The 20 Most Influential People in Poker - #18 - Linda Johnson
Continuing our look at the 20 most influential people in poker, we come to #18, Linda Johnson.
Linda has been a part of the poker world for over three decades and is affectionately known by her peers as "The First Lady of Poker."
As a player, Johnson has amassed over $323,000 in live tournaments winnings. She has one bracelet that she won in the 1997 WSOP $1,500 Razz Event. The Razz event win has been by far her largest single win to date in poker, however she still is a force at the table. This past summer, she cashed in three events at the 2010 WSOP including a deep run in the Ladies World Championship.
It has been away from the table that Johnson has made her biggest contributions. In 1992, Johnson headed a group of investors to buy Card Player magazine. She managed the company for eight years before selling the company to Barry Shulman.
However, her largest impact on the poker world would come in 2001 when she was among the group that founded the Tournament Directors Association, or TDA. The TDA established a standardized set of poker rules that are used by many tournaments including the WSOP, WPT, and others. She currently serves on the board of directors.
Most recently in 2009 she assisted in founding Pokergives.org. The organization raises money for charity, including the Special Olympics and the Paralyzed Veterans of America. If that isn't enough, Johnson is an organizer for Card Player Cruises, serves as a studio announcer at WPT final tables, and is a Poker Relations Consultant on the WPT.
Johnson was honored by her peers and the poker world in general in 2008 when she was included in the first class of women inducted into the Women's Poker Hall of Fame. She was also included on the 2010 ballot for the Poker Hall of Fame. Currently, Barbara Enright is the only woman in the Poker Hall of Fame.
Linda Johnson has been a major influence in the poker world for three decades. With the combination of her work for the TDA, the WPT, and Pokergives, her influence in the poker world will be felt for many more decades to come.