One of the men who played a pivotal role in the poker boom, Henry Orenstein, has passed away at 98. He lived a remarkable life that included surviving concentration camps, creating Transformers, inventing the hole card camera and being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Orenstein is the inventor of the hole card camera, which transformed the way we watch poker and first appeared on Late Night Poker in 1999. Orenstein felt that televised poker was boring and the hole card camera was his solution.
Having a glimpse into the thought processes of the players is what turned poker into a spectator sport. It is no coincidence that, along with the growth of online poker, the game boomed in 2003 as a result.
To say Orenstein lived a remarkable life is an understatement. Born in Poland in 1923 he survived a Nazi concentration camp but his parents were murdered by the Nazis and he escaped to America where he became a successful businessman in the toy industry. He is credited as the creative vision behind the Transformers franchise .
At the poker tables his resume boasts a WSOP bracelet in Seven Card Stud and made the Main Event final table in 1995, coming 8th. His final WSOP cash came in 2014 when he came 8th in the Seven Card Stud Championship.
In 2008 he was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame for his significant contribution to the growth of the game.
May he rest in peace.