Layne Flack inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame

The World Series of Poker designated the late Layne Flack as the 61st inductee into the Poker Hall of Fame on Sunday night. Flack beat out nine other nominees, including poker players Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier, Brian Rast, Josh Arieh, Kathy Liebert, Michael Mizrachi, and Mike Matusow, as well as PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg, WPT Director Matt Savage, and WSOP commentators Lon McEachern and Norman Chad.

Layne Flack inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame image

The six-time WSOP bracelet winner debuted in the late 1990s and became well-known during the early 2000s poker boom. He is widely considered one of the greatest players of his time.

Before moving to Las Vegas to play professionally, the South Dakota native worked at modest card clubs in Montana.

He received the moniker "Back-to-Back Flack" after winning two tournaments in a row at the Legends of Poker series in Los Angeles barely two months after earning his first WSOP bracelet in the 1999 $3,000 pot-limit hold 'em for $224,400.

He continued to add to his moniker's legacy by taking home two bracelets at subsequent WSOPs in 2002 and 2003. He won two no-limit hold'em tournaments in 2002 for $571,900 total. The following year, he returned and won the $2,500 Omaha hi-lo and the $1,500 no-limit hold'em shootout for a total of $120,000. Flack passed away in July of last year at the age of 52.

Flack had aspirations of being honored alongside his friend Ted Forrest, who owns six WSOP bracelets of his own, competed against Andy Beal in the championship game, and has received nominations intermittently since 2014, including this year.

The news was revealed at a special Hall of Fame event at Bally's and Paris Las Vegas, which included a $1,979 buy-in to commemorate the year the hall was established. Players would also receive an additional bounty equivalent to the year the member was inducted if they were successful in taking out another member.

A player must be at least 40 years old and have competed in high stakes poker "against acknowledged top competition" in order to be eligible for the Poker Hall of Fame. They must also have "standing the test of time" by playing consistently well and winning the respect of their peers. Alternatively, they must have "contributed to the overall growth of the game with enduring, good effects" if they weren't players.

The 32 living members of the hall cast a combined vote from the list of nominees each year.

In recent years, the WSOP has come under fire for limiting the number of inductees to one annually and doing away with the media vote.

Flack’s close friend, Derick “Tex” Barch spoke after Flack’s induction was announced.

“He (Flack) was an amazing friend, more like a brother. Through good, bad, and all his mischief – Layne had your back!” said Barch. “Layne was close to my children. He would come and spend weeks at our house. Always entertaining them, taking them places, and making sure it was all about them. When my daughter died this past January, one thing that brought comfort to me was to know that Layne would be there to greet her, and they could laugh together, in eternity.”

Author: Charles F Jr is a poker and crypto enthusiast who writes about online poker since 2020, also a translator for Portuguese & Spanish.

Instagram: @charles.f.jr