Minnesota Poker Hall Of Fame






 2015 MN Hall of Fame Inductee - Blake Bohn


Blake Bohn, a Mid-States Poker Tournament professional from Savage, Minn., has had success as a cash-game player since the 1990s.  He first made a splash on the tournament scene in 2005 when he cashed in two events at Canterbury Park’s Fall Poker Classic, just missing the

$1,000 main event’s final table.  He had his first World Series of Poker cash in the main event in 2010, and by 2012 had several regional first and second-place finishes.


Bohn began 2013 by besting a field of 392 at the Chicago Poker Classic’s main event, winning $288,171, starting a break-out year where he would go on to win more than $800,000, including a second-place finish in the $1,500 WSOP No Limit Hold ‘Em event, 15th place in the prestigious $111,111 WSOP One Drop High Roller Event, and first place in the Ante Up $1,100 event at Running Aces Casino in Columbus, Minn.

2014 was also a phenomenal year, seeing Bohn catch a $50,000 second place in the MSPT event at Running Aces, another WSOP final table, and two big final-table paydays including a Borgata World Poker Tour event, and a seventh-place finish in the $5,300 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open.

So far this year Bohn has had two WSOP cashes, including a 23rd place finish in the WSOP 10K Main Event for more than $260,000.  He also had a third-place finish at the MSPT event at Maryland Live, and most recently a first-place finish at MSPT in Tama, Iowa.   2015 isn’t over yet and Bohn is still very much in contention for the MSPT Player of the Year with the season-ending event at Canterbury Park this weekend.

“Since 2010, Blake’s name has been commonplace in the Minnesota poker scene. There is no denying the poker skill he has, and his results prove it,” Tristan Wilberg, Casino Shift Manager/Casino Marketing Advisor for Running Aces Casino said.

In the past three years Bohn has had six cashes over $200,000, bringing his total tournament earnings to date to more than $2.3 million.

“Blake played his first live poker at Canterbury Park back in 2000.  It’s always very exciting to see our local heroes have success nationally or internationally.  Blake’s dedication to the game is very apparent and his success is well-deserved,” Michael Hochman, Vice President of Casino Operations for Canterbury Park said.

‘Minneapolis’ Jim Meehan has been playing poker since the 1960s.  He went to law school in St. Paul, and worked for 20 years as a lawyer before going into “semi-retirement” as a professional poker player.  After much success as a local and regional rounder, Jim hit the poker tournament scene in the early 1990s, scoring big in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, including a second-place finish in 1997 WSOP $3,000 Hold ‘Em event, cashing $115,800.



 2015 MN Hall of Fame Inductee - Minneapolis Jim


In 2003, he battled an all-star field at the final table of the WSOP $2,000 No Limit Hold ‘Em Event, including Antonio Esfandiari, Mike Sexton, and Kathy Liebert, to win the coveted bracelet and $280,000.

Meehan arrived at two more WSOP final tables in 2004, getting fifth place in each for a total of $62,000.  He had an amazing 17 cashes in 2005, including 10 final tables totaling more than $200,000, bringing his total tournament winnings to more than $1.4 million.

“Minneapolis Jim has cashed an astonishing 21 times in WSOP events since 1997,” said Hochman. “He’s an absolute character at the table.  He’s not afraid to chat a little, and typically keeps the table in stiches.”

“When the poker world thinks of Minnesota, they think of ‘Minneapolis’ Jim. Numerous times, while traveling, I have been asked if I know him, and I’m happy to say that I do,” said Wilberg.  “His entertaining personality and the skill he displays make him unforgettable at the table.”

Bohn and Meehan join Lyle Berman, the first inductee in 2013, and Mike Schneider who last year was inducted, as members of the Minnesota Poker Hall of Fame.




 2014 MN Hall of Fame Inductee -Mike Schneider

Mike Schneider of Minneapolis became the second member of The Minnesota Poker Hall of Fame when his induction was announced Saturday evening. Schneider has been a successful online player since the early 2000s and hit the international poker radar when in 2006 he became the youngest person to win The Party Poker Million for a   $1 million payday at the age of 22.


He captured first place and more than $80,000 at Canterbury Park’s Twin Cities Poker Open in 2008.  In 2012 he won the first ever H.O.R.S.E. event at the Fall Poker Classic at the Shakopee, Minn. card casino and followed that up by defeating a field of 264 to win the Fall Poker Classic Championship Event and $63,700.


