WHE Photo Stories

Jen and “Unabomber” Hold Court

(Fort Lauderdale, FL) After racking up our chips, we called it a day on the set of Poker Night in America, the poker reality show that airs on the CBS Sports Network. The high-stakes competitions showcase poker skills, lucky streaks, gambling styles, grit and gab. To my left, at the poker table was the handsome sharp-as -a-tack, poker genius, Doug Polk. He bought into the game with an intimidating $100,000. To my right was semi-pro Avi Freedman; he's been killing the game of late. He brought out a bankroll of $30,000. Across the table were poker millionaires Frank Kassela and Shaun Deeb. Kassela is part of the rarified club of poker players that have scored a hat trick at the Annual World Series of Poker Tournament. Shaun Deeb has needles at the ready to insert under the skin of players that takes him on. My 5K buy-in was the minimum stack permitted; I had another 5K in my pocket, if needed--compliments of my silent corporate sponsor. I like having a chance to decimate the competition with fewer bullets, but between the talent and the mega buy-ins all around me, I had no intention of coming up with more money against this crowd! I was committed to one strategy in this spot--disciplined aggression. It was my best hope with a pittance. At the end of play, I was down a few pennies, but I was up for a night on the town! Led by high stakes player and poker talent scout Matt Glantz, a group of us hit the cocktail lounge to down shots or sip sodas before moving onward for more post-combat camaraderie. Poker Night regulars Jennifer Tilly and her long-time boy-friend Phil Laak (better known in poker circles as the Unabomber), had been occupied in the commentator booth all afternoon; they joined us. Prancing in stilettos and sneakers, respectively, Jen the only Academy award nominee who has won a World Series of Poker championship (Ladies Event) and Phil, also a WSOP champ (in an open event and Oscar worthy poker celebrity, hoofed it with us to the parking lot. We took off in two cars for the best stone crabs in town. A rehash of the day's events was quick and pointed at the dinner table. Big stacks dominated. Jen (the glamorous chatterbox) and Phil (the unpredictable eccentric) held court with style; they were witty, smart, gregarious, and completely engaged with each other--and with the rest of us during our nearly three-hour dinner. They provided plenty of laughable moments, but it was I who enjoyed the last laugh, thanks to this generous couple. At the end of dinner, we played "credit card roulette for the check. By a process of elimination in this numbers game, the wheel of fortune was about to point the check either on Jennifer or me. Suddenly the game came to a halt. Jen looked coquettishly at Phil as he announced, "Jen, Wendeen, this check belongs to me! Thank you Jen and Phil.

President Obama With “Wendy”

Last week, Wendeen reconnected with President Barack Obama, outside Washington (where they first met in 2008),  at a stirring event held at the Streiker Center/Temple Emanu-el. After sampling chef Daniel Boulud's famous short ribs,  the President took pictures at a VIP reception before the Event. He would soon settle in for a "conversation" with Rabbi Joshua Davidson in the main sanctuary of the temple. In earshot of Wendeen's friends, nearby, as she approached to greet the President, he called out to her , "Hi Wendy."  She joined him--responding  with this smile, caught by the camera! The only people who call her "Wendy" are family (Wendy was her nickname until she turned 6!), singer Wayne Newton, a client and longtime friend who resides in a world of his own, and  the good president.  Wendeen couldn't bring herself to correct the president! There was good reason that President Obama resonated deeply with his audience. He offered simple and sage advice to attendees on how to thrive in our complicated world. He said, "I tell my girls, "Be kind and be useful." Wendeen is grateul for his perspective.  

Woods and Wendeen – Politics and Poker

The New Year had gotten off to a good start; an eclectic group of business and public service projects was on the boards. And then came an offer Wendeen could not refuse; an invitation to participate in a live poker game to be televised on CBS Sports. The player roster was as eclectic as any she had ever seen; lawyers, poker pros, a movie reviewer, and James Woods, the MIT educated actor, were on the list. Some 15 Years ago Wendeen and Jimmy struck up an acquaintanceship at a poker tournament in California, each intrigued by the other’s connection to NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Jimmy had played Rudy in the movie of the same name. Wendeen had played a role in Giuliani’s run for Mayor and had served as a special advisor to him on City Hall Affairs. The years flew by with occasional crossing of paths, a dinner here a poker date there. But in the upcoming Poker Night In America show they sit next to each other for most of the day--hemming and hawing about their respective holdings and mugging for the camera as reacquainted friends.

Two Eolis Sisters Celebrate Manhattan

It is a tradition!  Sharon and Wendeen celebrate the holiday season, sharing their love for Manhattan; restaurants, theater, museums, and, the must see Alvin Ailey dance company. The joy of Ailey's longtime signature  piece, Revelations, never runs out of joy. Last weekend Ailey paired Revelations with  the beautiful new Odetta, a tribute to the legendary folk singer, at the Saturday matinee--a  tip Sharon bestowed on Wendeen.  And Wendeen returned the favor,  tipping off  Sharon, an avid civil rights activist  to the impassioned, riveting choreography that explodes before your eyes in the dance company's timely offering of "Uprising." The two sisters continue their  family time celebration over the Chanukah and Christmas  holidays, taking in great food for thought.

Luther Kent / Wendeen Toasting New Orleans

Blues and country singer Luther Kent, a NOLA native, gives Wendeen a big hug during her annual post Katrina visit.. They celebrate the City's resurgence. Wendeen's HCTF team assisted in evacuations and selection of counsel for NOLA residents following chaos at the Super Dome in the aftermath of Katrina. Luther sings to Wendeen and friends in the beautifully refurbished Carousel Lounge at the Monteleone Hotel where superb service and the best massages are routine.

Larrigata Visit

Larry Lindsey hosts Wendeen at his beautiful ocean side home in Virginia Beach, where they splice together their respective activities in business, politics, and poker. Larry, the erudite economist and Wendeen, the experienced legal consultant covered the waterfront of current events before breakfast on the glorious beach.

Wendeen and Rich Ponder Poker Legislation

At the annual World Series of Poker the business of the industry is as much the talk of the town as the daily WSOP events themselves. It is the meeting ground of everyone who is anyone in the poker world. That notably includes Rich Muny, Vice President of Player Relations for The Poker Players Alliance. Here at the Rio in the quiet corridor before the crowds arrive, Wendeen and Rich meet up to chat about the latest rumblings in Washington on online's gaming future in America.

Wendeen Hosts Unexpected Guest

Famous 5th avenue resident hawk flew from his home base to Wendeen's terrace. The hawk politely eyeballed the sunset supper whipped up for friends. iPhone cameras rolled with Andy, Joe, and Sandy bringing the spectacle into focus. Sandy got  perfect pic  during hawk's 20 minute preening gig.

Great Granddaughter Acquisition

In an unexpected family visit, Wendeen's granddaughter presents the latest arrival, Deborah Dielle , who weighed  in at 4 pounds, 12 ounces,  a remarkable joy. Mom, Grandma, and Great Grandma take turns introducing her all around. Wendeen insists on ruling the roost with a private tete-a-tete with the family's latest addition.

Sharon and Wen Discuss Big Move

Sharon is the Big Sis and Rock of Gibraltar for all emergencies. Wendeen is the Little Sis with a head for business and tough negotiations.

So here they are, at their favorite diner talking about the craziness of the medical profession and the bigger craziness of moving out of an apartment after 48 years. Between them they settle both issues, Sharon completes another apartment deal that others would salivate to get, and Wen finds new doctors with a better bedside manner. Two independent women, with different life styles, politics, and personal objectives who truly support each other.

For more information and to schedule appointments,
call (212) 472-4000 or email eolis@eolis.com