The poker world lost a legend today. Henry Orenstein, who founded the World Poker Tour and the International Gaming Technology Association (IGTA), died on Wednesday at age 87 from complications related to his recent stroke. Though its name was changed in 2003 after he retired, many consider ITGAA as one of America’s most influential gambling trade groups alongside IGT and MGM Grand Casino Hotel Inc., among others
Recently there has been significant discussion about how social media gaming sites are taking away players from brick-and-mortar casinos. This could be good or bad for online games like poker tournaments where they can generate revenue off player deposits that would otherwise have gone towards table game play alone

Dr. Henry Orenstein is an American poker player who has been playing the game since 1972, and he’s someone that many people recognize as one of the most important figures in modern-day poker. Dr. Orenstein was born on October 24th, 1938 and passed away on September 5th, 2015 at the age of 78 years old. He had a long career where he won five World Series of Poker bracelets from 1967 to 1974; during these wins two were consecutively without losing any hands: A record which stands today for both tournaments and cash games combined into one event.

Henry Orenstein is a man that has given poker an important place in the world. He was one of the first to create rules for poker, and he helped make it what it is today. Read more in detail here: rules of poker.

Looking Back on Henry Orenstein's Importance to Poker

In December, the poker world lost a legend. This isn’t a Hellmuth, Brunson, or Negreanu situation. Henry Orenstein may not be well-known, but he made an unforgettable impression on the game.

Orenstein, who pioneered the hole-card cameras that helped begin the poker boom in the 2000s, died on Dec. 14 in New Jersey at the age of 98. He was a poker visionary, believing that by displaying players’ cards as they bet and bluffed, the game might be turned into a spectator sport. The seasoned poker player was correct.

Phil Hellmuth, a 16-time Industry Series of Poker bracelet winner, told USPoker, “Henry Orenstein was revered in the poker world, and he loved poker as well.” “In particular, he enjoys playing Seven Card Stud, which is his favorite game. 

“In the late 1990s, Henry spent $700,000 of his own money in developing hole card cameras, which permanently transformed the game.” Suddenly, the whole world could witness what we’ve always known: “Hold’em takes five minutes to learn but a lifetime to master.”



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A legend in the poker world

It would be an understatement to suggest Orenstein was a visionary. Rooms around the nation were shutting at the time he predicted televised poker. Most people undoubtedly thought poker on television was a farce.

The WSOP on ESPN seemed to viewers to be a bunch of dudes gazing at cards. The viewers (not many) had no idea what each player’s hand was holding. Orenstein, on the other hand, persisted in changing people’s perceptions of the game he loved.

After seeing an occurrence on TV, the idea to add hole card cameras came to mind. Without knowing what each player possessed, the creator thought the game was boring.

PokerGO President Mori Eskandani recently told the New York Times, “This isn’t the game we played.” “‘Everyone would realize how fantastic it is if they could see the hole cards.’”

In 2002, he pitched the concept to the World Poker Tour producers. The series, which aired on the Travel Channel, highlighted significant buy-in events from across the globe and was an immediate smash.

With the WSOP’s success, Orenstein went on to develop his own poker programs, such as the Poker Superstars Invitational and High Stakes Poker. In a Seven Card Stud tournament in 1996, he even won a WSOP bracelet at the table.

Although televised poker is now commonplace, it was formerly considered a risky proposition. Oresnstein, on the other hand, recognized something fresh in the game as well as a new type of amusement.

Orenstein died at COVID-19, and his death was felt by many in the poker community. His contributions to the game are undeniable, and he was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2008.


You may not be playing or even interested in #poker if it weren’t for him. You probably wouldn’t be reading this tweet in the first place.

He was the first to create the hole card cam (patented it in 1995).

15 December 2021 — GGPoker (@GGPoker)

Survivor, inventor, and business owner

Orenstein, who was born in Poland in 1923, survived the Holocaust during World War II. He served time in five different concentration camps in all.

The New York Post said that “Orenstein spent the Holocaust hiding with his family until a scarcity of food and water compelled them to give themselves in to the Nazis.” “After his parents were killed, Orenstein and his brother were sent to a German prison camp, where he managed to live by posing as a scientist.”

One brother also made it, but his parents, another brother, and sister did not. In 1947, Oresnetin immigrated to the United States and launched a successful career in the toy business.

Topper Toys, his first firm, made dolls, racing cars, and other toys. Later, Orenstein assisted with the development of Hasbro’s Transformers toys, which were a huge hit and generated cartoons and films.

Throughout his career, Orenstein created and marketed a variety of toys and possessed over 100 patents.

Peace be with you. We would not have had as much fun if it hadn’t been for you, Henry Orenstein.

December 16, 2021 — Optimus Prime (@primeribrobot)

The hole card cam may be the most crucial for poker aficionados. It’s increasingly typical to see a guy make a large bet with a 9-5 or ship it all in with pocket Aces.

The ability to see the cards is taken for granted by viewers. But Henry Orenstein saw how significant it might be when no one else did. His imprint on the game will be remembered for a long time.

“He changed the game for a new generation of poker aficionados who would not be able to experience it as it is without Henry’s inventiveness and brilliance,” NBC Sports Group President of Programming Jon Miller told the New York Times.

* Photo credit: Melissa Haereiti/WSOP

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