While there are a wide variety of well-known sports commemoration sites, many people are not aware that the card gaming industry has a special hall to celebrate its greats as well. In fact, the Blackjack Hall of Fame is the only shrine in the gaming industry that pays tribute to some of the most skilled and successful blackjack professionals of all time.
In 2002, the Barona Casino in San Diego agreed to be the site of celebration for blackjack players worldwide. Convinced by Max Rubin, a highly regarded blackjack player and professional commentator, the Barona Casino agreed to house a blackjack museum. The museum’s purpose was to commemorate the history of blackjack, complete with a wide assortment of blackjack paraphernalia, gaming memorabilia and the world’s largest collection of antique devices from various different gaming eras.
In addition to the newly created museum, the casino agreed to hang photos of the members of the future Blackjack Hall of Fame, promising free rooms, food and drinks to all inductees. The catch however, was that while hall-of-famers were welcome to stay at the Barona Casino free of charge, they were asked to never play on any of the casino tables during their visit.
Once the museum had been established and the stipulations were agreed upon, 21 of the most notable blackjack players, authors, and experts in the industry were nominated for induction. Of those, the public voted 7 to the top, establishing the inaugural Hall of Fame Class of 2002. Beginning in 2006, each year one new member is inducted into the hall at the discretion of the current hall-of-famers.
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