Feb 22, 2017
Los Angeles, CA (February 22, 2017) – On Monday, February 27, 2017, the World Poker Tour® will award Ms. Linda Johnson with the inaugural WPT® Honors Award, representing outstanding contributions to the WPT and the greater poker community.
Ms. Johnson has long been a leading proponent of poker, and in her early stages in the industry she exhibited grand ideas for what poker could become.
Referred to by many as “The First Lady of Poker,” Ms. Johnson is known by many for her time as WPT Studio Commentator for the first six seasons of the World Poker Tour, but it is her time in the industry before the WPT that truly allowed her to impact the game.
In the decade before joining the WPT family, Ms. Johnson was one of the most prominent and influential people in the poker world, which allowed her to make a significant impact on the history and success of the WPT. Ms. Johnson played an integral role in making the WPT become a reality by using her network and stature to organize meetings with the first casinos that became a part of the World Poker Tour.
“We are proud to present Linda Johnson with the inaugural WPT Honors Award,” said Adam Pliska, CEO of the World Poker Tour. “The award represents WPT’s highest honor and will serve as a lasting tradition that allows us to recognize the most important people in our industry and in the WPT’s history. Linda played a unique role in helping shape the World Poker Tour, and she embodies all that the WPT stands for. In addition to her time spent with the WPT, Linda’s extraordinary contributions have helped better poker globally and her efforts have left lasting impressions that will forever impact our game.”
The World Poker Tour will present Ms. Johnson with the award at an intimate dinner ceremony alongside friends and family in Beverly Hills, CA.
About Ms. Linda Johnson
Ms. Johnson’s involvement in poker started long before she joined the WPT family. She began playing poker in the 1970s, teaching herself how to play and studying poker books. Ms. Johnson became fascinated by the game and in 1980 she traveled to Las Vegas to play in the World Series of Poker Ladies event. Ms. Johnson didn’t win, but she did reach the final table, and that was enough of a reassurance for her that poker was what she wanted to do full time. She subsequently quit her job at the post office, relocated to Las Vegas, and began playing poker professionally.
Ms. Johnson’s time as a professional poker player lasted until 1993, when she purchased CardPlayer Magazine and assumed the role as the magazine’s publisher. As publisher, Ms. Johnson grew CardPlayer Magazine into the leading poker publication. When Ms. Johnson purchased CardPlayer Magazine, it was a 68-page, black-and-white newsprint publication. As publisher, she turned CardPlayer into a 132-page, full-color magazine and became a true ambassador of the game, using her platform to promote poker around the world.
Throughout her time at the helm of CardPlayer Magazine, Ms. Johnson still found time for poker, and in 1997 she became the second woman to ever win a World Series of Poker open event when she captured the $1,500 Razz bracelet.
In 2000, Ms. Johnson decided to sell CardPlayer Magazine and rededicate more of her time to playing the game that she fell in love with. But, an opportunity arose with the World Poker Tour shortly thereafter. Ms. Johnson accepted the position and joined the WPT family, where she would serve as WPT Studio Commentator for the first six seasons of the WPT.
As one of poker’s most prominent figures, Ms. Johnson has co-authored two poker books and played an integral role in establishing some of poker’s leading initiatives, including the World Poker Industry Conference, the World Poker Players Conference, Poker Players Alliance, and the Tournament Directors Association. She currently remains on the Tournament Directors Association Board of Directors.
About the WPT Honors Award
The WPT Honors Award is the WPT’s highest honor, awarded to members of the poker industry in celebration and appreciation of exceptional contributions made to the World Poker Tour and the poker community as a whole. The WPT Honors Award is to be presented as determined by Adam Pliska and the World Poker Tour, given in recognition to those who distinguish themselves by excellence and dedication beyond expectations, with Ms. Linda Johnson named as the first recipient of many.
WPT Media Contact
Donnie Peters – [email protected]
About World Poker Tour
World Poker Tour (WPT) is the premier name in internationally televised gaming and entertainment with brand presence in land-based tournaments, television, online, and mobile. Leading innovation in the sport of poker since 2002, WPT ignited the global poker boom with the creation of a unique television show based on a series of high-stakes poker tournaments. WPT has broadcast globally in more than 150 countries and territories, and is currently producing its 15th season, which airs on FOX Sports Regional Networks in the United States. Season XV of WPT is sponsored by ClubWPT.com and PlayWPT.com. ClubWPT.com is a unique online membership site that offers inside access to the WPT, as well as a sweepstakes-based poker club available in 35 states across the United States. PlayWPT.com is a social gaming platform offering free-to-play poker and slots with innovative features and state-of-the-art creative elements inspired by WPT’s 15 years of experience in gaming entertainment. WPT also participates in strategic brand license, partnership, and sponsorship opportunities. WPT Enterprises Inc. is a subsidiary of Ourgame International Holdings, Ltd. For more information, go to WPT.com.
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