2012 Poker Hall of Fame class announced

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Oct 19, 2012 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

poker hall of fameOn Thursday the Poker Hall of Fame announced the two inductees for the Class of 2012: 1975 World Series of Poker Champion Brian “Sailor” Roberts and Cardroom Manager extraordinaire Eric Drache. The two men will join the 42 current Poker Hall of Famed inductees when they are honored just before the 2012 WSOP Main Event final on October 30, 2012.

Sailor Roberts

Sailor Roberts was part of the legendary triumvirate of road gamblers that included fellow Poker Hall of Famers Doyle Brunson and Thomas “Amarillo Slim” Preston. Roberts won the WSOP Main Event in 1975, and has two career wins at the WSOP. But Roberts’s real prowess was in cash games, where Doyle Brunson claimed he was among the best to ever play poker.

Unfortunately Roberts passed away in 1995, never seeing the Poker Boom, but now he will be honored for his contributions to the game and his talent at the felt. The WSOP issued the following statement on Roberts’s induction:

“To anyone who knew him, Brian ‘Sailor’ Roberts was truly one of the ‘good guys’ of the game. Along with his poker skill, Roberts’ wit, charm and reputable integrity served him well in cementing his place as one of poker’s legends. A gambler at his very core, the 1975 WSOP Main Event champion grew up in the small town of San Angelo, Texas, where at age 12 he made his first winnings shooting dice while working as a caddie. After serving in the Navy during the Korean War, Roberts returned home to Texas, where he met Doyle Brunson and Amarillo Slim. The three traveled throughout the south and Midwest in search of poker games and became known as the famous “Texas Rounders,” whose exploits have been romanticized over the years in both film and literature. A pillar of poker’s old guard, Roberts was beloved by his fellow gamblers. The two-time WSOP champion also finished eighth in the 1982 WSOP Main Event won by fellow Hall of Famer Jack “Treetop” Strauss. Roberts passed away in 1995.”

Eric Drache

While Drache is no slouch as a poker player, he is best known for his work behind the felt, as a Tournament Director (Drache ran the WSOP from 1973 to 1988), a Cardroom Manager, and a Casino Executive. Drache is credited for a number of poker innovations including the WSOP, the creation of satellite tournaments, and even the Poker HOF that he will now be a part of.

Drache found the honor surprising and with humility stated:

“I’m not only surprised and honored to have been selected, I’m also a bit embarrassed considering the other nominees. When Jack Binion and myself worked on creating the Hall of Fame, I never considered myself a potential candidate. I’m particularly happy for the family of Sailor Roberts. Sailor by everyone’s account, including my own personal observations, was a great player and played many games very well.”

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