This year’s Poker Hall of Fame inductee has been chosen and it is a posthumous award in 2022 – to the late Layne Flack, who passed away just a year ago. After riding past new nominees and old faces, Flack’s inclusion in the poker world made many share sentiments of gratitude and appreciation for a talent that went too soon.

Flack Takes the Title

Layne Flack was a player of great technical skill, but he was also a flair player with an eye for a great night, a tall story and a friend who also had a twinkle in their eye. Inducted as a Poker Hall of Fame member on Sunday afternoon at the WSOP as part of the Main Event coverage, he outran fellow nominees tournament director Matt Savage, 2021 WSOP Player of the Year Josh Arieh, French poker legend Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier and PokerStars guru Isai Scheinberg.

Also nominated in 2022 but falling short were WSOP commentators Norman Chad & Lon McEachern, Women’s Hall of Fame member Kathy Liebert, bracelet winner and podcaster extraordinaire Mike Matusow, triple PPC winner Michael Mizrachi and new nominee, 40-year-old mixed game and bracelet winning phenomenon Brian Rast.

Only one nominee is inducted each year. Last year saw Eli Elzra become the latest member of the Poker Hall of Fame, but this year, it is the luminous, lost-too-soon Flack who has become the 61st member of the Poker Hall of Fame, alongside legends such as Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Doyle Brunson and Phil Hellmuth, who we argued should form poker’s ‘Mount Rushmore’ if one is ever carved out of rock in Las Vegas.

Who Was Layne Flack?

“In the early 2000’s there was not a better player in the game, not Hellmuth, Negreanu, or Ivey.”

Layne Flack is now confirmed as a poker legend, but whoever knew him already felt that was who he was. A six-time WSOP bracelet winner – as many as Daniel Negreanu – Flack last won a bracelet in 2008 in a $1,500-entry Pot Limit Omaha event. Flack had over $5 million in live tournament winnings, but he was also a skilled cash game player, a raconteur capable of charming even the quietest poker table. He was a one-off.

Upon the announcement of Flack’s ascension to the Poker Hall of Fame, Matt Savage, a fellow nominee and legendary tournament director, paid tribute to his friend.

“In the early 2000’s there was not a better player in the game, not Hellmuth, Negreanu, or Ivey,” Savage said to PokerNews. “I will always remember how he kept the game of poker so fun, his wit was unmatched and he NEVER took a bad beat out on the dealer or another player.”

A Lasting Legacy

Flack’s legendary status owes so much to his ability to communicate with players. Taken under their wing by many big names in his formative years, his death, where he was found with drugs in his system, broke the hearts of many players, especially given Flack was only 52, no age at all for a man let alone a poker player.

Not only was he a much-loved player, but he was a father and friend who inspired love in all he met. With the Poker Hall of Fame stamp of approval, it ensures that Flack will be discussed by generations to come and that is a great thing. Passing away in July 2021 was tragic, but his HoF nod means there is a degree of permanence to his legacy in the game.

Next year’s Hall of Fame nominations may be some of the toughest yet, with players such as Phil Galfond, Scott Seiver and Tom Dwan all turning 40 in the next few years. Competition will be fierce and headlines will be writ large. Let’s just hope that next year’s nominee inspires so much love as Layne Flack’s has… without the tragic note of regret that they have passed.


Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller is a veteran casino writer with decades of experience under his belt. He's played at –and reviewed– countless of online casinos, and has written dozens of casino game guides. His strategy articles, and gambling news updates have been a fixture in the industry since 2004. A native of North Texas, Cliff is a long-suffering Dallas Cowboys fan. He enjoys sports and games of all sorts, including sports betting.

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