The Poker Hall of Fame will induct Eric Drache and the late Brian “Sailor” Roberts as the organization’s 43rd and 44th members during the final table of the World Series of Poker’s Main Event later this month.
The pair were nominated by the public and voted in by a 36-person panel made up of existing Poker Hall of Famers and members of the media.
Roberts, who died in 1995, won the World Series of Poker’s $10,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em World Championship in 1975. He was best known as a member of poker’s old guard of “Texas Road Gamblers,” along with Hall of Famers Doyle Brunson and the late Amarillo Slim.
Drache served as the World Series of Poker’s tournament director from 1973 to 1988 and came up with the concept of satellite events, a series of smaller buy-in games that instead of awarding money, award seats into larger events.
Drache also created the idea for the Poker Hall of Fame. He managed card rooms at the Silverbird, The Mirage, and the Golden Nugget. Drache is also an accomplished seven-card stud player, reaching five World Series of Poker final tables in the event and finishing in the top three every time.
Recently, Drache played a hand in the television poker boom, serving as a consultant on numerous poker productions.
“I’m not only surprised and honored to have been selected,” Drache said. “When Jack Binion and I 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.”
Poker Hall of Fame member Crandell Addington said Roberts was developing poker strategies 50 years ago.
“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,” Addington said. “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.”
Drache and Roberts will be inducted officially at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 30 in the lobby of the Penn & Teller Theatre at the Rio before the finale of the World Series of Poker Main Event.
Contact reporter Howard Stutz at email@example.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.