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Memories of Kenny

40 years ago on this date, Kenny Usui sat across from me at a blackjack table in London.  He was taking a respite from his duties as Vice President of the Pacific Stock Exchange.  I was taking a break from my nascent legal recruiting business.  Kenny was a client I never met with a secret passion for counting cards.

As my client, I knew Kenny to be a tough customer, insistent upon hearing the most minute details of candidates’ legal experience.  But here, suddenly, he was all smiles.  Unbeknownst to me, he was chuckling over my mathematical errors as an amateur card counter.  I promised to improve, and I did.

Days later, one thing led to another, and we became a team at felt tables, dinner tables, and all manner of duets, especially on the piano.  May he rest in peace.

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High Flyers Have Feet on the Ground

Lyle Berman and Wendeen met 25 years ago at the main event at the World Series of Poker. A thriving businessman, Lyle was also a champion poker player long before Wendeen became the first woman to cash in the WSOP final event.

Lyle and Wendeen have remained friends over the years, with their paths linked by their respective adventures in the gaming business and at the poker tables.  Lyle went on to found Lakes Gaming and the World Poker Tour.  Wendeen counts 35 casino clients on her legal consulting company’s roster, and 7 cashes at the WSOP.

Today, each of them is making plans to do battle at the 42nd World Series of Poker main event—and maybe a dinner or two.  At summer’s end they’ll meet up again at Lyle’s fabulous ranch in Telluride— the quintessential mix of an adult camp and a plus ultra resort.  They share a love of hard work and they know how to have fun!

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Educated Counselors

The friendship of Rifka, Roberta, and Wendeen spans a half century from the days they were immersed in drama, dance, and music lessons, respectively.

The common denominator of the arts was complemented by academic ambitiousness and a deep interest in the world of counseling.

Rifka’s compassion in sharing life lessons and Roberta’s analytical skills in theraputic counseling reflect the best in the business. Their friendship is even better.

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Fearless Millie

Millie Hallow is special assistant to the National Rifle Association, but she has a lot more ammunition than mere rifles at her disposal!  A key player in the most powerful lobbying organization in America, Ms. Millie brings a rare blend of smarts and guts to her role.

She also brings over the-top-dedication to the yearly C-PAC Conference, the biggest gathering of conservatives in America.  The NRA is a major sponsor.  To be sure, everybody who is anybody knows her or of her.

My friend Millie invites me to watch her bob and weave seamlessly as the Grande Dame behind the scenes.  She occasionally shows her face across the crowded room and then she stops at my dinner table which is right smack up against the stage.  A quick question to our group, and she is on her way, as we ponder the meaning of conservatism among us.  One can sum up Millie this way: She always knows how to keep her cool or light a fire as needed.