elected, since it would help to shatter the Las Vegas- and US-based recognition bubbles that hamper both the WiPHoF and its more famous poker counterpart, the Caesars-owned Poker Hall of Fame. Coren Mitchell’s success in poker comes on both sides of the felt: She’s not only the first two-time EPT winner, but she’s been a solid and prominent poker commentator for several years as well.
Mandy Glogow — Glogow is the least recognized of this year’s finalists, being a supervising producer of the World Poker Tour during its latter-seasons run on FOXSports. WiPHoF cites Glogow as being vitally responsible for an increase in roles for women in general throughout the WPT’s ongoing operations.
Karina Jett — Las Vegas native Karina Jett has one of the strongest playing resumes of the finalists, with over a half million in official tourney earnings accompanying many years of success at the cash-game tables. Jett is also a WiPHoF board member, and has helped organize and promote several other poker- and charity-related events.
Shirley Rosario — Rosario, a native of Southern California, is another long-time tourney and cash-game player well known throughout the poker world. Rosario founded the popular Poker-Babes.com site — which also promoted and supported women in poker — before selling that site to PokerStars in 2010.
Esther Rossi — Long-time poker player Esther Rossi has enjoyed success at the poker tables for more than three decades, and has reaches six different final tables in WSOP events during her career. Rossi, along with such early poker-playing women as Betty Carey, was one of the true groundbreakers in the game.
Jennifer Tilly — The well-known poker playing actress is likely on the short list for enshrinement here due to her high visibility. Tilly is also on the short list of female poker players who has actually claimed WSOP gold, winning the Ladies Event back in 2005. Tilly appears frequently in televised poker events and would be a politically advantageous inductee for the WiPHoF in many ways, something that, in all honesty, can’t be overlooked.
The ceremony honoring this year’s inductees will be held in the days preceding the World Series of Poker’s main event, which draws poker’s luminaries to Las Vegas from all over the globe. After several years of hosting its induction ceremony in downtown Las Vegas, at the Golden Nugget, the WiPHoF will move its ceremony closer to the Rio this year. Like, literally, just across the street: The 2016 ceremony will be held at 11am on Wednesday, July 6th, 2016 at the Gold Coast. Admission to the festivities is a not-cheap $45 per plate in advance, or $50 at the door.
As mentioned, the WiPHoF stands as a smaller adjunct to the well-known Poker Hall of Fame, an entirely separate brand and entity. The WiPHOF got off to a strong start when it debuted last decade but has languished a bit in recent years, something its organizers continue to search for ways to correct. The WiPHoF continues to enjoy a long-running association with the LIPS (Ladies International Poker Series) tour, which annual hosts numerous women’s events at venues around the US and world.
This year’s election process also includes public voting in a small way. While the poker world has long been part of the WiPHoF’s nomination process, this year’s actual finalist voting now includes the collective preferences of the voting public, to be presented as a single vote. Other single votes go to each of the WiPHoF’s already-elected enshrinees. Interested voters can vote here, since the 2016 voting page is not readily accessible from the WiPHoF’s main page.