Henry Orenstein, the Poker Hall of Famer, WSOP bracelet winner, and hole card camera inventor passed away on Tuesday at the age of 98. He took his last breath at his home in New Jersey. His passing was confirmed by the President of PokerGO and his very close friend, Mori Eskandani.
Orenstein will be always remembered for his invention of the hole-card camera. His invention was first used in England during BBC’s Late Night Poker broadcasts. His idea of bringing the audience into the game of poker by using the camera to expose players’ hole cards was a key to the modern-day poker boom that transformed how the game is perceived today. This was the main reason why he was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2008. He was also a member of the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame.
Apart from being a hole card camera inventor, Orenstein was the creator and an executive producer of Poker Superstars that ran on Fox Sports and was part of the production team for High Stakes Poker. Not just that, he was also a good poker player. His 8th-place finish in the 1995 WSOP Main Event earned him $51,900. Orenstein won his maiden WSOP bracelet at the 1996 WSOP after emerging victorious in the $5000 Limit Seven Card Stud and walked away with $130,000 for his win.
He was born in Poland in 1923 and was a survivor of the Holocaust. His parents and two other siblings died in the Nazi-run concentration camps. Luckily, Orenstein and two of his brothers survived. In 1947, he immigrated to the United States with two of his surviving siblings. In the U.S., Orenstein was initially successful in the toy industry. Former Hasbro CEO Alan Hassenfeld called him “the catalyst” that brought the Transformers into existence. He is survived by his wife, Susie. Our prayers are with his wife, and the rest of his loved ones. May Orenstein Rest in Peace (RIP)!