The First Lady of Poker—Life and Legacy

The First Lady of Poker—Life and Legacy

Linda Johnson is not your ordinary casino player. Not only did she conquered the world of poker with her skills, innate talent, and incredible player stance, she also dominated the games leading to her being dubbed as the First Lady of Poker. Let’s look at how she did all that. Today, take time to understand and be inspired by the life, story, and legacy of Linda Johnson. 


On 14 October 1953, Linda Johnson was born to a fairly low-income family in Long Island, New York. Her father worked as a service crew and was the first one to convince her to play poker. According to him, she has the advantage in poker as playing it wasn’t against the house. With her father’s blessings and initiative, Johnson started her poker career early on. 

Poker Career

From 1974, Johnson played constantly on poker games in meets and in casual casino setups. This led to her becoming a professional poker player and eventually winning a World Series of Poker or WSOP bracelet in 1997 in their $1,500 7-card razz event. 

Since then, she was dubbed as the First Lady of Poker. This was first coined by Mike Sexton as according to him. Linda Johnson’s longevity in the casino scene only makes her one of a kind; on a league of her own. This is also due to the fact that she frequents the World Poker Tour and even conducted Ladies Night on certain events. 


For her accomplishments and contributions to the beloved game. Linda Johnson was inducted to the Poker Hall of Fame in 2011 with over hundreds of thousands of dollars of WSOP winnings at the time of the induction ceremony. 

Aside from a professional poker player, she also served as a publisher of the CardPlayer Magazine up until the company sale to Barry Shulman. Nonetheless, she continues to write articles for the magazine. In addition, she also pioneered the Tournament Directors Association—a governing body that oversees poker tournaments and sets its rules and regulations. Now, she serves as one of its Board of Directors. 

Johnson stays relevant in the poker scene not only with the TDA but with the establishment of the This organization eases the process of charity donations from professional poker players. This serves as her way of giving back to the community that accepts her despite being a minority in the games. 

Recently, in 2017, the World Poker Tour awarded Johnson the WPT Honors Award. Citing her outstanding contributions once again to the WPT and the greater poker community. With this award, WPT hopes that her life story and her passion for poker inspires more women in achieving the same. 

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