In 2014 Schneider won the Midwest Poker Classic’s main event and $48,425 at Running Aces Harness Park in Columbus, Minn., bringing his lifetime tournament winnings to more than $1.5 million.


“This year we allowed the poker-playing public to submit nominations and there was an overwhelming amount of support for Schneids,” said Michael Hochman, Senior Director of Casino Operations at Canterbury Park. “I’m not at all surprised.  He’s been a very successful pro since 2005, both in live and tournament play, and is considered one of the best limit poker players alive.  He’s also about the nicest guy in the room, always positive and very pro-poker.  He’s a fantastic ambassador for the game.”


Tristan Wilberg, a member of the Minnesota Poker Hall of Fame’s governing board and Poker Tournament Director at Running Aces has been equally impressed with Schneider. “Mike has proven himself to excel at almost every aspect of poker,” Wilberg said. “He consistently wins on cash games, has won several major tournaments, and is well respected in the poker community.  Each time I talk with him, I can tell how much he truly understands poker.  He is an excellent choice for the Minnesota Poker Hall of Fame.”


“Being inducted into the Minnesota Poker Hall of Fame is without a doubt one of my proudest achievements as a poker professional because there is little that can compare to receiving validation from your peers,” Schneider said.  “It truly is humbling to be the second member of the hall, especially because this state is home to a ton of poker talent.”


In 2013, Lyle Berman became the first member of Minnesota Poker Hall of Fame.


Schneider, 30, is a 2002 graduate of Eagan High School. He received a degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Minnesota in 2006.


“I’m grateful for the fortunate luck I’ve had in both poker and life, and my family and friends who’ve helped shape my development as a poker player,” Schneider said.


  2013 MN Hall of Fame Inductee - Lyle Berman

Lyle Berman Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, is a 1964 graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in Business Administration. Mr. Berman began his career with Berman Buckskin, his family's leather business. Over the next 16 years, he helped grow the business into a major specialty retailer, with 27 outlets.

When Berman's was sold to W.R. Grace in 1979, he continued as President and Chief Executive Officer and led the company to become one of the country's largest retail leather chains, with over 200 stores nationwide.

Mr. Berman led a management buyout of Berman's in 1987, and in 1988, the company was sold to Melville Corporation and combined to form Wilsons The Leather Experts. In the spring of 1996, Mr. Berman participated along with current Wilsons' management, in the purchase of Wilsons from Melville Corporation.

In 1990, Mr. Berman participated in the founding of Grand Casinos, Inc. Mr. Berman is credited as one of the early visionaries in the development of casinos outside of the traditional gaming markets of Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Grand Casinos became a leader in this segment of the casino entertainment industry, known as "emerging gaming," and in less than five years the company opened eight casino resorts in four states. In 1995, Grand Casinos was named the Fastest Growing Company in America by Fortune magazine.

In 1998, Grand Casinos completed transactions when Grand Casinos' Mississippi assets were merged with the gaming division of Hilton Hotels Corporation to form Park Place Entertainment Corporation now known as Harrahs Entertainment. In 1999, Lakes Entertainment, Inc. was formed as a result of Grand Casinos Indian Casino Management business not being acquired by Park Place Entertainment.

In 1994, Mr. Berman financed the initial development of Rainforest Cafe, an integrated restaurant and retail concept. He served as the Chairman and CEO from 1994 until 2000.

As Chairman of the Board and CEO of Lakes Entertainment, Inc., Mr. Berman was instrumental in creating the World Poker Tour. The symbol is WPTE. In three short years, World Poker Tour revolutionized the game of poker throughout the world.

In October 1995, Mr. Berman was honored with the B'nai B'rith "Great American Traditions Award," in April, 1996, he received the Gaming Executive of the Year Award, and in 2004 Mr. Berman was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.

Mr. Berman has been instrumental in the creation, development and leadership of several public companies, including:
Chairman of the Board & Chief Executive Officer, Lakes Entertainment, Inc. (LACO.PK)
Chairman of the Board, World Poker Tour Enterprises (NASDAQ: WPTE) until 2009
Chairman of the Board, PokerTek, Inc. (NASDAQ:PTEK) until 2011