With just a week left in 2018 we were running out of time to distribute the last of the year’s Platinum Passes. Luckily Christmas offered us a chance to inform two cornerstones of the poker community they’ll be spending part of January playing the PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold’em Championship.
PokerStars department heads put their heads together and decided on two natural choices.
Congratulations to Linda Johnson and Kevin Mathers.
Whilst 🎅 was busy delivering presents, our department heads were busy nominating who we should send a gift to. For everything they do for the game and the industry, we decided to put a #platimumpass under the 🎄 for @Kevmath and @firstladypoker. Merry Christmas!
— PokerStars (@PokerStars) December 25, 2018
Linda Johnson has been a mainstay of poker far longer than I’ve been around it. It’s fair to say that the game we know and love would be far different if not for her presence.
Johnson, dubbed “The First Lady of Poker” by Mike Sexton, sits at the intersection of so many points in modern poker history that it boggles the mind to consider them. A WSOP bracelet winner in Razz (1997) and one of just a handful of players (alongside Barbara Enright and Jennifer Harman) inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame and the Women in Poker Hall of Fame, Johnson was also the original publisher of Card Player Magazine and a founder of the World Poker Tour, the Tournament Directors Association, the Poker Players Alliance, and PokerGives.org.
I am so honored to be gifted with the Platinum Pass! Congrats to @Kevmath for the recognition for your many contributions to poker. I am waiting for the details so I can make my travel plans. Thanks also to everyone who posted nice comments about me.
— Linda Johnson (@FirstLadyPoker) December 26, 2018
Kevin Mathers is no less a mainstay in the community.
(Checks date on calendar)
Nope, not April 1.
The last time I was at the PCA was in 2011, and that experience sucked.
This should be infinite times better.
Guess I’ve got some plans to make.#Blessed
— Kevin Mathers (@Kevmath) December 25, 2018
A 2+2 poster once asked “What is Kevmath?” and got a fitting reply: “What isn’t Kevmath?” Before he emerged from psuedonymity and became part of the poker media landscape, some say the mystery of his identity rivaled Isildur1’s. His C.V. includes stints as a PocketFives community manager, a 2+2 moderator, Bluff Magazine’s Manager of Poker Information, a contributor to Pokerati, and more than a decade of being Twitter’s most indispensable source of knowledge on all things poker. Legend has it that his body requires sleep, but you wouldn’t know it from checking his feed.
Congratulations to both Linda and Kevin on their well deserved Platinum Passes – we’ll see you in the Bahamas before you know it!
*Kevin Mathers photo courtesy Cord Garcia