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Eric Drache and Brian 'Sailor' Roberts To Be Inducted Into Poker Hall Of Fame

Both Inductees Will Officially Become Members On October 30


A Young Eric Drache Stands Behind Doyle BrunsonThe Poker Hall of Fame has two new members. After nominations from the public and votes from media and the living 36 members of the hall, the governing council has selected Eric Drache and Brian ‘Sailor’ Roberts for its 2012 class.

The two poker legends will be officially inducted in a special ceremony at the Rio in Las Vegas on October 30 prior to the conclusion of the World Series of Poker main event final table.

Drache, an accomplished seven-card stud player who has made five WSOP final tables, is best known for his contributions to the game off the felt. Drache served as the WSOP’s tournament director in the 1970s and is credited with the creation of satellite tournaments, allowing players to pool money to get enough scratch together for a full buy-in. During his long career, he has served as the poker room manager for Bellagio, Golden Nugget and Mirage and even worked as a consultant on numerous televised poker events.

“I’m not only surprised and honored to have been selected, I’m also a bit embarrassed considering the other nominees,” said Drache. “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.”

Brian ‘Sailor’ Roberts, who passed away in 1995, was a former traveling partner of ‘Amarillo Slim’ Preston and Doyle Brunson. The Texas gambler was a two-time WSOP bracelet winner and won the main event in 1975.

Brian 'Sailor' Roberts“In a time fifty years ago when poker players relied on luck, Sailor was developing sophisticated strategies that would enable him to make his own luck,” said Hall of Fame member Crandell Addington. “At a time in which professional poker players were viewed as outlaws and poker was illegal, he formed a partnership with Doyle and Slim and they traveled across the country from poker game to poker game. They deployed advanced strategies unknown at the time that featured playing their opponents hands on many occasions rather than their own hands. More often than not, they got the money.”

There are now 44 members of the Poker Hall of Fame. In order to be considered, a player must be at least 40 years old, played poker against top competition, played for high stakes, played well enough to earn the respect of their peers and stood the test of time. Non-players must have contributed to the overall growth of the game, with indelible positive and lasting results.

Here’s a look at all of the members.

Name Year Inducted
Johnny Moss 1979
Nick “The Greek” Dandolos 1979
Felton “Corky” McCorquodale 1979
Red Winn 1979
Sid Wyman 1979
James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok 1979
Edmond Hoyle 1979
Blondie Forbes 1980
Bill Boyd 1981
Tom Abdo 1982
Joe Bernstein 1983
Murph Harrold 1984
Red Hodges 1985
Henry Green 1986
Walter Clyde “Puggy” Pearson 1987
Doyle “Texas Dolly” Brunson 1988
Jack “Treetop” Straus 1988
Fred “Sarge” Ferris 1989
Benny Binion 1990
David “Chip” Reese 1991
Thomas “Amarillo Slim” Preston 1992
Jack Keller 1993
Julius Oral Popwell 1996
Roger Moore 1997
Stu “The Kid” Ungar 2001
Lyle Berman 2002
Johnny “The Orient Express” Chan 2002
Bobby “The Owl” Baldwin 2003
Berry Johnston 2004
Jack Binion 2005
Crandell “Dandy” Addington 2005
T.J. Cloutier 2006
Billy Baxter 2006
Barbara Enright 2007
Phil Hellmuth 2007
Dewey Tomko 2008
Henry Orenstein 2008
Mike Sexton 2009
Dan Harrington 2010
Erik Seidel 2010
Linda Johnson 2011
Barry Greenstein 2011
Eric Drache 2012
Brian “Sailor” Roberts 2012