Linda Johnson - Card Player Cruises partner
Linda Johnson, nicknamed the First Lady of Poker, has been a leading force in the poker world for much of her life. She began playing poker in the 70s after buying some poker books and teaching herself to play. Linda was immediately enthralled with poker and had a special ability for the game. She entered the World Series of Poker Ladies seven-card stud tournament in 1980, deciding in advance that if she performed well, she would quit her high-level job at the Post Office and move to Las Vegas to become a professional poker player. As fate would have it, Linda finished fifth in the tournament and promptly gave her two-week notice. She moved to Las Vegas and played poker full time from 1980-1993, one of just a handful of women who played the game professionally during those years.
In 1993, Linda purchased Card Player magazine. Over the next eight years, the magazine grew from a 68-page, black and white newsprint publication into a 132-page, full-color, glossy magazine. As publisher, Linda became an ambassador for the poker world, traveling to more than 200 cardrooms. She has co-written three poker books and was instrumental in helping to establish many influential poker projects including the World Poker Industry Conference, the World Poker Players Conference, and the Tournament Directors Association. Her next project was helping to establish the World Poker Tour for which she had the role of studio announcer during its first six seasons. Her involvement in promoting poker led to being chosen as the original chairperson for the Poker Players Alliance (PPA). Linda is currently on the Board of Directors for the PPA and the Ladies International Poker Series (LIPS).
Although she has won many poker tournaments and has seven final-table finishes at the World Series of Poker, Linda’s top poker goal was achieved when she won a gold bracelet in the razz event at the World Series of Poker in 1997. She was the 2005 California State Ladies Poker Champion and the 2006 Orleans Open Woman’s Poker Champion. She was chosen to be a player on the Professional Poker Tour and to be a member of the Queen of Hearts World Series Ladies Team. She was featured on the television shows Poker Royale and World Poker Tour. One of poker’s highest honors was bestowed on Linda when she was selected to receive the Brian Saltus Award, an award given for representing class, dignity, and courage at the poker table. She has been featured in USA Today and many national magazines. Linda was a charter inductee into the Women in Poker Hall of Fame in 2008, and in 2011, she was voted into the Poker Hall of Fame.
These days, Linda enjoys teaching WPT Boot Camp and hosts poker seminars and tournaments at many cardrooms around the country. She is a partner in Card Player Cruises and has hosted more than 90 poker cruises to destinations around the world.
Linda had the honor of delivering the “shuffle up and deal” speech at the Ladies event to commemorate her thirty-year anniversary of turning poker professional. When it comes to respect, Linda is at the top of the poker world!
You can email Linda here.