Casino Pioneer Lyle Berman Inducted Into AGA Gaming Hall of Fame

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Lyle Berman, a three-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner, has been inducted into the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) Gaming Hall of Fame at the Venetian in Las Vegas. He joined a group of five industry professionals ushered into the HOF in 2016, with the ceremony being held during the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) last Wednesday.

A well-deserved honor: Lyle Berman joined the American Gaming Association’s Gaming Hall of Fame last week at G2E. (Image:

During the induction ceremony, casino mogul Steve Wynn shared a story about losing big-time to Berman at the poker tables back in the day. He didn’t specify the amount he lost, but it’s safe to assume they weren’t playing micro-stakes games.

Wynn is just one of many to lose money to the new member of the Gaming Hall of Fame. Berman was a regular at the WSOP in the pre-poker boom era of the late 1980s and early 1990s. His three bracelets were all won prior to 1995. Overall, the Minnesota native has nearly $1.6 million in lifetime Series earnings. He is his state’s all-time winningest live tournament player, even still to this day.

Businessman and Poker Player

But Berman didn’t get inducted into the Gaming Hall of Fame for his poker accomplishments. The now-75-year-old was instrumental in the development of numerous casinos in 40 US states. He co-founded Grand Casinos (now named Lakes Entertainment) in 1990, a company which creates casinos outside of Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Berman is also the chairman of the board of the World Poker Tour (WPT).

Berman’s business dealings span beyond the gambling industry. After graduating college in 1964, the poker pro joined his father’s leather business. He later sold the company, but stayed on as CEO. The business was sold again and is now the popular Wilson’s Leather, although Berman is no longer affiliated with the business.

Senior Poker Skills to Go With

The casino developer was also inducted into the 2016 Seniors Poker Hall of Fame in June, one of just six older players to gain entry. His overall tournament take is in the $2.67 million range, which is nothing to sneeze at. He is also the author of his life story with I’m All In: Lyle Berman and the Birth of the World Poker Tour.

Berman’s one miss has been not having a strong recent finish in the World Series Main Event. In fact, outside of a 5th place finish in 1989, he hasn’t fared well in poker’s most prestigious annual tournament. And if not for his Main Event struggles, perhaps the businessman would now be a member of three Hall of Fames, with the regular Poker HOF being the trifecta.

But Berman has a ton to be proud of when it comes to accomplishments in the gaming industry, obviously, and his induction last week by the AGA is just another recognition of all he has brought to gaming over the past few decades.

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