Blackjack Hall of Fame

Founded in 2002, the Blackjack Hall of Fame was designed to honor the game's greatest professional players, experts and authors. The Blackjack Hall of Fame is in San Diego, Calif., at the Barona Casino -- not in Las Vegas as so many assume. The group of inductees is rather small at only 16 members, but the each year several new candidates are proposed and one or two usually make the grade.

A perk of being elected to the Blackjack Hall of Fame is that each inductee receives a full FBR (Food/Beverage/Room) comp for life from the Merona Casino. The catch is that to receive that perk, each inductee must agree to never play blackjack on the tables at the Merona. To this point, no potential inductee has balked at the stipulation.

In 2002, 21 candidates were placed on the initial ballot, which was open to the public for voting for one month via the Internet. Once voting was completed, seven members were inducted at the 2003 Blackjack Ball. The tradition continued until 2007, when the voting process was entrusted solely to the members of the Blackjack Hall of Fame itself. The other change that was made for the 2007 ballot was that only one member per year would be elected regardless of how many appeared on the ballot. There was one stipulation to that, however, as in 2007 a group of four individuals known as "The Four Horsemen" were inducted as a group.

Of the 16 inductees, only four were inducted as professional players -- and even then two were better-known for other contributions to the game aside from their skill at the table. The remaining members are primarily mathematicians, authors or various members of the casino industry who were considered to have elevated the game of blackjack. Being in the Blackjack Hall of Fame is an honor many aspire to, but only a few will reach.

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